Fadeaway World

The Philadelphia 76ers may have lost Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat this offseason but they did manage to add Al Horford from the Boston Celtics to the roster.

Although Horford is going to be a very positive addition to the Sixers, he isn’t exactly cheap and with Ben Simmons also been given a max contract, Philadelphia is in danger of going over their salary cap over the next few years.

According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, by the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, Philadelphia will be making a $580M investment between Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, and Ben Simmons. The Sixers next season will have $148M in salary between 11 players which has them $6M over the projected luxury tax threshold.

Per Bobby Marks:

Starting in 2020-21, Philadelphia will make a $580M investment between four players: Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and now Ben Simmons. The 76ers next season have $148M in salary between 11 players- $6M over the projected luxury tax threshold. Simmons will have a poison pill restriction in his contract as part of signing a rookie extension. For trade purposes, his $8.1M salary for 2019-20 would be used as an outgoing salary and $29.6M (the average over 6 years) would count as incoming for the acquiring team.

This may be a serious concern for the 76ers, Ben Simmons max contract doesn’t begin to the 2020-21 season so it doesn’t affect the franchise in this upcoming season but it will have consequences down the line. Many have argued that this wasn’t in the best interest of Philadelphia to offer Simmons a max contract due to his poor long-range shooting and struggles at the free-throw line.

However, Simmons offers quite a lot with his strong athletic abilities to his ball-handling skills and dominance in the post. The 76ers big man will be paid $29.25M in 2020 and will rise each year to where he will be paid $38.6M in 2024.

With the four Sixers players of Embiid, Horford, Harris, and Simmons taking up so much of the salary cap, it leaves a lot of big questions on whether the franchise can afford to keep them all on board over the next few years. Embiid and Simmons are the main focus for the Sixers, both drafted by the franchise, the two make up the main core of this side and it looks unlikely that they’ll be leaving anytime soon.

Tobias Harris recently signed a 5-year $180 million-dollar contract which shows that he too is a vital part of the franchise and their goal of winning a championship in the next couple of seasons. Adding Al Horford to the mix as well means the Sixers may need to move on Josh Richardson after two seasons to have space in the salary cap.

Philadelphia will again need to take another step forward and reach the NBA Finals in the next two seasons for the franchise to show that they are on the right path and their investments are indeed paying off.