3 NBA teams who’ll be kicking themselves for not upgrading in free agency

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers NBA (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers NBA (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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NBA. Free Agency.
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

NBA Team #3: Philadelphia 76ers

Lost: George Niang, Shake Milton and Jalen McDaniels

Added: Patrick Beverley and Mo Bamba

It is definitely debatable that the only real and even inconsistent rotation piece that was lost was Georges Niang. Though, for a team that has been heavily on the radar in championship stakes, those transactions, along with the only multi-year agreement in retaining Paul Reed, make for an underwhelming offseason. It was imaginable that maybe, especially after seeing the displayed photos of the Sixers’ starters together at Michael Rubin’s party, Harden would leave the past baggage behind and approach training camp differently this time.

Harden is reportedly intending to be absent from Sixers’ camp in September, scheming together the movie we have seen before, but seemingly to a more destructive extent. The crack in he and Morey’s friendship began with the president refraining from offering Harden long-term security.

ESPN’s best in Zach Lowe, Tim Bontemps, and Bobby Marks have all signaled numerous times how everything is slowly collapsing for Philadelphia. They could predictably be on their way to hitting that same semifinal’s wall. Embiid has already slipped out some suspect statements publicly about his desire to win being wherever and however the job has to get done. The developing sequel of the co-star delaying the organization’s growth and destiny is setting up a ticking time bomb for the franchise as all eyes are glued to Embiid’s morale and remaining contract.

Morey has intended to generate cap space ahead of next summer, waiting to extend Tyrese Maxey and beyond, leaving options open for any current maneuver. Simultaneously, Morey understood the likely low-balling returns that read Norman Powell/Nic Batum Clipper packages. He had no choice but to cut off aimless discussions with teams around the league showing blaring disinterest.

Prior to Amick’s report, there was a slight optimism that Harden’s actions and public image had matured, mostly due to the Rubin Party link-up. Outsiders had assumed that Harden was open to getting to work, regardless of preference. As seen in 2022–23, some periodic All-NBA flashes and rumbles could lead to Morey working his typical magic ahead of February, getting Embiid that charming running mate. Think again. With the beard’s plans to nix camp next month, Philadelphia’s season could be set up for an awkward, major disaster.

More unfortunate hindrances are coming to fruition for Philadelphia after being just minutes away from their first conference finals since 2001 with the implode vs. Boston.

"“Maybe the other shoe will drop in 12 months, and Daryl will do his victory lap, which he’s done many times, and I’ll say, ‘You’ve done it again, old boy!’ But I don’t see how I can call them; their situation being a winner right now.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and The Hoop Collective on July 17"

The roster is weakened, and this is extremely jeopardizing for both parties. Neither side can afford a holdout with Embiid, and Harden, having voiced Achilles problems, turns 35 around his free agency next summer with the least leverage the former MVP has ever held. It will only pile on more to zero interest in teams’ willingness to offer an abundance of salary or years.