June 25, 2024

Free agency will be the primary focus for the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason. With a substantial $55.5 million in available cap space, the front office is determined to optimize the roster for their championship pursuits in the coming seasons.

For the ambitious 76ers management, the strategy is to make bold moves. This isn’t the year to be frugal — not only do they have significant spending power, but the Eastern Conference is also relatively open, and some stars have already been linked to the franchise as the offseason approaches.

Securing a third star will be a key objective, but another priority will be finding the ideal backup big man to support Joel Embiid.

Pelicans reportedly testing trade market for Jonas Valanciunas - NBC Sports

After struggling for a year to find a viable backup for Joel Embiid, the 76ers may have already identified their next target. According to PHLY Sports’ Kyle Neubeck, the front office previously attempted to trade for Jonas Valanciunas before the deadline. With Valanciunas set to enter free agency and the Pelicans reportedly looking to move in a different direction, the 76ers are likely very interested in signing him.

However, several questions arise. Would the 32-year-old Valanciunas be willing to come off the bench after starting almost every game since his rookie year? Additionally, would he agree to a relatively discounted contract?

In the past two seasons with New Orleans, Valanciunas has served as a low-minute starter. He is a dominant presence in the paint, capable of scoring and rebounding with ease. Nevertheless, his decreasing role can be attributed to his lack of mobility and an unreliable outside game.

Despite these limitations, Valanciunas would be an ideal solution for Philadelphia’s problem of lacking a tenable backup for Embiid. His skill and experience also make him a reliable starter whenever the 2023 MVP is sidelined due to injury or load management. Having Valanciunas on the roster could allow the team to reduce Embiid’s minutes.

As long as Valanciunas’ price doesn’t cripple their free agency plans, the 76ers should prioritize him as their main target for the center position. His addition would be too valuable to leave as a missed opportunity from the recent past.

Valanciunas of Lithuanian team is the big man to watch - BusinessWorld  Online

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