Another conversation between 76ers president and general manager Ed Stefanski and the agent for free agent guard Andre Miller ended yesterday with no change to the status quo.
"We are still in the sign-and-trade mode," Stefanski said about his talk with Andy Miller, with whom he has spoken frequently since NBA free agency began.
Meanwhile, with 10 players under contract, the Sixers are looking to add four to their roster in time for the 2009-10 season. If Andre Miller opts to sign with another organization - the New York Daily News reported that Miller met yesterday with the Knicks and last week with the Portland Trail Blazers officials - it would preclude the Sixers from perhaps getting a point guard back in a sign-and-trade deal.
According to an NBA source, the Sixers have not been exactly bombarded with offers for a sign-and-trade agreement involving Miller. The 33-year-old Miller, who was hoping to land a three-year contract in the $30 million range, was offered one year for about $6 million by the Sixers.
Regarding yesterday's meeting with the Knicks, Stefanski said only, "I'm not surprised."
Andy Miller, Andre Miller's agent, could not be reached.
In addition to being in need of a veteran point guard, the Sixers are looking to sign a swingman and two front-court players. With the most coveted free agents having already signed with their current team or a new one, the remaining possibilities are not going to hurt the Sixers' salary-cap scenario.
"We've targeted some guys, and we are in discussions with their agents," said Stefanski, who added that the uncertainty regarding Miller has no bearing on his ability to make a move on other fronts. "But we're not rushing out to get a guy. As players don't sign, their value is more in line with what the teams think. And as the summer goes on, the market is getting better and better from that standpoint."
While the Sixers are waiting to resolve Miller's situation, the leading contenders in the Eastern Conference have already gotten better.
Cleveland traded for Shaquille O'Neal to team with LeBron James. The Boston Celtics added Rasheed Wallace to their returning Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and Orlando acquired Vince Carter to give Dwight Howard a veteran scorer.
"We have to get to where those teams are," Stefanski said. "Right now, they're in the right position as far as playing for championships, and they're adding pieces. We have a plan we're following, and we feel we're heading in the right direction. It's not going to happen overnight."