The Philadelphia 76ers are swinging for the fences this offseason, and their targets are none other than three of the biggest names in basketball: LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed that the Sixers’ offseason plan involves chasing both would-be free agents James and George if they opt out of their contracts this summer and then try to come up with an irresistible trade package to get Leonard out of San Antonio.

Philadelphia is very capable of pulling off a blockbuster move or two this summer, thanks to their flexible payroll (roughly $25 million in cap room) and a deep stash of tradable assets.

Sixers co-managing partner, Josh Harris, also throws full support behind the initiative, expressing his willingness to pay luxury tax as long as the money is spent for quality players.

After several years of tanking and countless lineup experimentations, the Sixers are now poised to compete for a title for the next few years. This year, Philadelphia made that giant step towards contention by winning 52 games in the regular-season and going all the way to the Eastern Conference. Their postseason run ended at the hands of the Boston Celtics, but the two Atlantic Division rivals figured to dominate the East in the next five to seven years.

Finding a better fit

But before they make necessary upgrades, the Sixers must first asses which complementary player on their current roster is a keeper moving forward. Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Inquirer sees shooting guard Robert Covington no longer a fit with the Sixers after that dreadful performance in the Celtics series.

Hayes said Covington did not live up to the four-year, $62 million extension contract he signed last November 27. He added that he won’t be surprised if Covington finds himself playing elsewhere next season.

“There is no way to project the effect the playoffs will have on any player. This first trip for this generation of Sixers proved Joel Embiid and Dario Saric to be warriors.

It proved McConnell to be an inspiration. And, of course, it proved that Covington is a nice bench player for a good team. Maybe this team. Maybe not.”

The bigger picture

Hayes might have gone overboard with his assessment of Covington’s market value. Of course, there’s still value in the 27-year-old wingman who just averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on a good playoff team. As a matter of fact, rival teams would be delighted to have a shot at one of the game’s emerging 3-and-D players. If Sixers no longer consider him as a core player, then someone will.

The San Antonio Spurs might have some level of interest in Covington.

They have been trying the past two years finding a suitable replacement for veteran wingman Danny Green. At the trade deadline, the Spurs reportedly contacted the Los Angeles Clippers to propose a Green for Avery Bradley swap, but negotiations fell through.

Philadelphia will be closely monitoring Leonard’s ongoing saga in San Antonio. Depending on the outcome of the All-Star's meeting with Gregg Popovich and Spurs’ execs, Bryan Colangelo and his front-office team could be preparing for a landscape-changing trade, one that would involve multiple players – including Covington.

The picture-perfect trade would be the Spurs receiving Covington, Markelle Fultz, Jerryd Bayless and whomever the Sixers pick at No.10 in this year’s draft, while the Sixers get Leonard and Danny Green (he should opt-in).

This would be a huge coup for Philly since both Leonard and Green are two-way players with championship pedigrees. Leonard can be the shot creator Philly badly needs from the perimeter. Green, on the other hand, can provide spot-up shooting and solid defense at the off-guard spot, something that JJ Redick has struggled with during his one-year stay in Philly. As for the Spurs, they get a former No.1 pick with a still-incredible upside, a younger 3-and-D specialist in Covington, another promising prospect and Bayless’ $8.5 million filler salary that will expire after next season.

Nobody knows if this trade is ever going to happen. The Spurs can still mend their relationship with Leonard and continue their winning tradition with the prolific small forward.

They have Coach Pop to do that particular job. Then again, the Sixers loom as a legit threat to almost any team wanting to keep their stars. They are the glamour franchise of the NBA right now, and it’s just a matter of time before they rule over the league.