2 NBA Champions Floated as Sixers’ Free Agent Targets

Bruce Brown

Getty Bruce Brown of the Denver Nuggets

A lot of what the Philadelphia 76ers can do this offseason will depend on if James Harden leaves or not. If Harden leaves, that could pave the way for them to get the non-taxpayer mid-level exception worth $12.1 million. If that’s how the offseason plays, Bryan Toporek of Forbes Sports floated two NBA Champions as possible targets.

First, he floated Bruce Brown, who helped the Denver Nuggets win their first NBA title as a franchise in 2023.

“The 26-year-old is a heady, two-way player who won’t command a huge share of the offense. He’s a gap-filler on both ends of the floor, which the Sixers could use more of alongside Embiid and Maxey,” Toporek wrote.

The problem would be that Brown has indicated his desire to return to the Nuggets, as noted by Toporek.

“Still, he told Mike Singer of the Denver Post that he wanted to remain with the Nuggets, even though they can’t offer him a starting salary above $7.8 million in free agency.”

Brown’s contributions to the reigning NBA Champions may earn him a sizable pay raise this summer. Should Harden and the Sixers part ways, the Sixers could be the ones to give said pay raise to Brown.

Harrison Barnes Also Floated as Free Agent Target

Toporek also mentioned Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes as a target, though he added that Barnes would only be an option should the Sixers trade Tobias Harris this offseason. Toporek went on to explain the difference between the two forwards.

“The Sixers might become more of an enticing landing spot if they trade Tobias Harris this offseason and need a replacement starting forward. Harris is more versatile than Barnes, but Barnes wouldn’t be that much of a downgrade at that spot, particularly given their respective price points.”

Toporek added what would make Philly enticing to Barnes compared to other suitors who may be interested in him.

“Barnes is miscast in a primary scorer role, but he’s plenty qualified to be a three-and-D wing. Other contenders would similarly be interested in him if he leaves Sacramento and is willing to settle for far less than the $18.4 million he earned last year, but few may have the combination of opportunity and money that the Sixers could offer this offseason.”

Sixers Plan to Keep Tobias Harris

While discussing the Sixers trade recent trade talks with the Phoenix Suns involving Harris and Deandre Ayton, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on June 25 that the Sixers have no intention of trading Harris for the time being.

“Phoenix would have had to move Ayton as part of the Harris deal. But the Sixers have no interest in the 7-foot, 250-pounder or any players the Suns would make available.

“The Sixers were also unwilling to get a third team involved to facilitate the deal. The team has been adamant that it doesn’t intend to trade Harris at this time.”

This could very well change over the course of the offseason. Again, what will determine what moves the Sixers make hinges on Harden’s decision this summer. He will be among the primary dominos to fall in the entire NBA this offseason.

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