5 free agents with ties to James Harden for Philadelphia 76ers to pursue

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – FEBRUARY 17: Ben McLemore #16 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket by Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center on February 17, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 free agents with ties to James Harden for Philadelphia 76ers to pursue. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

After a tough second-round exit, the Philadelphia 76ers now face a crucial offseason ahead before they attempt to bounce back next season. Without question, Philadelphia’s top priority will be retaining James Harden, who will ponder what to do with his upcoming player option worth $47.4 million this offseason.

While there has been no shortage of discussion regarding Harden’s contract situation with the 76ers, they will do whatever it takes to keep the former MVP in Philadelphia after they traded a sizeable haul to acquire him at the NBA trade deadline.

As they work to keep Harden on the roster, the 76ers should also pursue these five soon-to-be free agents that have ties to the 32-year-old to not only make him feel right at home, but also to improve their roster ahead of next season.

5 free agents with ties to James Harden for Philadelphia 76ers to pursue: Ben McLemore

Adding more perimeter shooting should be on the Philadelphia 76ers’ to-do list this offseason, and one player that could help in that regard is Ben McLemore.

The 29-year-old has been a solid shooter wherever he has gone throughout his lengthy career, having sunk 36.3 percent of his triples on 4.3 attempts per game. McLemore’s outside shooting was better than ever during his season and a half with the Houston Rockets playing alongside Harden, having shot 38.2 percent on six three-point attempts per contest.

He would fit seamlessly alongside Harden and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, giving them a reliable threat out on the perimeter who can let it fly with confidence, and he could provide some instant offense in the second unit.

While McLemore is coming off one of his better seasons – having averaged 10.2 points per game with the Portland Trail Blazers – he will likely not command a hefty amount during free agency in the coming months.

James Harden should do some recruiting to lure the sharpshooter to the 76ers, as his fit with the team would be seamless. Given their lack of financial flexibility, Philadelphia needs to land some quality low-cost free agents to strengthen their roster this offseason, and perhaps a player like McLemore could be a hidden gem signing.