Huge news coming out of Atlanta! The Sixers have acquired yet another Hawks player off waivers , this time in the form of Ersan Ilyasova.
Once Hawks buyout is complete, forward Ersan Ilyasova plans to work toward finalizing agreement with the Philadelphia 76ers, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 25, 2018
With Philadelphia’s roster already at the league max with 15 players, there’s an important question to debate: Who goes?
Let’s get something clear right now: The Sixers cannot just assign TLC or Fultz to the 87ers, since neither is on a two-way deal. Either would count against the 15-man roster whether he’s in Philadelphia or Delaware.
James Young and Demetrius Jackson are on two-way deals and subsequently don’t count against the 15-man roster.
Now to the candidates for a buyout. Per Spotrac, the potential departures include prorated buyouts for the following:
Amir Johnson ($11 million)
Trevor Booker ($9.125 million)
One-Year Commitment with a club option for 2018-19
Richaun Holmes ($1.471 million this year, club option for $1.6 million for 2018-19 [doesn’t count against the cap since it’s a club option])
Jerryd Bayless ($9 million this year, $8.576 million for 2018-19)
Two-Year Commitment with a club option for 2019-20
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($1.387 million this year, $1.446 million for 2018-19, $2.53 million club option for 2019-20 [doesn’t count against the cap since it’s a club option])
Let’s rule out a few guys:
Amir Johnson has been a stalwart of the frontcourt, often getting the nod for playing time over spark plug Richaun Holmes. TLC is still a young wing and, while his play has been inconsistent at best, a potential three-and-D wing is a hot commodity in a league sorely lacking wings.
That leaves us with Booker, Holmes, and Bayless. At surface level, Booker would appear to be a guaranteed release, but it would be hard to imagine Bryan Colangelo releasing a player acquired mere months ago for a second-round pick, Jahlil Okafor, and Nik Stauskas. So, let’s tentatively say Booker stays.
We’re down to Richaun and Bayless. Richaun is easily the cheaper option to release, has fallen out of favor with the team, and barely factors into Brett Brown’s rotation. He’s likely the one to go.
HOWEVER, there is a creative – albeit fiscally irresponsible – option on the table: use the NBA CBA’s Stretch Provision to buyout Jerryd Bayless. Per the Stretch Provision, the Sixers could take the remaining $8.576 million remaining on Bayless’ deal for 2018-19, and spread the money evenly over three seasons (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21). That winds up being a cap-hit of just under $3 million per year. Bayless is currently in the midst of a season in which he’s shooting a slash line of (37% 3PT/41.6% FG/79.5% FT). With the additions of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova for distance shooting, and TJ McConnell seeing regular minutes as a secondary ball handler, the writing would appear to be on the wall.
The only true drawback to releasing Bayless, assuming the Stretch Provision can be used, is the salary commitment for the next three seasons. For a team connected to stars like LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard, cap space will be of the utmost importance.
Update: We discussed the reported signing briefly on this morning’s Crossing Broadcast, and we’ll be sure to cover any updates on Wednesday.