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Sixers’ Kelly Oubre returns amid bevy of new faces

Guard Kelly Oubre spent only one year with the Sixers, yet he’s the only holdover of three elder statesman to be introduced in the first wave of veteran acquisitions Tuesday at the 76ers Training Complex in Camden.

Center Andre Drummond also will step up to the podium and he’s in his second tour with the Sixers having played 49 games for them before being shipped to Brooklyn two years ago with Seth Curry and Ben Simmons and an exchange of first-round draft picks for James Harden. The third vet is Caleb Martin, and like Oubre, he’s a proven starter.

What this new cast of characters says Tuesday should be fascinating, because the Sixers spent about $450 million to add Martin, wing Paul George, extend All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey, re-sign Oubre and bring back Drummond. The Sixers entered free agency with just two players certain to be back, Joel Embiid and Maxey. The roster turnover is almost unparalleled for a playoff team.

All of that said, it’s a lot of payroll to look good on paper in an Atlantic Division ruled by the defending champion Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks, who added another talented Villanova alum in Mikal Bridges, perhaps the most sought-after player of the offseason.

Oubre signed a two-year, $16.3 million contract with the Sixers after his sixth straight season of averaging 15 or more points.

“Kelly was one of our most important contributors last season, bringing physicality, energy, and toughness to the table on a nightly basis,” Morey said. “We’re excited to have him back and believe he’ll play a key role in our pursuit of a championship.”

Oubre’s 114.1 offensive rating was the highest of his career. He averaged 15.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.1 steals, reaching 20 or more points in 19 games.

Drummond (6-11, 279) inked a two-year, $10 million contract on the eve of his 16th season. The 30-year-old veteran leads all active players with a career average of 12.4 rebounds per game. When Embiid hurt his knee last season, Morey struck out trying to acquire Drummond before the trade deadline. Drummond averaged 8.4 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Bulls last season.

“I am thrilled that Andre is coming back to the 76ers,” Morey said. “A tremendous presence, and one of the best rebounders the modern NBA has seen, he made a great impact with us during his first stint in Philly and we know he’ll do the same this time around. Andre possesses an innate ability to attack the glass and will fortify our formidable front-court.”

The 6-foot-5 Martin is one of the most interesting gets for the Sixers. He is a wing that plays both ends of the floor and makes 36 percent of his shots from three-point range. The five-year veteran inked a four-year, $32 million contract. He’s also just 28, making him an almost bargain-priced starter.

Martin averaged 10 points in the regular season and 11.6 in the playoffs with the Heat last season. Like P.J. Tucker, another tough guy from the Heat who was just too old to pan out, Martin can defend anybody but the center and play extensive minutes. Martin averaged 35.2 minutes in the recent postseason compared to 24.7 minutes for the regular campaign.

“Caleb is a battle-tested performer who has elevated his game when his teams have needed it most,” Morey said. “We’re excited for him to bring his skillset and mentality to the 76ers.”

The Sixers’ biggest splash in free agency was signing George to a four-year, $212 million deal. George (6-8, 220) averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season for a Clippers team with a lot of parts that didn’t fit. He can post-up, shoot the three and deliver in the playoffs, where he’s averaged 19 points in eight postseason seasons. The downside is he just turned 34.

Maxey, who emerged as a star averaging 25.8 points in the regular season and 29.8 in the playoffs, signed a five-year pact worth $204 million rather than play on a restricted free agent tender.

“Tyrese subscribes to the philosophy that every day is a chance to get one percent better and he’s proven that and then some in his first four seasons in the NBA,” Morey said. “He comes from an amazing family and is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. In partnership with Joel and Paul, Tyrese is critical to our aspirations of delivering an NBA championship to the city of Philadelphia. This extension is a reflection of our belief in Tyrese, and I can’t wait to watch his continued evolution as a leader and superstar.”

The Sixers also added 35-year-old guard Eric Gordon (6-3), who enters his eighth season on a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

The Sixers drafted point guard Jared McCain of Duke and center Adem Bona of UCLA. McCain has three-point shooting range and point-shooting guard versatility. Bona is strictly a shot-blocker and rebounder.

Gone are wing Tobias Harris (Pistons), who did not deserve the criticism he received for signing a maximum contract while Jimmy Butler left the Sixers hanging, shooter Buddy Hield, dealt to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade netting a second-round pick for the Sixers, and big man Paul Reed, the only guy to play all of the Sixers’ 82 games. Reed just couldn’t get comfortable with Nick Nurse’s lineups.

Embiid, through reporters covering Team USA basketball at the Olympics, has endorsed the acquisition of George. A report by the Inquirer says the Sixers can extend him with a three-year $193 million max contract in a few weeks. That would boost the money the Sixers committed to players this offseason north of $640 million.


Source: Berkshire mont

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