‘Otherworldly Efficient’ Pacers Player Perfect Fit for Sixers

Doug McDermott

Getty Indiana Pacers forward Doug McDermott is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Let’s talk about a player the Philadelphia 76ers could add this offseason, rather than one who could be leaving. Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott is a free agent coming off a career year in several key statistical categories.

McDermott averaged 13.6 points per game last season, upping his previous best number (10.3) by more than three points. He also proved that he’s more than simply an outside assassin by showing an ability to drive and score in the paint. The 6-foot-7 forward attempted 379 two-pointers and 286 three-pointers, matching Mikal Bridges and Michael Porter Jr. for the highest efficiency ratings. He’s shooting 40.7% from deep in seven NBA seasons.

According to Bleacher Report, McDermott could be a perfect fit for a “projected contender” like the Sixers to target in free agency. They list the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat as other teams vying for his services. The soon-to-be 30-year-old might have priced himself out of cash-strapped Indiana with his $13.9 million cap hold. McDermott will likely command a three or four-year deal at the full mid-level exception which is expected to be close to $10 million per year in 2021-22.

Is that too much money for a player still viewed as a catch-and-shoot sniper? Well, that depends on how much tape of McDermott you’ve seen over the past two seasons. Dan Favale wrote the following on Dougie McBuckets:

McDermott averaged a typo-looking 1.57 points per possession on cuts, tying him for the third-best mark among 84 players who attempted at least 50 shots in those situations. The four drives he finished per game were by far and away a career high, and he still managed to knock down more than 52 percent of the shots he attempted off them.

Maintaining otherworldly efficiency in a niche role is not unprecedented. McDermott’s functionality is now a cut above limited specialist. Defenses can neither relax around him nor close out too aggressively.

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Sixers Appear Out on Kyle Lowry Sweepstakes

Meanwhile, the chances of a homecoming for Philly native Kyle Lowry appear to be on life support. The Sixers simply don’t have the cap space to make it work, not even in a sign-and-trade scenario. Bleacher Report estimated that the “low end” for the six-time All-Star point guard is a two- or three-year contract at $20 million annually. They speculated on the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat making a run at Lowry. Not Philadelphia.

It’s unclear if Lowry would give the Sixers any kind of hometown discount. Remember, he went to Cardinal Dougherty High School and starred at Villanova University. But Lowry didn’t sound like someone willing to do that during his end-of-season media availability in Toronto.

“My family will be a major factor in this,” Lowry told reporters, via All Raptors. “Also, money talks, and years talk, and all that stuff. Let’s be real. I play this game for the love of the game but at the end of the day, I want to make sure my family is still taken care of for generations and the time to come.”

Ben Simmons Not Heading to Cleveland

The Sixers aren’t interested in trading Ben Simmons to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a package centered on Kevin Love and Collin Sexton, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. The rumored package had been making the internet rounds as soon as speculation began that Sexton might be on the move. He wants a max contract, but many don’t think the 22-year-old volume scorer is worth the price tag. Lloyd wrote the following:

Sexton is a fine NBA player, but he isn’t a max player. The fact Team USA chose Darius Garland, and not Sexton, to compete on the Select team should be ample evidence of the different trajectories between the Cavs’ young guards.

I asked one executive from an opposing team if the Cavs could get the Sixers’ Ben Simmons for a package of Love and Sexton. While the money matches, the response was “no chance; Philly can do better” despite Simmons’ deflated value.

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