After the dust settled from the 2019 Free Agency Frenzy, the Sixers were left in a familiar place; with an overhauled roster. They were only able to retain one of their big three free agents. Tobias Harris re-signed a five year $180 million max contract.
Any hopes of the Sixers running it back for next year were ruined just past the 6:00 start to free agency; JJ Redick left to join the New Orleans Pelicans, who paid him $26.5 million on a two year contract. In two seasons with Philadelphia, Redick averaged 17.6 points and made 433 three pointers, sixth most in team history. The spacing created by the threat of Redick’s shot was essential to the Sixers’ offense, and losing him is a big loss.
Shortly after that, word spread that Jimmy Butler wouldn’t be returning either. He opted to join the Miami Heat, though the deal wasn’t completed until Monday evening due to a four-team trade needed for Miami to carve out the cap space. In that trade, the Sixers also acquired Josh Richardson from the Heat. The 25 year old averaged a career high 16.6 points last season, and is seen as one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
In their final big move of the day, the Sixers brought in former Celtic Al Horford on a four year, $109 million deal. Horford has famously given Joel Embiid quite a challenge on defense in the past two seasons. Now the two big men will unite in an attempt to win a title.
The Sixers were able to retain some depth on the fringes of their rosters. Swingman Mike Scott returned to the team, signing a two year 9.8 $million deal for the team’s mid-level room exception.
After all is said and done, the Sixers still have a top-notch starting lineup. Richardson is the shortest player at 6’6″ and is more than capable of guarding the best opposing player. Horford and Embiid are two of the best individual post defenders in the league and now one of the two will always be on the court. Harris is the weak link on defense, but even he has length to make things difficult.
The real questions come down to offense. Ben Simmons will have to take a considerable leap, particularly with his shooting, to alleviate the spacing issues now that Redick and Butler are gone. Horford is a capable three point shooter, but he will be expected to take more shots.
The Sixers have roughly $7.7 million left in cap space to fill out the rest of their roster.