The 76ers had a solid opening evening of free agency.
The team agreed to terms with one of their marquee free agents, Tobias Harris. They also added one of the league’s most versatile post players in Al Horford. The team was also able to agree to re-sign fan favorite and reserve power forward Mike Scott.
All of Sunday’s transactions will be finalized after noon on July 6. Until then, NBA teams are not permitted to talk about the moves.
The Heat and Dallas Mavericks, the third team involved in the sign-and-trade for Butler, must sort out things before that July 6 deadline.
The Mavs got involved thinking they would get Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones Jr. in the deal, according to the New York Times. However, the Heat don’t want to surrender Jones and must trade Goran Dragic to make the cap money fit.
Unable to sort out the missing $1.7 million on Miami’s end, the Heat and Sixers are reportedly looking for a new trade partner to take Dragic.
However, it appears the Sixers had no intentions of bringing Butler back. ESPN reports that they did not offer him the five-year maximum or four-year maximum salary. They had to know he would leave if one of those two options wasn’t on the table.
But on the Sixers’ end, this was a good first day of free agency for a team destined to contend for an NBA title next season.
Harris will sign a five-year, $180 million deal to remain with the Sixers, according to his agent and father, Torrel Harris of Unique Sports Management, International. Meanwhile, a league source said Horford will receive $97 million guaranteed over four years. He could make up to $109 million with NBA-championship bonuses, according to a league source.
Another source said Scott will get a $9.8 million, two-year deal.
“It was the city, the fans and how close we were to really making something special,” Harris said of opting to re-sign. "I believed in what was presented in our meeting and what steps we were going to take as an organization to get better.
“So I was happy for that and just excited to make this happen.”
In Horford, the Sixers get a proven post player to start at power forward alongside Joel Embiid. Horford can also play center on nights the two-time All-Star sits out. His presence could make the Sixers the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, if not the entire NBA next season, if they find a sharpshooter.
With the addition of Horford, it will enable Harris to slide back to small forward, Butler’s position.
Butler will sign a four-year, $142 million deal with the Sixers and be traded to Miami on July 6.
The 29-year-old was also expected to meet with the Houston Rockets in the coming days. The Heat and Rockets didn’t have the available cap space to sign Butler to a max contract. That’s why the Sixers settled for a sign-and-trade.
Richardson, a 6-foot-6 swingman, is regarded as a poor man’s Butler. He just doesn’t handle the ball as well. However, he did average a career-high 4.1 assists to go with a career-best 16.6 points this past season, his fourth in the league.
Scott was arguably the Sixers’ most reliable reserve this past season.
The team acquired him, Harris, and Boban Marjanovic on Feb. 6 from the Los Angeles Clippers for Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler, a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 unprotected first-round pick (via Miami), a 2021 second-round pick (via Detroit), and a 2023 second-round pick (via Detroit).
But the loss of Redick could be a major blow for the franchise if they don’t find a suitable replacement.
He’ll sign a two-year, $26.5 million deal to play in the Big Easy, according to a source. The 35-year-old averaged a career-best 18.1 points last season to go with averages of 2.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. His 240 made three-pointers are a single-season franchise record.
Toronto Raptors free-agent shooting guard Danny Green could be a solid replacement for Redick, and the Sixers have some interest. Green, however, is looking at the Raptors and the Dallas Mavericks, according to ESPN. He wants to wait until Raptors free agent Kawhi Leonard makes a decision before agreeing to sign with a team.
The Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers appear to be the leading candidates to acquire Leonard.