Over the weekend, the Philadelphia 76ers came to terms on a deal with veteran big man Anthony Tolliver to remain with the club for the rest of the season.
In terms of the current playoff race, the move likely won’t be much of a difference-maker. Since joining the Sixers on his first 10-day contract in mid-April, the journeyman sharpshooter has appeared in just six games and is averaging only 10.8 minutes per contest.
Moreover, he’s connected on just one of his 10 shot attempts — including 1-of-7 from three-point range — when he has been on the floor.
Still, Tolliver definitely has something to offer the Sixers. In particular, he has taken it upon himself to help keep the youngsters at the end of Philly’s bench engaged and ready to contribute despite their inconsistent playing time.
It’s something that Tolliver himself has had to contend with at various junctures throughout his 13-year NBA career.
However, leadership and veteran presence aren’t the only things that he has brought to the table for the Sixers. By extending Tolliver’s stay in Philly — with some very specific contract terms — team president Daryl Morey may have given himself a better shot at making some noise in the offseason.
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Marks: Tolliver Got Second Year in New Deal
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported via Twitter on a potentially impactful aspect of Tolliver’s latest contract. The NBA front office insider noted that Philly hadn’t just secured his services for the remainder of the season, but given him a second year on his new deal as well.
“The $2.7M contract (becomes fully guaranteed 30 days after the last day of the moratorium) gives Philadelphia another contract if needed to add in a trade this offseason.”
Given all the noise that Morey was looking to acquire a high-level backcourt scorer at the trade deadline — only to settle for George Hill when nothing substantial could be executed — it would stand to reason that he’ll be on the prowl again this summer. Particularly if his team falls short of its championship goals.
And having an extra $2.7 million in player salary to include in a deal could certainly help his cause.
Could Tolliver’s Contract Help Bring a Native Son Home?
Ahead of the deadline, Toronto Raptors star and Philly native Kyle Lowry was considered a top Sixers target. Although he ultimately remained with the Raptors, recent reports have indicated that Morey could look into acquiring him via sign-and-trade in the offseason.
Even at the age of 35, Lowry still has the look of a high-level contributor for a contending team.
In 46 games this season, the six-time All-Star has averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per contest. He has also connected on just under 40 percent of his 7.2 three-point attempts per contest.
A number of teams made a push to acquire his services before the deadline, but Toronto’s high asking price and Lowry’s high salary number of $30.5 million prevented deals from happening.
If he’s re-signed and traded, that number will almost certainly be lower (making him more obtainable). However, Lowry is still likely to get a big deal, and Tolliver’s contract could possibly help the Sixers match whatever his new number is.
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