Derek Bodner covers the 76ers for Philadelphia magazine. Follow @DerekBodnerNBA on Twitter.
Sixers to Pick Up Team Option for Hollis Thompson
The Philadelphia 76ers will pick up Hollis Thompson‘s option for the 2016-17 season, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
The option, which has to be decided upon by the end of business day today, is the final year of the four-year contract Thompson signed prior to the 2013-14 season and could pay him just over $1 million for the upcoming year.
Thompson averaged 9.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 28 minutes per game last season, shooting 38 percent from three-point range in the process. Thompson has connected on 39.1 percent of the 846 three-point shots he’s taken during his three-year NBA career, a skill the Sixers will need when looking to build a half court offense around Ben Simmons.
Update: 10:26 am
The Sixers sent out a press release officially announcing the decision to pick up Thompson’s team option:
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 29, 2016 – The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that the team has exercised the fourth-year team option on the contract of forward Hollis Thompson.
Over the course of three NBA seasons, Thompson has appeared in 225 games (81 starts) and averaged eight points and three rebounds per contest while shooting 39 percent from three-point range. His 331 career three-pointers are the eighth-most in Sixers history.
Free agency rumors
The NBA free agency period officially begins on Friday, although teams will not be able to make signings official until the moratorium period ends on July 7th. With free agency approaching, the Sixers have been linked to a number of potential free agents.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Sixers plan to be a “serious suitor” for Golden State forward Harrison Barnes. Barnes, 24, just finished up the final year of his rookie scale contract and will be a restricted free agent, meaning Golden State will have the opportunity to match any contract offer he receives. Word out of Golden State is the Warriors plan to match any offer Barnes receives if they are not able to lure Kevin Durant to the bay area.
Barnes averaged 11.7 points per game this past season, a career high, while adding 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for Golden State, shooting 38.3 percent from three-point range in the process. Barnes struggled mightily in the NBA Finals, averaging just 9.3 points per game, and shooting just 35.2 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range, in seven games against Cleveland.
The Sixers have also been linked to Philly native Dion Waiters, per Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Waiters, also a restricted free agent, averaged 9.8 points per game in a mostly reserve role for the Thunder, shooting just 39.9 percent from the field in the process, although he did shoot 35.8 percent from three-point range. Waiters came up huge for the Thunder in their second round defeat of the San Antonio Spurs, shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range, playing more in control than he has for most of his career to date.
Finally, ESPN’s Ian Begley reports that the Sixers are interested in Portland Trail Blazers restricted free agent Allen Crabbe. Crabbe, a 6’6″ shooting guard selected out of the University of California with the 31st pick in the 2013 NBA draft, improved his scoring average from 3.3 points per game during his second season to 10.3 points per game this past year, connecting on 39.3 percent of his three-point attempts this season. Crabbe, who primarily came off the bench for Portland, did average 15.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in eight starts this past season.