The Philadelphia 76ers could add another major piece to an already terrific young core as they head into this summer with enough payroll flexibility. The expiring contracts of JJ Redick, Amir Johnson, and Trevor Booker will create as much as $30 million in cap space, giving the Sixers the buying power to pursue big-time free agents.

The Sixers’ impressive performance this postseason has certainly put the entire league on notice. Some NBA pundits even think they are already seeing the making of a dynasty in the Eastern Conference. And as the prodigious trio of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz continue to grow, the more All-Star caliber players will find Philly attractive in free agency.

Sixers’ Payroll Situation

Sensing his young team was ready for a playoff push after several years of tanking, Sixers team president Bryan Colangelo spent $30+ million in cap space in the offseason for several veteran free agents who would help the team reach their goal this season.

The Sixers’ first move was to ink JJ Redick to a one-year, $23 million deal. Redick’s contract is overpriced by any measures, but Colangelo direly needed a bona fide shooter to flank Simmons and Embiid. He also provided depth to their frontcourt by signing Amir Johnson to a one-year, $10 million deal.

He then proceeded to lock up Embiid and Robert Covington to team-friendly deals and then traded disgruntled center Jahlil Okafor and Nick Staukas for the expiring contracts of Trevor Booker, whom they released to give way for the arrival of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova.

Colangelo’s transactions propelled the Sixers to a 52-win season and their first playoff appearance in six years.

More importantly, regardless of the outcome of this year’s playoff campaign, Philadelphia can still upgrade their roster this offseason because none of the deals complicated their payroll situation.

A Superstar is crashing the party

According to Frank Urbina of Hoopshype, only one team in the NBA capable of rivaling the Los Angeles Lakers for the service of Paul George, and that team is none other than the Sixers.

Though he still believes the Lakers are still the favorites in the PG13 sweepstakes, Philadelphia provides the better fit for the All-Star wingman, not to mention that the Sixers are playing in a much weaker conference.

Urbina also pointed out in his piece that the Sixers would attempt to sign George on a two-year, $60 million deal with a player option on the second year. For Colangelo, maintaining payroll flexibility will always be his modus operandi. By getting George on this kind of a deal, the Sixers will have the leverage to sever ties with the player if things don’t work out or spend the bulk of the money for contract extensions or other free agents.

As for the possibility of staying put in Oklahoma City, Ryen Russillo of ESPN said that particular scenario dashed away once the Thunder got booted out of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz in the first round. The veteran sports analyst claimed he’s speaking on behalf of an anonymous source close to Paul George camp.