1. Free agency.
If the Sixers really want to clear up some space and go after a free agent (Kris Humphries, Chris Kaman, Kevin Garnett and Ersan Ilyasova come to mind), they might need to use the amnesty clause on Elton Brand. The rapidly declining team leader is scheduled to earn $18 million in 2012-13, the final year of his contract. Owner Josh Harris said he’s willing to foot the amnesty bill if it’s deemed necessary.
Meanwhile, Spencer Hawes is an unrestricted free agent and Lou Williams — the Sixers’ leading scorer in the regular season — is expected to opt out of his deal, making him an unrestricted free agent. The market will decide whether they are back.
Andre Iguodala’s name is already going to come up in trade rumors. Is this the year the team’s defensive stopper is finally packaged in exchange for scoring/front-court help? The Lakers may want to listen to a package that involves Pau Gasol. Brand’s contract could also become a trade asset, especially if it was packaged with a young piece like Jrue Holiday or Evan Turner.
The Sixers hold picks 15, 45 and 54 in a very deep NBA draft next month. Some possibilities in the first round include St. John’s scorer Moe Harkless, mercurial Syracuse talent Dion Waiters and North Carolina 7-footer Tyler Zeller.