By adding Kelly Oubre Jr., the Philadelphia 76ers have 16 players signed to NBA contracts. They will have to cut one player to enter the 2023-24 NBA season with the maximum amount of 15 players to a roster. The question will be who gets the axe.
Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin explained why Montrezl Harrell could be a candidate to get waived, basing it mostly on Harrell’s untimely ACL tear.
“Harrell opted out of his player option only to re-sign with the Sixers on a 1-year deal. Unfortunately, he is likely out for the season after tearing his ACL and meniscus in an offseason workout. It would be a shame if the Sixers moved on from Harrell after his injury. He is a great presence in the locker room, but even if he was healthy, he likely was not going to see much playing time due to the presence of Mo Bamba and the emergence of Paul Reed,” Carlin wrote in a September 21 story.
It’d be hard to see why exactly the Sixers would keep Harrell around, knowing that he’s expected to miss the season. However, he may also be useful as a contract to add as a matching salary in a trade down the line. Of course, it’s also possible that a James Harden trade could make it so that no one gets cut from the team.
Sixers Named as Potential Buddy Hield Landing Spot
Following The Athletic’s Shams Charania’s report on September 20 that the Indiana Pacers are looking into trading Buddy Hield after they failed to agree to a contract extension, Charania added that the Sixers are among the teams interested in Hield on the September 21 episode of “The Rally.”
“The Lakers were long rumored for Buddy Hield, but you look at teams like Dallas, Philly, Milwaukee. Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield. I think they’ve had a level of interest in him over the last several months, and of course, no deal has happened yet,” Charania said.
Hield would give the Sixers their best sharpshooter since the JJ Redick days, which could do wonders for their offense. While Hield is not a star, he could also be a solid return for the likes of James Harden compared to, say, what the Los Angeles Clippers could offer for him outside of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Zach Lowe Believes Sixers-Clippers Will Talk Again
Though the Sixers and Clippers are not currently discussing a James Harden trade, ESPN’s Zach Lowe believes that it may not be over between the two sides.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the last of those talks. I have a feeling those talks will be reignited at some point,” Lowe said on the September 19 episode of “NBA Today.”
Even though the Sixers have experience playing hardball with one of their stars after a trade request, they don’t have the luxury of time being on their side since Harden’s contract is expiring. What also hurts their leverage is that teams don’t typically want to invest much in a flight risk, even if they’re getting back someone like Harden.