2017 Eagles Schedule Preview: Part 2
Ground balls large reason for Maikel Franco's disappointing 2017

Enough with "hard passing": The Sixers need veteran free agents


By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor

Ersan Ilyasova? "Hard Pass." Andre Iguodala? "Hard Pass." Patty Mills? "Hard Pass."

And I've seen it from so many people already, but J.J. Redick? "Hard Pass."

Enough with the "Hard Pass," it's time to win, the right way, and it starts with signing veteran free agents that will help the Sixers grow more efficiently.

Whether you like it or not, the Sixers need a veteran presence through free agency this season.

It's just the truth. While we want to make sure the Sixers stick to their young core and watch our team grow more and more, they aren't going to get to that next level without bringing in someone who has been around a time or two.

Pretty much, I could list a player here, and more than one person will give me that typical, now cliché response, "Hard Pass."

If you take a look at championship teams over the years, almost all of them have had an older player guide them to the next level. Even though the Miami Heat had LeBron & Co. in 2013 when they won their second straight NBA Final, Ray Allen was a veteran leader who brought them to the next level. His expertise and knowledge on how to win in the playoffs helped the Heat get past the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Look at Kyle Korver and Richard Jefferson, while LeBron is on that team too, having two players like Korver and Jefferson allows them to mentor the players a little better and bring a level of calmness to the locker room.

Jason Terry is another player with loads of experience who has acted as a veteran player to help and guide when he played for Dallas on their championship team, and later Boston, then Brooklyn.

What other veteran player helped Dallas win the NBA Championship in 2011? That was Jason Kidd. Kidd started on that team, was 38 years-old, and helped guide that team to a title.

These guys are essential to a team, and unfortunately, the Sixers aren't going to be able to get to the next level without some guidance from older players.

Joel Embiid is a fantastic leader. There's no doubting that he is the main leader of this team. Pretty much the captain of the Sixers, and also one of the faces of Philly Sports.

But let's not forget that Embiid is also only 23 years-old. Embiid exudes charisma, but lacks the experience to lead in that way.

The oldest player currently on the Sixers right now is Gerald Henderson (with the exception of Tiago Splitter) and he's 29. Henderson, for all we know, may not even be back in Philadelphia at the beginning of next season.

30 year-old Ersan Ilyasova is a veteran that can help this team. 33 year-old J.J. Redick can help this team. Andre Iguodala, 33, is a veteran, who knows Philly, is a two-time NBA champion, and a former NBA Finals MVP. He too can help this team.

So enough with the "hard pass" response when someone brings up a potential free agent player, because if veteran leadership wins titles, you might just be "hard passing" on truly contending for an NBA Championship.



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