Everything You Need to Know About Sam Hinkie's Ability to Blow Up the Sixers Next Summer

Everything You Need to Know About Sam Hinkie's Ability to Blow Up the Sixers Next Summer

Discussion of the Sixers' upcoming tank job usually focuses on next year's loaded NBA Draft. The Sixers will have could very well own two lottery picks, one of their own and one from New Orleans.

But what's getting left out of this conversation is the team's current roster. You know,  all the guys who will be playing and losing. What becomes of them? Will they even be here next year?

Gonzo wrote about Josh Harris' finances on Tuesday, but what about Sam Hinkie's?

If Hinkie really wants to blow up this roster, as he started to do on draft night by trading Jrue Holiday, it won't be difficult.

Consider this, there are only four guys the Sixers currently have under contract that they cannot lose via free agency next summer.

  • Thaddeus Young has two more seasons at just north and south of $9 million per before his early termination option comes into play in 2015-16.
  • Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams are guaranteed for two seasons before team options kick in prior to 2015-16.
  • Jason Richardson, who is still alive, has a $6.6 million player option for 2014-15.

And that's it. The entire rest of the roster can be sent packing at the cost of a minimum cap hold.

Here are your free agents:

  • RFA Evan Turner: Carries an $8.7 million qualifying offer.
  • RFA Lavoy Allen: Carries a $3.8 million qualifying offer.
  • UFA Spencer Hawes
  • UFA Kwame Brown

Here are your guys with 2014-15 team options:

  • Royce White
  • Arnett Moultrie
  • Tony Wroten

And here are your guys without guaranteed deals:

  • James Anderson
  • Tim Olbrecht

(Note: It is likely Furkan Aldemir and Arsalan Kazemi remain overseas this year. Even if they do play for the Sixers, they're currently without contracts, so we're leaving them out of this discussion.)

Since we're all already looking ahead to 2014-15 anyway, we won't have to wait much longer to get a peek at Sam Hinkie's plans.

The deadline for clubs to extend their restricted free agents and those players with team options is Oct. 31. You'll remember the Sixers agreed to a four-year extension with Jrue Holiday right after the home opener and right before that Oct. 31 deadline last year.

So in a little less than two months, you could see Sam Hinkie make key decisions on at least five players: Turner, Allen, White, Moultrie, Wroten.

To address Turner specifically, his qualifying offer is astronomical compared to his performance over the past three seasons. If he and the Sixers do not come to an agreement by Oct. 31, the team will have until June 30 either extend him or submit his qualifying offer. Otherwise, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

As for White, Tom Moore reported last week that the Rockets are paying White's $1.7 million salary. There have been multiple reports, including Moore's, that Aldemir was the real target of the deal.

The other three pieces, Allen, Moultrie, Wroten are all young and relatively cheap if extended.

But here's what we're ultimately getting at with the Sixers' salary cap future. If Hinkie & Co. were to jettison the free agents, not exercise the team options and abandon the non-guaranteed pieces, they could have a lot of money to play with next summer in a large free-agent class.

How much money?
If we stay with the scenario above in which the team jettisons everyone it's contractually able to and renounces its rights to those players so as the be rid of their cap holds, the Sixers would have anywhere from $28-41 million in cap space next summer, with anywhere from four to six guys on the roster. That range depends upon the number and order of their future draft picks and whether or not Jason Richardson comes back.

There are obviously less ambitious routes, but even parting with just the free agents -- Turner, Hawes, Allen and Brown -- would leave the front office with anywhere from $23-35 million.

As you can tell by reading through this, there are a lot of contingencies, and these are just a few scenarios.

Point is, Sam Hinkie could have a lot of money to play with next summer, assuming he wants it.

Wayne Simmonds gets engaged during Flyers' bye week

Wayne Simmonds gets engaged during Flyers' bye week

So far, 2017 has been a pretty big year for Wayne Simmonds.
 
In addition to being named to his first All-Star team this year, Simmonds clearly had big plans on how to spend his bye week away from hockey, before returning to play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. He popped the question to his girlfriend, Crystal Corey, and she said yes.
 
Simmonds announced the engagement on his Instagram.
 
<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="7" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:62.4537037037037% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BPXuDA0ANxY/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">11,700 feet and she said YES! I Love you @cryscorey đź’›#SimmondsandSimmonds</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Wayne Simmonds (@wayne17simmonds) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-01-17T15:32:03+00:00">Jan 17, 2017 at 7:32am PST</time></p></div></blockquote>
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Simmonds is the second Flyer to get engaged this season after Claude Giroux popped the question in December.
 
