Another year, another heartbreak.
The Sixers have officially entered the offseason, and there are critical decisions that need to be made about the direction this organization is heading in.

One thing is for sure: Daryl Morey is equipped with plenty of cap space to make moves to build around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

Here’s a look at the Sixers who should and shouldn’t return, what other moves they need to make, and more.

Who Goes and Who Stays? 

The Sixers will probably look like a completely different team next season. The only players under contract for the 2024-25 season are Joel Embiid, Paul Reed, Ricky Council IV, and Jeff Dowtin Jr.  Tyrese Maxey is a restricted free agent who will be back on the maximum contract he deserves.

Below is a list of the Sixers’ free agents:

  • Tobias Harris
  • Buddy Hield
  • Nic Batum
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Robert Covington
  • De’Anthony Melton
  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
  • Mo Bamba
  • KJ Martin
  • Cam Payne
  • Terquavion Smith

So, who out of this list should come back? Throughout the season and playoffs, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Nic Batum both showed how valuable they are to contending teams. Their willingness to step up in big moments and toughness defensively should be enough reason for the Sixers to bring them back if they want to be here.

Cam Payne and Buddy Hield are also players who probably deserve another shot after some clutch and energetic playoff performances. The team’s most notable free agent, Tobias Harris, has likely seen the last of his time in Philadelphia as reports say he’s looking to move on and sign elsewhere.

Free Agents and Trade Targets

Morey made it clear in his press conference on Monday that the Sixers need wings who can deliver in the playoffs and fit alongside Embiid and Maxey. It sounds as though Morey is going star hunting. Reports say the Sixers are going to be affiliated with every top free agent or top player on the trade market. Only a week into the offseason, the Sixers have been linked to a long list of All-Star targets which include Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Lauri Markannen, and Brandon Ingram.

But is a third star really what the Sixers need?

Often, teams who end up trading for a third star don’t work out. Just look at this year’s Phoenix Suns. Now that’s not always the case, but there are trades the Sixers could make for non All-Stars that would work great on the wing or as the #3 option. Mikal Bridges is a perfect example. He provides a lot of what the Sixers need, so if he’s available, Morey should be on the phone immediately.

Offseason Needs

Outside of desperately needing a wing, there are a great deal of flaws the Knicks exploited that need fixing. For starters, the minutes without Embiid on the floor were brutal. The team needs a backup center who’s been around, wouldn’t be targeted in the playoffs, and is more playable if Embiid is injured.

Furthermore, the Sixers also struggled with their rebounding and defense against the Knicks. Josh Hart was able to use those issues to his advantage, showing the Sixers the exact type of player they needed in those moments. Morey needs to focus on adding players who can fix these issues if they want to be successful next season.

Morey has the green light, and the Sixers have the cap space. But they need to make smart moves and be all in.
It’s going to be a crucial offseason with plenty of possibilities and questions for the Sixers and Daryl Morey.

PHOTO: Cory Sharber/WHYY

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