Free Agency Grades: Philadelphia 76ers
Almost like normal, NBA free agency was a flurry of moves out the gate and settling down quickly after. With all the major moves done, let’s take a look at how the Philadelphia 76ers did in 2020 free agency.
It should be noted real quick that the 76ers underwent a significant overhaul this offseason. New GM Daryl Morey got right to work changing the roster, doing most of his damage through the trade market. As such, the 76ers only had one free agent signing, albeit a small but significant one.
Dwight Howard signed a 1-year deal for $2.6 million
When a team has an injury prone player like Joel Embiid, having a good backup center is a must. Howard proved last year for the Los Angeles Lakers that’s a role he’s finally willing to accept and thrive in, playing a role in the Lakers championship run. He’ll bring energy, defense, and rebounding whether as a starter if Embiid is injured or off the bench while he rests. While Howard did a lot to rehabilitate his image last season, he still has a history of bouncing from team to team amidst rumors of locker room problems, this will be his sixth team in as many years.
Even for a regular backup center, $2.6 million for one year is about as cheap as can be found. Howard should be an excellent backup center, further increasing the value of the deal. At only one year there might be some concerns about replacing him next offseason, but he can always be re-signed. The main reason for the one year deal is if Howard starts causing issues in the locker room, giving the 76ers an easy out after next season.
Continuing a masterclass offseason by Morey, Howard is a great signing that should continue to thrive as a backup center. He checks a lot of boxes for what the 76ers wanted but doesn’t break the bank. Should Howard buy into his role like he did with the Lakers this will be one of the best fringe moves made this offseason, a classic Morey move. Should he not, a one-year deal means he won’t be around much longer.