A Closer Look at the Sixers Cap Space Heading into the Off-Season
As we head into what should be one of the most intriguing off-seasons for the Sixers, it is important to understand all the assets Daryl Morey has at his expense. The Sixers are obviously still in win-now mode, regardless of the lack-luster play from some of their stars in the second round of the playoffs. While everyone has their own idea of what each player on the squad is worth, let’s take a look at the money side to further understand the situation Philly is in this off-season.
When talking Sixers cap space, there’s no where better to start than Philly’s big three. Going into the 2021-22 season Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris’ contracts will take up around 76 percent of the Sixers cap space. All three guys carry a 30+ million cap hit, all playing out on max contracts. Those max contracts were all signed in the last two to three years, meaning those figures aren’t coming off the books for Philly any time soon. That is the price you have to pay for super-star talent, and unless Morey decides he’d rather spend a quarter of the cap on someone not named Tobias Harris or Ben Simmons, it is a price Sixers fans have to get used to.
Now that leaves just shy of a quarter of the Sixers cap for the rest of the squad. The Sixers second best player this post-season, Seth Curry, has what is likely the best contract on the entire roster. Curry only carries a 8.2 million dollar cap hit for the next two years. Then there’s arguably the worst contract on the roster, George Hill. Hill is a 10 million dollar cap hit currently, but I am confident Daryl Morey will work his magic and get that contract off the books, and Hill far away from the team for next season. The rest of the cap hits all land around the 2 million area for the youngsters Thybulle, Maxey, and Shake.
Even with so little players outside the big three on the payroll, the Sixers are still set to be 19 million over the cap heading into next season. On top of that, there are a couple guys on last year’s squad the Sixers might want to bring back. Danny Green, who made 15 million last season, is now a free agent. However, reports have circulated that Doc Rivers told Danny Green he’s staying in Philly. If Green does come back, it won’t be for nearly as much money.
Then there’s fan favorite Dwight Howard, who joined the squad on a veteran minimum contract last season. There’s no denying Howard’s love for Philadelphia, and I’m positive there isn’t a Sixers fan that wouldn’t be happy to see the big man back. His energy was infectious both for fans and in the locker room, and he even proved to be a very productive backup center behind Embiid.
Finally, there’s the Turkish sharp-shooter Furkan Korkmaz, who’s come such a long way since first joining the squad. While I think the Sixers will reach out with a contract for Furk, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes bigger money somewhere else. Korkmaz has proven to be a reliable three point shooter, and has made serious strides offensively outside just catch and shoot that could be enticing to other ball clubs.
Now why break down the Sixers cap space right now? To make sure every Sixers fan understands that if Philly wants to go after a free agent this off-season, they’re going to have to move mountains to make the money work. If Morey wants to upgrade the guard play with a Reggie Jackson or a Mike Conley, he’ll have to move one of the big three’s contracts. There’s no way financially for the Sixers to add another true star without getting rid of one of their own. That’s why this off-season could truly alter the path of this franchise for the next decade, so strap in.
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