Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers have reached 'a fork in the road' with multitude of options this offseason

Sixers have reached 'a fork in the road' with multitude of options this offseason

Options. The Sixers have plenty of options when they look to build their roster this offseason.

With the third overall pick, four second rounders and an abundance of cap space, the Sixers have the flexibility to take several different avenues to constructing the 2017-18 team.

“We have a few paths to go here,” Colangelo said. “It's a little bit of a fork in the road, if you will. We can speed things up by signing a key free agent, we'll see how that plays out … As we approach trades, free agency, we're going to be looking at everything and all those options.

"It's not that we're choosing a path, we haven't signed anyone yet. There are no agreements in place. There are no decisions in that regard. We're evaluating the free-agent class right now. We're evaluating the draft class right now. We're just excited that we're in a position to add talent one way or the other. With cap space, with the draft, with all the things that we have in front of us, we have good tools. We have good developing talent behind us.”

Possible draft picks
Backcourt or wing? There is a variety of players projected at the third spot. 

The Sixers need depth on the perimeter. Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Duke’s Jayson Tatum would fill that role. Both are athletic two-way players, the multi-faceted skillset Brett Brown emphasizes. They had nearly identical scoring and rebounding averages their freshman seasons, with Jackson getting the edge on shooting percentage. Jackson posted 16.3 points (51.3 percent from the field) and 7.4 rebounds compared to Tatum’s 16.8 points (45.2 percent from the field) and 7.3 rebounds (see Kane's mock draft).

Should the Sixers go with a guard, Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox has said he would feel comfortable playing off the ball. Fox already interviewed with the Sixers at the draft combine in Chicago, where he explained how he would be a fit with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid (see story).  Fox averaged 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists this past season.

Fox, however, isn't known for his shooting, and that's a clear need for the Sixers. If they went that route, Fox's Kentucky teammate Malik Monk is an obvious choice (see story)

Possible trade pieces
The Sixers remain open to trading Jahlil Okafor after coming close to making a deal at the deadline. Colangelo has said a trade would have to work for all parties involved, and if they didn’t find one, the Sixers will welcome Okafor back for his third season. With all their draft picks, the Sixers have assets they could use in a package deal involving Okafor.

Nik Stauskas stands out for a different reason. Expiring contracts are appealing to teams on the other end. Stauskas is entering the final year of his deal worth $3.8 million. (He has a qualifying offer of $5.1 million for 2018-19). He boosted his trade value this past season by averaging career-highs in three-point shooting (36.8 percent), scoring (9.5 points), rebounding (2.8) and assists (2.4). 

Possible key free-agent targets
JJ Redick is exactly what the Sixers need moving forward: a knockdown shooter who can provide veteran, playoff-tested leadership (see story). Redick, who turns 33 in June, will be entering his 12th season, which is not a concern when looking at the lengthy careers of shooters such as Jamal Crawford and Ray Allen. He shot 42.9 percent from three, 44.5 percent from the field and 89.1 percent from the line this past season while averaging 15.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Redick would fill that glaring offensive void at the two spot. 

Looking at another guard, we discussed Kyle Lowry a few weeks back when he opted out of his contract with the Raptors (see story). While I don’t see Lowry as the best fit for the Sixers given where he is at in his career and where the Sixers are in their development, I do expect the Sixers to explore this option. Lowry is a reliable team leader with All-Star and postseason experience on his 11-year resume. Last season he averaged 22.4 points (41.2 percent from three), 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds. 

Give and Go: Our predictions for the Sixers this season

Give and Go: Our predictions for the Sixers this season

With training camp starting next week, our resident basketball analysts will discuss some of the hottest topics involving the Sixers.

Running the Give and Go are CSNPhilly.com Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato and producer/reporters Matt Haughton and Paul Hudrick.

In this edition, we discuss our predictions for the Sixers going into the 2017-18 season.

Camerato
My prediction for the 2017-18 season has to do with an issue nagging the Sixers for years now. I expect the team to figure out the frontcourt logjam and establish more clearly-defined rotations.

