Grading Bryan Colangelo’s Free Agency Signings

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Staff

Fans held high expectations for Bryan Colangelo in his second time going through free agency as the general manager of the Sixers. 

This time, the approach was much different. Last offseason, the Sixers were still a young team with many unproven players. Bryan Colangelo opted to sign low-profile veterans to come in and help grow the team's young players. Colangelo signed point guards Sergio Rodriguez and Jerryd Bayless along with swingman and Episcopal Academy graduate Gerald Henderson

As the 2016-17 season raged on, the Sixers saw the emergence of Richaun Holmes, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid. The Sixers' roster will also benefit from the rookie seasons of Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons in the 2017-18 season. 

With the roster showing a lot of upside, this offseason represented the Sixers' first chance to make a push towards the top of the league. 

The appeal of Bryan Colangelo joining the fold two years ago was that he knows how to build contenders, and now it is his time to do what he is known for. Sam Hinkie's job was to accumulate assets, and Colangelo's job is to turn those assets into wins. 

Colangelo took a major step towards that goal on day one of free agency, signing two veterans that bring a little more to the table than the three that he signed a year ago. 

J.J. Redick – 1 year/$23 million

The first deal to break involved former Duke University sharpshooter J.J. Redick. Redick was a first round pick in 2006 when the Orlando Magic used the 11th overall pick on the now 33-year-old shooting guard. 

Redick is a high percentage shooter, with a career 41.5 percent success rate when shooting from three, and he has shot 44.o percent from three over the last four seasons and averaged 15.8 points per game.

Related: Woj: Sixers and J.J. Redick agree to terms

The $23 million dollar price tag may be excessive, but the Sixers are in a unique situation to not have to worry about their financials. By getting Redick on a one-year deal, the amount they pay him is irrelevant. Redick immediately makes the roster deeper by pushing lesser players to bench roles that are more appropriate for their skill levels. Expect Redick to be starting at the two.

With Ben Simmons distributing, and Redick spacing a floor that will already have good long range shooters like Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, and Joel Embiid, the Sixers will have the chance to be one of the more prolific offenses in the NBA. 

Grade: A+

Amir Johnson – 1 year/$11 million

Amir Johnson makes as much sense as J.J. Redick does for the Sixers. 

The first thing to note is that Bryan Colangelo is familiar with Johnson from their time together in Toronto when Colangelo served as the Raptors' general manager. 

Johnson is a versatile power forward, who shot 57.6 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from three point range, and 67.0 percent from the free throw line last season. 

Related: Sixers sign PF Amir Johnson to one-year deal

The 30-year-old considered a high character signing that will bring leadership and work ethic to the locker room. Johnson is also going to provide the team with needed depth on the block. 

If Ben Simmons is expected to conduct at least half of his time as the team's point guard, they will need a presence on the block when Simmons moves to the point. Johnson can bring energy and shooting ability off of the bench. 

Like Redick, the price tag is high and above his likely market value, but the cap is irrelevant this year to the Sixers, who after these two signings still have $15 million left over with a full roster. 

Grade: A

Colangelo navigated free agency beautifully. He managed to get two players who make sense in the short term, and make the Sixers a better team in 2017-18. Now with veteran leadership and great depth, this team can begin to turn a corner. The cost is high, but because both contracts are one year contracts the Sixers will still have as much cap flexibility as anybody next offseason when a lot of big names are expected to hit the open market. That is the most impressive thing that Colangelo accomplished with these signings. 

Sixers fans have to be feeling great about their new general manager after these moves, not to mention the other moves he made like trading up to get Markelle Fultz. He has made the team much better without putting any roadblocks in the team's bright future. 

Overall Free Agency Grade: A+

Go to top button