The 2018-19 NBA season for the Philadelphia 76ers was filled with trades and excitement, but ended with disappointment. Philadelphia’s upcoming offseason will have a domino effect on the rest of the league, whether it’s a success or a failure.
This Past Season
After a disappointing and unexpected series loss to the Boston Celtics in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers entered the 2018-19 NBA season seeking revenge and change. Although Philadelphia’s core was very young, the Celtics exposed some of their weaknesses and exploited them constantly.
After Bryan Colangelo resigned, and Brett Brown’s tenure as president of the 76ers, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to promote Elton Brand to the general manager position. Brand was not afraid to be public about needing change, and Philadelphia would quickly discover that he was very serious.
On November 10th, Elton Brand traded Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second round selection to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton. This was an extremely risky trade for a rookie general manager to pull off, but Brand was not finished yet. On February 6th, the 76ers sent Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and two first round picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott.
Due to all of the roster turnaround throughout the season, the 76ers had very little time to adjust before the NBA playoffs. After getting through the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, the Philadelphia 76ers matched up against the Toronto Raptors. Both teams battled for a hard fought seven game series, but a game-winner from Kawhi Leonard sent the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals. That single shot created massive uncertainty about the future of the Philadelphia 76ers roster.
The Philadelphia 76ers have some missing pieces that the NBA draft and free agency should be able to fix. Through the playoffs, it was clear that Philadelphia needs a playable backup center for Joel Embiid. Whenever Embiid was off the floor, it seemed like the opposing team went on a run. The 76ers also need more shooting around young phenom Ben Simmons.
The Philadelphia 76ers hold the No. 24, 33, 34, 42, and 54 picks in the 2019 NBA draft. Prospects such as Cameron Johnson and Carsen Edwards could provide much needed spacing, while Naz Reid and Bruno Fernando could be the backup for Joel Embiid.
There have already been some reports that say the Philadelphia 76ers have been in talks with the Atlanta Hawks to possibly move up near the lottery. This would most likely be referring to Atlanta’s No. 17 selection. This infers that the 76ers have their eyes on a few prospects that might drop out of the lottery such as Bol Bol and Romeo Langford.
It is not much of a surprise that the 76ers need to prioritize their free agents before anything else this summer. Impactful players such as Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic, and JJ Redick are all unrestricted free agents this offseason. If the 76ers do not prioritize free agency first, their roster might go under even more changes.
Philadelphia has bird rights on Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. This will allow their general manager to go over the salary cap to re-sign both of them. This is a rare opportunity that the 76ers should not pass up on. If Philadelphia does not move fast, they could possibly lose both all-star caliber players for nothing.
This current offseason could either make or break the future of this young and promising team. The NBA draft and free agency can really turn this team into true championship contenders or to another second round exit.
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