1 role player the 76ers need to pursue with the extra cap space

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After two weeks of NBA free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers appear to have a full roster.

James Harden waived his player option, giving Daryl Morey the cap space needed to make improvements.

PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr. were brought in on the Mid-Level Exception and the Semi-Annual Exception, respectively.

De’Anthony Melton was acquired in exchange for Danny Green and the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft.

As it stands, the 76ers have 16 players under contract along with two two-way signings and a 10-piece signer.

Their depth at guard is solid (Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Melton) and better up front (Tobias Harris, Tucker, House).

However, they could still use someone to back up their star center Joel Embiid.

Andre Drummond was the most capable replacement they had in years last season, but he was included in the trade for Harden.

Even though most of the available free agents have been signed, there are still a few big men.

The 76ers already have in-house options

Truth be told, the 76ers don’t have to sign a backup center.

Paul Reed and Charles Bassey are two young guys on the roster who could fill the role themselves.

Reed is a 6-foot-9 hyperactive power forward who has a non-stop drive.

Bassey is a 6-foot-11 rim runner who also protects the rim.

Neither player had much luck last season after the 76ers brought in DeAndre Jordan.

They may well have that chance this year.

Morey has already publicly stated that they believe both Reed and Bassey will contribute this year.

So the 76ers may not even bring in a veteran center.

Jordan has been a colossal negative in the past playoffs and his minutes should have gone to Reed or Bassey.

If Philly ends up bringing in a big save, that can only happen if Reed or Bassey fail to step in.

Who to target?

That said, the 76ers consider themselves title contenders.

They may not want to risk Reed or Bassey not developing in time to contribute come playoff time.

If so, Morey may want to turn to Hassan Whiteside.

Whiteside has played on minimum contracts the past two seasons while being the backup center in Sacramento and Utah.

Which is a good thing because the 76ers could only offer the minimum.

Whiteside is no longer the player he was with the Miami Heat.

Over five seasons, he averaged 14.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

He has, however, had success as a substitute for the past two years.

Playing behind Rudy Gobert last season, Whiteside averaged 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 18 minutes per game.

Hassan won’t stretch the floor with his shot, but he’s not strictly limited to dunks and lay-ups.

He’s also a great rebounder and rim protector, two areas where the Sixers have struggled with Embiid off the bench.

The 76ers have been badly beaten every time Embiid has sat on the bench for years now.

Whiteside is good enough to at least ensure Philly stays competitive for those minutes.

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