The Philadelphia Sixers had a disappointing season as the Atlanta Hawks knocked them out of the NBA Playoffs in the second round.
Rumors began swirling after the Sixers' premature exit that Ben Simmons will likely get traded after a horrible display in the postseason. Assuming Simmons gets traded soon, the Sixers go back to the drawing board this offseason with hopes of improving their roster to better suit and complement superstar center Joel Embiid.
The Sixers' moves, however, are limited since they are already going to be over the projected $112.4 million salary cap and will only have some version of the mid-level exception to offer.
The Sixers will need to prioritize wing/forward players because they clearly lacked depth behind Simmons and Tobias Harris last season.
Here are the five best players the Sixers must sign this offseason to help them compete with star-studded teams.
Kyle Lowry would involve a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors as they are really capped out, but if the Sixers can pull this off, they will be instant contenders for the NBA title again.
Lowry is a smart playmaker and ball-handler that will provide stability in the Sixers' offense as he averaged over six assists in the last 11 seasons. The Philadelphia native is also a very good three-point shooter, knocking down 39.6 percent of his attempts last season and 36.8 percent in his career.
The six-time All-Star can also create shots for himself, something the Sixers lacked outside of Harris and Embiid. Lowry is also a hard-nosed defender who is a pest for opposing point guards.
Lowry brings a ton of veteran leadership and championship experience. He knows what it takes to win a title and would help get the Sixers over the hump.
Nicolas Batum had the highest plus-minus among the members of the Los Angeles Clippers during their postseason run. According to Statmuse, he was +135 in the NBA Playoffs.
Batum’s contributions do not necessarily show up on the box score, as he doesn’t produce eye-popping numbers. But Batum is a really good passer for his size and is also capable of guarding four positions, which is a luxury if you have that kind of player in today’s NBA.
The veteran Batum is a plug-and-play type of player. This is what the Sixers would want in their lineup: A low usage player who contributes even if he does not have the ball in his hands.
Another 3-and-D player, Reggie Bullock would instantly provide floor spacing and three-point shooting for the Sixers. He is a well-established marksman as he averaged 10.9 points for the New York Knicks while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and a blazing 41 percent from behind the arc last season.
The heady guard from Australia is capable of playing with the ball and off the ball. The six-foot Patty Mills provides a lot of pressure to opposing defenses since he is very quick and agile. He is a solid role player who can provide instant scoring off the bench. Mills averaged 10.8 points for the San Antonio Spurs last season. He is also a good three-pointer as he made a total of 38.8 percent of his shots from beyond the arc in his career.
Mills is a capable playmaker, facilitator, and ball-handler as he does not turn the ball over a lot. He will also provide a steady veteran presence for the Sixers because of his experience with the Spurs' title run in 2014.
A seasoned veteran who can still contribute, Rudy Gay would be a good fit for the Sixers off the bench as he averaged 11.4 points while shooting 38.1 percent on 4.4 three-point attempts per game this season. He could provide a floor-spacing element at the four-spot whenever Harris is resting.
He's also a respected locker room presence who could steady the Sixers when things are going awry.