Originally posted on Around the Arc  |  Last updated 4/6/13
Philly.com made these ideas look a little better with an image slide show and stuff, so feel free to check it out there."Just as the Sixers must look toward the lottery, they must also focus on free agency. At this point it seems that Jrue Holiday is the only player who is a lock to be in the lineup next season. Thad Young, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes are all under contract, but none are immovable should the right offer come calling. Of course, the big Bynum decision will have an enormous impact on offseason spending, and the Sixers overall approach as to what type of players they should pursue. If the Sixers don’t re-sign Bynum they will have an ample amount of cap space to pursue other options. However, even if the Sixers were to offer Bynum a deal, it will be for less than initially expected when they signed him last summer, and they should still have solid cap space to pursue other players.Elton Brand (finally) comes off of the books this summer, as well as a couple other contracts that the franchise probably won’t follow up on, such as Nick Young and Dorell Wright. It is safe to assume that the Sixers will look vastly different next season. Photo cred: lakerholicz.comIt is also safe to assume that top-tier free agent targets such as Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard won’t want to come sign with the struggling Sixers. So it seems that the Sixers will have to aim at the not-as-big-name, but still also effective free agents. Obviously the Bynum domino needs to fall first, but after that move is made here are a handful of players that could possibly help return the Sixers to relevancy.  1. Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz: Behind Howard, and a healthy Bynum, if such a thing exists anymore, Utah’s Al Jefferson is the best center hitting the market this summer. Unlike Bynum, Jefferson doesn’t miss many games, and he can be a force on both ends of the floor. While his numbers aren’t astronomical,16 points, 9 rebounds per game for his career, they are solid, and Big Al would make an extremely serviceable centerpiece for the 76ers. 2.J.J. Hickson, Portland Trail Blazers: Hickson, has proven very versatile while starting at center for the Blazers this season. Naturally a power forward, Hickson is a reliable rebounder and a decent defensive presence. His offensive game needs to continue to expand, but he is a good finisher around the rim. J.J. is quick on his feet and can be extremely explosive, and thus might make a nice compliment to Jrue in the pick-and-roll. He wouldn’t address all of their scoring issues, but Hickson could help solidify the Sixers’ frontcourt.3. O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks: O.J. has a player option for next season, but if he opts out of Dallas, several teams will be looking in his direction. O.J. isn’t an elite scorer, but he can put the ball in the basket, and at an increasing efficiency. His scoring ability would be a welcome addition in Philly, as he could majorly mollify the scoring load placed on Jrue Holiday this season. Although he would not be labeled as a “stopper,” O.J. is capable of playing above average defense when he wants to, and his ability to defend different positions makes him an asset on both sides of the ball. Although he will make more than the $4 million he received this season, Mayo will get a relatively modest contract. So if the Sixers sign him, they should have enough room to ink a frontcourt free agent as well. Such additions could make for a very successful summer. 4. Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz: The Jazz have a pile of productive post players, and the Sixers would benefit from the addition of one of them. Again, the numbers aren’t eye-popping, but Millsap is a solid low post presence. He’s going to chip in between 12-20 points night in and night on while shooting a high percentage from the floor. He is efficient and the fact that he has never averaged over 13 shots a game in his career allows him to open up the floor for other players.The Sixers could benefit from some stability in the post, which is what signing Millsap would provide. Also any contract offered to him should afford the team room to make offers to other players.5. Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks: The Sixers flirted with the idea of adding Josh at the trade deadline, but in the end didn’t want to part with the package (Hawes & Turner) that it would have taken to bring the explosive Smith to South Philly. This summer they will have the opportunity to add him without losing other complementary pieces. Smith is an explosive athlete at both ends of the floor and can do a lot on a basketball court, albeit he may not be able to do any one thing exceptionally well. He would provide the Sixers with a physical power forward, who may pair well with Holiday’s up-tempo style. Although Smith shouldn’t be the Sixers top target, he is one of the most talented players available this summer, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt the Sixers to sign him. Again, the organization’s approach to the offseason will depend largely on what happens with Bynum. If he is not retained then the team will have to place increased focus on finding a suitable center. If Bynum is brought back however, then the team will have to be filled out around him. Either way, the Sixers will look different next season."
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