Free Agency Rumors

The next big test for Hinkie (if he lasts that long) will involve Okafor, who according to league sources will strongly consider the tactic that Greg Monroe utilized in Detroit last season: signing a one-year qualifying offer and becoming an unrestricted free agent rather than agreeing to extend his rookie deal. That decision is a few years off, but there’s no evidence that the Sixers actually will be competitive by then. “The culture you’re building, it’s all negative,” a league source said. “… This is a five- or six-year plan with no end in sight.”
League sources say Sixers management was comfortable with the medical information it had on Embiid heading into the 2014 draft. The team attributes Embiid’s continued absence (he’s likely to miss the entire season again) to subsequent setbacks. Nonetheless, in the third year of Hinkie’s rebuilding plan, most of the harvest has yet to come in. Nerlens Noel, the sixth pick in 2013 acquired from New Orleans in the Jrue Holiday trade, missed his entire rookie season but has begun to assert himself as a defensive presence (though not much of an offensive one).
Storyline: Joel Embiid Injury
The only way Thompson to Toronto seemed viable was if Thompson took the Cavs’ qualifying offer last summer, which would’ve made him an unrestricted free agent next year. He said Wednesday he didn’t have much interest in that. “I never thought about it,” he said. “My whole thing was to focus on getting better and whenever my situation was handled, my business was handled, that’s when I was going to get back on the court. Whenever it was, so be it. I’m glad it’s here in Cleveland.”