Sixers Adding Veteran Player: ‘Buyout Imminent,’ Says Team President

DeAndre Jordan Lakers

Getty Los Angeles Lakers center DeAndre Jordan does an interview during the team's 2021 media day.

The Philadelphia 76ers are nearing completion of a buyout deal on a veteran player to add depth to the roster. Team president Daryl Morey confirmed the move was “imminent” during an interview with “The Rights to Ricky Sanchez” podcast.

Morey wouldn’t give out a name or position, although it certainly sounds like they are pursuing another big man. Andre Drummond’s departure opened up a glaring hole at the backup center spot behind Joel Embiid. The Sixers have been getting by with Charles Bassey and Paul Reed there since the James Harden trade. That rotation won’t be good enough in the postseason. Whatever name it is, Morey confirmed a move on the buyout market was in the works.

“This is pretty much the team. We’re probably going to have one buyout,” Morey told RTRS. “I am actually annoyed we haven’t been able to announce it yet. So, buyout imminent – headline.”

Morey increased speculation that it would be a backup center when he added: “Backup five who Doc trusts for 10 minutes per game in the playoffs.”

Remember, Rivers had been pushing for another point guard prior to the trade deadline. It appears as if his wish list has shifted with Harden in the fold. The Sixers have an intriguing mix of youth and experience at the one, with Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Shake Milton. They also have a solid trio of shooting guards in Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Isaiah Joe.

“Some of it is not just what we need, it’s what’s available,” Morey said. “So, the last one is the closest to what we’ll end up with.”

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Tristan Thompson Gone: Exploring Buyout Candidates

Tristan Thompson had been a leading candidate to land in Philly but he’s no longer available. The Indiana Pacers are waiving the 6-foot-9 center after buying him out. Thompson is expected to sign with the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN. So, what other big men are available?

Enes Freedom: The Turkish center was traded to the Houston Rockets at the deadline, then promptly waived. He’s a free agent, but teams seem wary of adding someone who has caused waves with his political commentary. The 6-foot-10 big has struggled in the playoffs in previous stops, too.

Gorgui Dieng: The 6-foot-10 Senegalese center is more of a shooter than a rim protector (think: Mike Muscala) and could help space the floor for the Sixers. He’s averaging 3.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game. However, the Hawks may want to hold onto him as an insurance policy behind Clint Capela.

Cody Zeller: This is an outside-the-box name to consider. Zeller underwent knee surgery on January 25 to repair a patellar injury. The Blazers waived him after an initial 10-week timeline was given for his return. Would the Sixers want to roll the dice on a 29-year-old rehab project? Doubtful. Some feel his NBA career is over.

DeAndre Jordan: Doc Rivers often raves about his time with Jordan on the Clippers and once jokingly compared him to Bill Russell. And he caught heat for suggesting the Clippers retire his number. Be that as it may, Jordan remains on the Lakers’ roster. There is a growing belief that he’ll get a buyout since Los Angeles is cash strapped. Jordan is averaging 4.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He hasn’t played for them since February 5.

Robin Lopez: The 7-footer is the third man on the totem pole in Orlando, buried behind Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter. Known more for his offense, Lopez would be an interesting bench addition to a contending team like Philly (or Golden State). He can heat up in a hurry, relying on that awkward-yet-effective hook shot, and racked up a 20-point game for the Magic earlier in the season.

Derrick Favors: The No. 3 overall pick from the 2010 draft – a guy the Sixers considered drafting at the time – might be the best fit. He’s also the longest shot on the board considering his $10 million player option. The 30-year-old may not want to lose that money, or maybe he’d rather contend for a title over sticking around for a pay day in Oklahoma City. Either way, Favors makes sense with a beautiful mid-range jumper, great pick-and-roll ability, and 42 career playoff games under his belt.

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