The utilization of the bigs has not been consistent. Joel Embiid started when healthy. Jahlil Okafor started when Embiid was unavailable and was benched other times. Richaun Holmes’ season was a mix of starts, DNPs and G League appearances. And (there’s more), Nerlens Noel was on the roster up until the trade deadline. 

How much longer will this overcrowding at the five spot last? The situation is a bit tricky because of Embiid’s health. He has not been cleared for 5-on-5 and it remains to be seen how many games and minutes he will play. Okafor, in that case, has been the go-to fill-in starter. The Sixers remain open to trading Okafor. The current situation isn’t, and hasn’t been, beneficial for either team or player. 

Holmes’ improvements should not be ignored this season just because he had accepted that backup-to-the-backup role. He made a strong case to become the backup center last season and the Sixers should give him the opportunity. 

The Sixers also will have to address the shooting guard position, where they are stacked since the addition of J.J. Redick, who will see major minutes. Markelle Fultz, a point guard, also will play at the two spot. So what will that mean for Nik Stauskas or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot? (Furkan Korkmaz is expected to spend time in the G League.) 

In enhancing their team this offseason, the Sixers now have to become a more balanced roster. My prediction is they will make moves to accomplish that.

Haughton
By now you’ve heard just about every prediction for the Sixers. So what’s one more?

The talk this summer has been about the Sixers finally getting through “the process” and reaching the postseason. Both current and former Sixers have guaranteed a playoff berth.

While I tend to agree, I also know it won’t be as easy as they are making it seem.

The Sixers are loaded with talent and potential. Neither of those qualities actually guarantee wins. Just ask the 2016-17 Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Sixers will have to incorporate several new key players and adopt an entirely different mindset of expecting to win instead of hoping to come out on top each night.

Then there’s the competition. The Eastern Conference remains top heavy with the best four squads likely still holding firm (Cleveland, Boston, Toronto, Washington).

After that, things get a little more wide open. Three of the bottom four seeds from last season’s playoff participants in the East lost their best players either to free agency or via trade (Atlanta: Paul Millsap, Indiana: Paul George and Chicago: Jimmy Butler).

That should definitely clear up some room for the Sixers to make a push for one of those back-end playoff spots, but don’t expect them to jump from the basement to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Hudrick
My prediction for the Sixers, much like everyone else's, is that they'll make the playoffs.

There is a caveat, however. If they don't make the playoffs, it's not the end of the world.

The Cavaliers and Celtics are the class of the East. And really it's not very close. After them, the second tier is the Raptors and Wizards. After that it gets a little murky. Given the landscape of the Eastern Conference it's certainly realistic to say the Sixers could make the playoffs.

But the Sixers shouldn't be worried about that. It would be outstanding for this young team's confidence (and how could you not feel great for Brett Brown after what he's dealt with the last four years) to make the playoffs, but their goals should be improvement and health. This team has some serious work to do to jell together and Brown has serious questions to answer about his rotation. It won't all be sorted out over night.

Having the NBA playoffs back in Philly is going to be a blast, but let's focus on this team's development above all else. 

Sixers reportedly ink Kris Humphries to non-guaranteed deal; sign Jacob Pullen

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USA Today Images

Sixers reportedly ink Kris Humphries to non-guaranteed deal; sign Jacob Pullen

The Sixers are busy just days before the start of training camp. 

The team plans to sign veteran forward Kris Humphries to a non-guaranteed deal, according to The Vertical

Humphries fits with the Sixers’ plan for a versatile system. At 6-foot-9, he can knock down a long-range shot. Last season on the Hawks, he averaged 42.9 percent from 16 feet from the rim to the three-point line and 35.2 percent from three, according to Basketball-Reference.com. 

Humphries also averaged 3.7 boards in 12.3 minutes. The 32-year-old is entering his 14th NBA season and will add to the Sixers’ growing group of veteran players. 

The Sixers also signed 6-foot-1 guard Jacob Pullen, who was a member of BC Khimki in the VTB United League (Russia) last season. Pullen, 27, also has played in Italy, Israel, Spain, and Croatia. He was a standout at Kansas State (2007-11) and reached the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons. 

Pullen has been getting acclimated to the city. Earlier this month, he tweeted:

The Sixers will hold their media day Monday and open training camp Tuesday.