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

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 17: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers is defended by Serge Ibaka #25 of the Milwaukee Bucks during a game at Fiserv Forum on February 17, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Philadelphia defeated Milwaukee 123-120. 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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

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

If Cousins ultimately stays with the Denver Nuggets, another target that the Philadelphia 76ers should inquire about to improve their center depth is Serge Ibaka. Ibaka has been a reputable two-way player throughout his NBA career, having started off with the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside a young James Harden.

Throughout his 13-year NBA playing career, Ibaka has racked up three All-Defensive selections and been named the NBA’s block champ twice, having made a living in this league with his defense.

While he is not the player he once was, Ibaka could certainly still give the 76ers a quality defensive-minded big man to protect the hoop. Ibaka is no slouch on the offensive end either, as he has averaged 12.1 points per contest while burying an eye-catching 36 percent of his three-pointers throughout his career, meaning he could also give this team a scoring lift off the bench .

Looking at Ibaka’s potential market in free agency, there will be no shortage of teams looking to ink his signature. While this is purely speculation, one thing that Ibaka will likely be seeking more than anything this offseason is an opportunity.

The center was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks at the NBA trade deadline and scarcely played throughout the final half of the season, which had to have been a frustrating turn of events. As he hits unrestricted free agency, he will likely attempt to find a place where he can have a significant role, and Philadelphia can offer him that opportunity as their backup center behind Embiid.

Adding a savvy veteran like Ibaka would be a big pickup for the 76ers, and perhaps reuniting with Harden could be a desirable opportunity for him.