The Philadelphia 76ers could be looking to shake up their roster this offseason and veteran Rockets guard Eric Gordon has been identified as a top target for the squad.
The Sixers appear to be close to having a championship-caliber roster but have some key moves they could make to improve. One of those moves identified by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley would ship Tobias Harris and his max contract to the lowly Rockets for Gordon, who would fit better with Joel Embiid and James Harden (if he stays) as a spot-up sharpshooter. Here’s what Bleacher Report had to say about the deal:
Any team looking to shed salaries this summer will undoubtedly look in the Houston Rockets’ direction. Their win-later timeline means the franchise can afford to absorb a bloated deal or two, plus they have sizable salaries of their own to help make the money work in an exchange.
Should the Sixers send out a player like Harris, though, they’ll need more than financial relief in return. That’s where Eric Gordon enters the picture.
Gordon is 33 but still a solid producer, despite playing on a bad Houston team that finished 20-62 and looked to get its young guns some significant playing time. Gordon shot 47.5 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc last season. While he’s not known for his defensive prowess, Gordon can hold his own with a 6-foot-9 wingspan.
A bonus is that he has familiarity playing alongside Harden, which could go a long way in helping “The Beard” look more like his old self.
Other targets mentioned included Knicks guard Alec Burks and Oklahoma City’s Kenrich Williams.
Harden Could Take Less to Improve Roster
A lot of what the Sixers will do this offseason depends on what happens with Harden, who will have to make a decision on a $47.4 million player option. If he does decline, Harden would be able to sign a five-year, $270 million contract with the Sixers, or take less, which is apparently on the table, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
“When the Sixers got him, their intel was that he would potentially be willing to take less. And obviously, you know, nobody knows him better than [Sixers president of basketball operations] Daryl [Morey],” he said on The Athletic NBA Show.
Harden averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds in 21 regular-season games with the Sixers. The postseason has been a different story and he hasn’t showed off the MVP-caliber impact he once had on the game. Harden is averaging 18.6 points, 9.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, shooting around 40% from the field.
Doc Rivers’ Future With Philly Also in Question
Another major question mark for Philadelphia going forward is with head coach Doc Rivers, who has been caught up in coaching rumors, most notably being attached to the Lakers.
That being said, there appears to be mutual interest in Rivers returning.
“Despite widespread rumblings of Rivers’ intrigue in the Lakers’ opening, and incessant talk of Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey perhaps desiring a different play-caller, the 76ers have maintained that Rivers and team leadership remain aligned about their future together,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported.
Before the Sixers can start looking ahead, they have to play out the rest of the postseason. Philly is down 2-0 to the Heat but are hoping Embiid possibly returning to the lineup could give them a spark in Game 3.