Congratulations, Wayne!

2017 Eagles Cost Analysis, C: Cash money or Kelce?

2017 Eagles Cost Analysis, C: Cash money or Kelce?

Time to talk everybody's favorite Eagles whipping boy, or one of them in Jason Kelce, who's viewed very differently by fans than he is his peers. Case in point, it might surprise some readers to learn Kelce was named a second alternate to the Pro Bowl for 2016, which means a lot of NFL players and coaches must've been voting for him.

We know Eagles fans weren't coming out in droves. Yet if we were to go off of only the respect people around the league have for Kelce, he's considered one of the top eight centers in football. That ranking also happens to be roughly commensurate with his salary cap hit for 2017, which is currently 10th at the position, according to OverTheCap.

That's still going to be high for many critics that say Kelce is too undersized and has become too frequently penalized in recent years. It's especially high when you tell some of those same people the Eagles could save nearly $4 million by going in a different direction.

The trade or release of Kelce would free up $3.8 million to be exact, although once again, that's before we consider the cost of replacing him. And unlike other areas of the Eagles roster, there really isn't a young prospect waiting in the wings to take over, even somebody who is maybe only a year away from being ready to take over.

So if the Eagles were to get rid of Kelce, they would have to pay somebody to replace him. Granted, only 14 centers carry a higher cap number, and many starters make half of the six-year veteran's money, so there are cheaper options available — although, what kind of quality is the offense getting for that price?

Kelce is a perfect example of when the grass isn't always greener. There are some big, mauling centers around the NFL, like the Pouncey brothers, and who doesn't love that? But while Kelce isn't necessarily going to rip anybody's spine out at the point of attack, there probably isn't a better center in the league at pulling or blocking at the second and third levels. He's a unique player from that perspective, something people tend to forget.

The Eagles are not going to upgrade the position by going significantly cheaper. Kelce can hold his own in pass protection, and he's elite when the play design allows him to get into space. There's also something to be said for his knowledge of the offense, in addition to the rapport he's building with Carson Wentz.

Best case scenario, the Eagles are probably replacing him with Stefan Wisniewski, who the club paid $2.76 million in 2016. Figuring a raise, that's most of their cap savings right there, and Wisniewski is not nearly as decorated or so widely respected by his peers. There must be a reason for that.

Kelce is pretty good.

CENTERS UNDER CONTRACT

Jason Kelce
Age: 30*
Cap Number: $6,200,000

The bigger issue with Kelce is he's approaching his 30th birthday this year, although many centers enjoy lengthy careers, especially the guys who play more of a finesse game. And if the Eagles do want to start thinking about the future, it might help if they begin developing his replacement now. Kelce will be much easier to move on from in 2018 in terms of the salary cap, so if the Eagles draft somebody this year, theoretically they could move on next season. Keep in mind, Kelce was a sixth-round pick, and the club got a lot of mileage out of him, so it doesn't have to be a major investment. Plus, if that doesn't work out, renegotiation could be on the table, with Kelce's cap hit reaching $7.2 million in '18, but only $1.2 million of prorated signing bonus left on a contract that runs through 2020. The Eagles will be looking to reduce their costs, while Kelce will want some financial security.

Josh Andrews
Age: 26*
Cap Number: $615,000

Andrews joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2014, and after a few years of clinging to the practice squad and on the 53-man roster as a reserve, finally saw his first action on offense this season. He played one snap at center against the Ravens in Week 15. Andrews can also line up at guard and has played special teams, though spent most of '16 inactive. He seems like a bit of a Chip Kelly outcast at this point, although it's difficult to put him in a box with so little actual experience. Is Andrews somebody who simply hasn't been given an opportunity and could fill in capably for Kelce, or will the Eagles feel the need to find competition for his roster spot?

Aaron Neary
Age: 25*

Neary originally joined the Broncos roster as an undrafted rookie, but found his way to the Eagles practice squad following his release. The Eastern Washington prospect was a two-time All-American at the Division I-AA level. At 6-foor-1, 305 pounds, Neary is considered undersized, like Kelce, which suggests this organization wants nimble centers like that. While he's probably a ways away from having any impact, the Eagles signed Neary to a futures contract at the conclusion of the season.

* Age as of 12/31/2017