Philadelphia 76ers: Belinelli and Ilyasova will be missed

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Though the duo only appeared in 51 combined games for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018, Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli will be missed moving forward.

While the brunt of Philadelphia 76ers Twitter eagerly awaits ‘The Decision Part II’ to find out if the King himself, LeBron James, will be taking his talents to South Philly, two of the team’s best bench scorers have quietly found new homes on the first day of free agency.

That’s right, after receiving virtually no interest from the Sixers going into free agency, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova are unceremoniously leaving town for their next NBA opportunity, signing multi-year deals with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks respectively.

I guess a long-term deal just wasn’t meant to be.

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Though it would have been nice to see at least one of the team’s two leading bench scorers return for another season in the City of Brotherly Love, especially Belinelli, whose new contract is only for two-years, $12 million, the 76ers lack of interest highlights the hard reality of life as a fringe veteran scorers in the NBA.

After signing on to join the Atlanta Hawks back when the team was actually good, Belinelli and Ilyasova quickly found themselves on the wrong side of a youth filled rebuild, with less and less playing time available for ‘old men’. While the Hawks tired their best to ship the duo out of town for a future asset, no deals materialized and both Belinelli and Ilyasova were independently bought out of their contract to find a new deal midway through the season.

This ultimately opened the door to Philly and a chance at postseason success.

While the duo did help to bolster the 76ers second unit over the final month and a half of the season in route to a third seed appearance in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, neither player did enough to secure a spot on the team moving forward, and just like that, Belinelli and Ilyasova became free agents once more, again looking for a new team, and city, to call home.

Though it was virtually inevitable, it’s still a bit surprising to see Philly move on from their two best scorers after mostly successful campaigns as rent-a-player midseason acquisitions.

Next: If Lebron James wants to win, the choice is clear

So, with the Sixers’ fifth and seventh best scorers now gone and Philly in desperate need of veteran scorers, who will the team replace their second unit scorers with moving forward? Though only time will tell, it appears as though the Philadelphia 76ers will once again be in the market for some cheap, veteran talent to bolster their roster moving forward, talent that should arrive within the next few days once the James sweepstakes reaches its conclusion.