There’s no denying that the Philadelphia 76ers need to improve their roster before the start of next season, but that all starts with making decisions about the players that are already on the team.
For example, you can’t go into trade discussions without knowing who you’re willing to give up, or head into free-agency without knowing who is likely to sign elsewhere. But then there’s also the decisions that need to be made about players with team options in their contracts, and whether the front office is willing to lose them for nothing or believes that have something to offer moving forward.
In Shake Milton’s case, it looks like Daryl Morey and the Sixers front office want to see how he develops over the next twelve months, as reports have begun to surface that the team is picking up his $2 million player option for next season.
Milton has just completed his fourth season with the Sixers, averaging 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists over 55 games, six of them coming as a starter.
Bigger Fish to Fry
Sure, Milton has continued to show promise throughout this past season, and if he can continue developing his jump shot, could become a viable long-term bench piece for the Sixers. However, while tying Milton down for another season is smart business, it’s not going to do much to move the needle in terms of building a championship contender.
Daryl Morey still needs to address the spacing issues that limited the Sixers during the post-season, otherwise, the team is destined to encounter the same struggles again next year. Philadelphia also needs to find a willing trade partner for Tobias Harris, who continues to look like the odd-man out in terms of production versus contract value.
Luckily, players like Mattisse Thybulle, Harris, and even Forkan Korkmaz could all garner some interest from around the league, and if the Sixers are serious about reconstructing their roster, trading away some of their current core is the only sure-fire way to make a big enough splash.
Sixers Could Target TJ Warren
While trading away some of the ‘dead wood’ is necessary for Morey to begin rebuilding the roster, finding reliable help in the free agency market is also of the utmost importance – especially if that help doesn’t break the bank.
“TJ Warren is one of the most interesting free agent cases of the summer… If the first wave of spending comes and goes without Warren getting $10-plus million from somebody, a lot of teams are going to try to pitch him on taking a team-friendly deal on a higher-profile team to rehab his value and look for a payday opportunity in the summer of 2023 or ’24. I suspect the Sixers would be one of those teams,” Neubeck wrote in a recent article.
Warren has struggled with a left foot injury over the past two seasons, and missed the entirity of the 2021-22 season as a result. So, it’s highly likely that the free-scoring wing could be available at a discount, as he looks to prove he’s still capable of remaining healthy and impacting winning. Warren has averaged 15.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists throughout his career while shooting 35.7% from deep and 52.9% from the field.
Assuming the six-foot-eight wing can rediscover his scoring form and remain healthy, he could be the ideal addition to begin the Sixers rebuild, and would instantly improve their floor spacing around Joel Embiid and James Harden. Of course, the Sixers need more than one new addition, but right now, making decisions on their current roster’s future is the smart way to go about things.