The Philadelphia 76ers have long since been synonymous with mediocrity. The franchise has tanked over and over again, over multiple seasons. To rise up the order in the NBA, they tried a method called “The Process”- they would buy high future draft assets, with the hopes that they would convert into superstars. However, this past season saw an abandonment of ‘the process.’ New GM Elton Brand has decided to put his bets on the present instead of the future.
Brand has done his utmost to get in Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler. A lot of assets had to be sent off to keep these two stars. And along with them, Brand bet on drafted stars like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to improve the team’s fortunes. However, the result was the same, as they 76ers exited in the playoff yet again.
Now, in light of heavy criticisms, Brand has a lot of decisions to make as the free agency window is open. Here are some options he can pursue:
#1. Resign Everyone
Brand could choose to bring back the whole core of last year. That would mean him retaining the productivity of the team. However, it will come at a high cost, with Bulter and Harris especially poised on max contracts.
Chasing this strategy, though expensive, would make the Sixers a good choice for rising veterans all around the league and is sure to help improve the team performance as well.
#2 Let one of Harris or Butler Walk
The one flaw of the above choice is that nobody is sure whether Harris or Butler want to return to the city. And after having worked so hard to keep the pair, Brand is likely to let only one of them leave, worst case. And it is pretty clear that Bulter is the one who is more influential to the success of the team.
Letting Harris walk would be a big loss, yes, but it would also offer financial flexibility that could be used to invest wisely in the future.