The Philadelphia Sixers are inarguably the worst team in basketball. Still, the Nets must explore every single avenue when building their 2016-2017 roster. No team in the NBA, no matter how bad, is completely devoid of talent. The Sixers have little talent, but little is greater than nothing. Philly is largely filled with young players whom they have team options on, so how many players hit the market this summer is really up to them. And with Jerry Colangelo now at the helm, it will be impossible to gauge their plan next summer.
Who can the Nets pry from Philly to build their roster next summer?
Robert Covington: Covington is a legitimate player. He is a good defender at the small forward position. And while his shooting numbers are down, he can shoot the ball from deep and off the bounce. He would look better playing with real NBA players. With a team option of a touch over $1 million, I cannot see the Sixers letting him go. But if he unexpectedly hits the market, the Nets should make a play for him.
TJ McConnell: McConnell has played decent point guard for the Sixers. He is clearly not a starter, but may be a nice reserve point guard in the NBA who provides offensive flow with the right cast. However, with a meager $875,000 team option for next year and a team option for 2017-2018, I cannot see Philly relinquishing his services right now, outside of a trade.
Jerami Grant: Grant is not as good as Covington, but he can defend. However, he is limited offensively, and is close to but not quite rotation caliber. As is the theme, the Sixers have a $980,000 team option for his services they probably will exercise, but the Nets should look into his services should Philly let him go.
Isaiah Canaan: Canaan was misplaced early as the Sixers’ starting point guard, which is beyond his capabilities. He is just not good enough to receive steady minutes, but has one NBA skill: he can shoot the 3. He may be worth a look as an end of the bench piece who can get minutes on nights where he is hot. A restricted free agent, I expect the Sixers to renounce him rather than offer a qualifying offer, thus making him unrestricted (like the Nets did with Mirza last summer).
Tony Wroten Jr.: Wroten is a competent, dribble drive reserve point guard . . . if you can live with a point guard who cannot shoot and struggles defensively. That is, he is a decent reserve, at most: arguably a slightly more established, 6’6’’ Shane Larkin who will get paid more than Larkin. He is a restricted free agent, but I expect him to be renounced. Still, whether he helps the Nets is an open question, especially given his ACL tear.
Hollis Thompson: In limited time, Thompson has shown that he can shoot the 3, if nothing else. The Sixers have a $1 million team option to retain him which they may exercise. Thompson lost his starting role to Nik Stauskas – he’s not exactly solving problems in Brooklyn. But I prefer him near the end of my bench over a grizzled veteran like Wayne Ellington.
Kendall Marshall: Marshall is still young, but has done nothing and is now in his fourth season, and also recovering from a torn ACL. He was fairly productive in 2013-2014 with the Lakers but has struggled, and even failed to thrive Jason Kidd despite Kidd, who likes big guards, liking his skill set and handpicking him. Marshal has an approximate $2 million team option I expect the Sixers to decline, but I do not see the Nets having any interest.
Jakarr Sampson: Sampson is a shooting guard who cannot shoot. He quickly lost his starting role to Nik Stauskas. The Sixers have a $980,000 team option but even if they decline it, the Nets should not show any interest.
Christian Wood: Wood is a young big who can barely get minutes for the lowly Sixers. The Nets should not be interested in his services, and he may be out of the league soon.
The Sixers are not looking to add veterans. That makes dealing with the Sixers right now tough for Brooklyn. They have no use for Joe Johnson. They have no use for Jarrett Jack. With the Nets seeking picks and Philadelphia hoarding them, there just isn’t much to see here.
Perhaps a Jarrett Jack for Carl Landry deal, given Landry is on Philadelphia’s 2016-2017 books, makes sense. But the Nets would need at least one second rounder for that deal to make sense. And Philly is not spending money right now, so opening cap space in exchange for books seems wasteful for them.