How the Sixers used every dollar of their salary cap space

How the Sixers used every dollar of their salary cap space

It’s been rare in recent years for teams in the league to operate under the salary cap to acquire free agents. In each of the four NBA offseasons prior to 2024, between four and eight teams cleared cap space, and the majority of those clubs were coming off losing seasons and weren’t pursuing top-tier free agents.

Before 2024, the last time an All-NBA-caliber free agent changed teams using cap room was in 2019, when Kawhi Leonard on the way to Los Angeles and Kevin Durant And Kyrie Irving landed in Brooklyn. Both the Clippers and Nets were coming off winning seasons and saw their free agent acquisitions as moves that would put them over the top and cement their place at the top of the NBA.

Despite the fact that no team could have matched this feat in free agency in five years, Sixes chairman of basketball operations Daryl Morey began walking that path over a year ago. When it was announced in June 2023 that Philadelphia would not pursue a rookie scale extension with rising star Tyrese Maxeyit became clear that Morey’s management was prioritizing salary cap flexibility for 2024, hoping to add another All-Star to the club’s core.

Not only did the 76ers achieve that goal, they also made smart use of every dollar of their salary cap and waiver space to sign a nine-time All-Star Paul George and three additional rotation players, while retaining a potential trade chip that could help them further maximize their flexibility.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Sixers have handled the salary cap and the math so far this offseason:

The 76ers saw 13 of the 16 players from last season’s roster become free agents on July 1, according to RealGM’s transaction log. That means they entered the new season with just three players under contract: star player Joel Embiid ($51,415,938), reserve big man Paul Reed ($7,723,000), and 22-year-old security guard Ricky Raad ($1,891,857).

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