Sixers Lose Out on Ideal Free Agent Target

The Philadelphia 76ers officially miss out on one of their top free-agent targets.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are going to be one of the most active teams this offseason. They have a ton of cap space and no contracts on their books other than Joel Embiid. General manager Daryl Morey basically has a blank slate as a roster and he can go a variety of ways in how he decides to construct the roster around Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. He can either use almost all of the space to go all-in on a third star or sign multiple role players that fit around the Embiid-Maxey duo.

Unfortunately for Morey, the Sixers now have one less option in free agency. OG Anunoby, who has regularly been linked to the Sixers, is not going to be hitting the market. Instead, he is signing a five-year, $212.5 million contract to stay with the New York Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

NBA News: OG Anunoby Re-Signs with the Knicks

Anunoby was presumably near the top of Philadelphia's list of potential targets. He is one of the best and most versatile defenders in the league and doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective. He would have made everything much easier for Maxey and Embiid on both ends of the floor.

At the same time, that is a lot of guaranteed money to give Anunoby. He had all the leverage in the negotiations after the Knicks traded for him mid-season and also brought in Mikal Bridges to complement him. They were always going to make a very competitive offer to Anunoby.

The Sixers may be better off not paying over $40 million per year to a player who hasn't played over 67 games in a season in the last four years. Plus, he is still a glorified three-and-D role player. This contract pays him like a star and as valuable as he is in his role, he is too offensively limited to warrant this kind of a contract.

Philadelphia now has to turn its attention to the rest of the free-agent class and the trade block. Let's hope they can do better than Anunoby with their cap space.

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