After years of hoping, wishing, and wanting, the Sixers finally got the best player available in free agency – and they didn’t even have to trade for him!

Most people woke up to surprising good news on Monday morning when they heard the Sixers signed Paul George.

Given cap space heading into the off-season, Daryl Morey could finally make something happen.

The Case for Paul George

Let’s start with the bad side…

Some people had and still do have skepticism about signing Paul George. He has played 14 seasons in the NBA already and recently turned 34. It’s not ancient, but it’s definitely not young for NBA standards. Those concerns hold weight—especially given his injury history. In the last five years, he has only played 60 games in one of them.

Luckily, that one season was last season, which gives hope to his health heading into this year. It’s no coincidence that he had his healthiest year once they found somebody else (James Harden) to dominate the ball and distribute.

Enough with the bad; there is a lot more good to talk about with him.

First, he finished in the top five in 3-pointers made while shooting 41.3% and 45.4% on catch-and-shoot 3-point opportunities. This kind of ability from beyond the arc will tremendously help the Sixers and Joel Embiid. Sending help off of Paul George will not happen, and if it does, all Embiid needs to do is find him and watch 3 points go up on the board.

Secondly, as mentioned before, Paul George had his healthiest year last year when the Clippers acquired James Harden to primarily handle the ball. This allowed George to stay healthier throughout the year. He doesn’t have Harden anymore, but he has Maxey and Embiid as the first and second options, which allows him to stay as option number 3. Hopefully, this will keep him as healthy as possible throughout the year.

Also, Paul George plays great defense. He might not do it as well as he used to, but he still averaged a steal and a half last year on the season. He’s 6’8″ with a 6’11” wingspan. Not many people have this gift of size matched with athleticism. He can guard all positions and will most likely take on the responsibility of guarding players like Tatum, Luka, Lebron, etc.

In addition to defense, his size also allows him to create his own shot off the dribble. Maxey can do that but has trouble in congested areas. Embiid can, but as a center, it’s harder for him to get a shot off quickly and create space. With George’s quickness and size, he can create shots in crowded areas when needed.

While Paul George is not the same player he was a few years ago, he is still a fantastic third option on a contending basketball team. Lots of people knock him for never winning, which is fair. He has never had a player like Embiid on his team. not to mention what could happen if Maxey continues to improve.

Returning Sixers

Tyrese Maxey will return in a Sixers uniform for the next 5 years after signing a well-deserved maximum extension worth $205 million. The Sixers’ 21st pick in the 2020 draft has panned out better than anyone could have hoped. Imagine how much better Maxey will continue to improve in the coming years. He has the brightest future out of any player on the Sixers.

Kelly Oubre Jr. will also return to the Sixers on a 2-year, 16.3 million dollar deal. It’s nice to see a player like Oubre stick around after bouncing around the league for a lot of his career. He just needs to stop riding his bike in the streets, and everything will be okay.

After getting traded away to the Nets and then playing in Chicago, Andre Drummond signs a 2-year $10 million deal to come back to Philly. Most consider Drummond one of Embiid’s best backups during his career, so it’s good to see him return. His knack for rebounding and clogging up the defensive line should help the Sixers during the Embiid-less minutes. His offense is limited, but Paul George and Tyrese Maxey now hold all the responsibility for an offense without Embiid. Drummond’s game plan needs to stick with setting screens and dunking the ball.

New Sixers

So far, only one player comes to Philly brand new this offseason: Eric Gordon. He signed a veteran minimum for one year. He’s a classic vet who enters his 18th season this year. He’s a consistent 37% career 3-point shooter who you’d expect to see play fewer minutes this year than last (27). He’ll give us a few threes a night and play decent defense.

The Job’s Not Done

Currently, the Sixers only have 7 players signed, plus their two draft picks.

  • Joel Embiid, C
  • Andre Drummond, C
  • Paul George, SF
  • Kelly Oubre Jr., SF
  • Ricky Council IV, SF
  • Tyrese Maxey, PG
  • Eric Gordon, SG

With the only PG on the team being Maxey, expect the Sixers to aggressively pursue a PG in the coming days. Maybe they go after Kyle Lowry and resign him, but they could go after other options like Tyus Jones, Delon Wright, or (hear me out) Markelle Fultz.

I would love to see Tyus Jones sign with the Sixers. He averaged over 7 APG on the Wizards, which is impressive given the option he has to pass on that team.

Markelle Fultz is a very interesting candidate. He will most likely resign with the Magic, but I would welcome him back to Philly since he plays well and can really help a team with his shot-creating abilities. He has become a good NBA player, but not what we expected when he went #1 in the 2017 draft.

The Sixers also need to sign a true PF.
They have plenty of SFs, but they need a bigger body down there, preferably one that can rebound well.


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