Once July hits every year, everything gets wild. This year especially, as some teams made crazy moves, some were left in the dust and are in a place where they need to figure out what they need and who they need. The Philadelphia 76ers have not been the most relevant team in the past couple of years, and then the 2018-2019 season rolled around.
With having big name stars in Joel Embid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler, they were for sure a team to watch out for in the East. With a strong supporting cast in JJ Reddick and Tobias Harris they for sure should have been one of the front runners this season, and they were. Ending the season 3rd in the East, they were in a solid position heading into the playoffs.
With 51 wins and 31 losses, Philly was rejoicing as once again they finally had that team. The team to carry them to an NBA Championship and bring a parade to the great and wreck less city they are. Scoring on average 112.5 points per game, finishing 2nd in the Atlantic and having the players they had, this was the year, it truly was.
With some of the best fans in the world, Philly sat back as July 1st, 2019 rolled around to see what great news they would hear, and it wasn’t the best of news. It all started out when they found out Jimmy Butler was for sure going to leave.
This was not the greatest of news for Sixer fans as Jimmy Butler was their 2nd leading scorer with 18.2 points per game. He also did some of the dirty work as he had 5.3 rebounds, 4 assists and almost 2 steals per game. Not only is Jimmy someone you need to watch on the front end of the court, but the back end on defense as well, he truly was a key piece to this team.
As time rolled around news finally came out, a four-team trade had been completed. Jimmy Butler to the Heat and Josh Richardson will pack his bags as he is headed to Philadelphia.
Josh Richardson is not a bad get as he is a 6’6 SF who can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting. He is not the big-name scorer like Jimmy Butler, but he still did average 16.6 points per game for the Miami Heat last season. This was not the worst thing that could have happened to the 76ers.
Now to see how the Free Agents of the team were looking. JJ Reddick and Tobias, two starters and two key pieces in this squad.
Word got out of Tobias Harris staying and the city rejoiced as one of their top 3-point shooter (shooting almost 40%) is going to stay in this lacking 3 point shooting team. Getting up to a veteran age in the league heading into his 9th season, it will be good for this young Sixers team to have his leadership.
Now with JJ Reddick, the sharpshooter out of Tennessee. Shooting 41.3% in his lifetime from deep range, JJ Reddick is a vital piece to this Sixers team as they need the outside presence. Yet, he could not be convinced. JJ decided to take his talents somewhere else as he signed a 2-year $26.5M deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. The sharpshooter will be much missed in Philly.
What moves did the team make out of free agency though? One key one in Al Horford. The 5x NBA all star signs a 4-year $109M deal with the team. This is a big get as he can play both the forward and center position and can be the experienced veteran that this team needs.
Where do they go from here
Philly has put themselves in a position where they can compete for a playoff spot this season and maybe also make a surprise run if teams are not careful. They just do not have the shooting they need in order to make it out of the ECF. With starting Ben Simmons, Al Horford and Joel Embiid, you are getting no shooters and absolutely no threat from a deep range.
It will be hard for Philly to make a deep run without this threat on the court. I would not be surprised if you see Philly pursuing Danny Green and JR Smith in free agency as they look to pick up a few shooters to help their poor shooting percentage out.