By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
News hit the mainstream public this week that the Sixers have tendered a 1-year contract offer to 2013 2nd-round pick Arsalan Kazemi. While he is the king of Summer League hustle stats, Kazemi nevertheless has limited offensive skills and does not possess the size to be a difference maker on the defensive end; it’s difficult to imagine his ever having a role in the NBA. Still, the Sixers wanted to retain his rights, and thus, had to extend the contract offer, and there’s no reason Kazemi shouldn’t accept and report to training camp.
However, his reporting would present a problem for the Sixers, who given their affinity for second-round picks over the past couple years, now possess a glut of bodies at the back end of the roster. Here is the full list of players under contract or with tendered offers by the Sixers, which falls somewhere between an embarrassment of riches and a plain embarrassment:
Gerald Wallace, Carl Landry, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Nik Stauskas, Furkan Aldemir, Tony Wroten, Christian Wood, Richaun Holmes, Robert Covington, Isaiah Canaan, Hollis Thompson, Jerami Grant, JaKarr Sampson, Pierre Jackson, Scottie Wilbekin, Kendall Marshall, J.P. Tokoto, Jordan McRae, T.J. McConnell, and Arsalan Kazemi.
By my unofficial count (and I used to work for an accounting firm, you can trust me), that’s 22 players for a 20-man training camp roster. While going through this rebuild, it’s certainly sound strategy for the Sixers to cycle through as many players as possible to find those diamonds in the rough. It will present some decisions for them to make in the near future though.
As they did with JaVale McGee, the team may opt to cut bait and just carry the dead money of Gerald Wallace’s huge contract. Or someone with a relatively small guaranteed money total could be released such as T.J. McConnell. It’s also possible some of these situations could resolve themselves, as there’s been no official word Kazemi has even accepted the tender offer, while there have been rumors that Jordan McRae will not report to training camp:
Something could change between now & then, but I’m told that the #Sixers don’t expect Jordan McRae to be w/ the team at training camp.
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) September 15, 2015
Whatever happens, we’ll know more in the next couple weeks leading up to the September 29th start to training camp. Until then, keep sifting through the rumor mills.