The Philadelphia 76ers currently have a stacked roster, but that hasn’t stopped them from shopping for additional pieces in the hope of forming a more competitive team for next season.
The 76ers still has enough cap space to sign either Dion Waiters, Moe Harkless or Gary Neal. All three players are still available via free agency. Each one provides a particular skill set that the 76ers badly need in the back court.
Waiters is a quality shooting guard who is primed to have a breakout season in the coming years. He wasn’t given the opportunity to blossom in Cleveland due to the return of LeBron James.
The Cavaliers eventually traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder last year. He was released by the Thunder this offseason, so that they would have enough cap space to extend Russell Westbrook’s contract.
The 76ers are searching for elite shooters who can spread the floor for rookie Ben Simmons. Waiters, who grew up in Philadelphia, could fill that need if given enough opportunity.
According to Liberty Ballers, Waiters shot 35.8 percent from beyond the arc last season. He also made 38.1 percent of his shots off catch and shoot situations. If the 76ers value shooting above all else, Waiters is the best option among the three free agents.
Waiters can defend, but he isn’t the type of defender Moe Harkless is. Harkless made a name for himself in Orlando and Portland by pestering the opposing team’s secondary small forward. He would be doing much for 76ers head coach Brett Brown.
Scoring is not his strong suit, but he won’t be tasked to do so in Philadelphia. Players like Jahlil Okafor, Gerald Henderson, Jerryd Bayless and Ben Simmons are expected to carry the offensive load for the 76ers moving forward. Still, Harkless can score 6.7 points and grab 3.5 rebounds in 21.7 minutes of playing time.
Neal has been a stable rotational player for the teams he has played for. He would provide astute decision making and consistent shooting off the bench for the 76ers. ESPN noted that Neal is a 42.3 percent shooter from the field and 38.3 percent from the three-point line.
Neal’s main issue, and possibly the reason why he is still without a team, is his locker room demeanor. My San Antonio reported that Neal is infamous for acting up on his teammates and coaches. There was one incident when Neal publicly criticized Gregg Popovich while both were on the bench during a game.