So in the case of Mike Bibby and the 76ers , who called whom? A source familiar with the situation told the Daily News that, in the last several days, the agent for Bibby, the Atlanta Hawks point guard, called the Sixers to try to determine whether there was a level of interest.
There was a discussion about the possibility of a 1-year contract for Bibby, but no formal offer was made. The Sixers' thinking seemed to be that a 1-year deal would allow Bibby to again become an unrestricted free agent next summer, when a number of NBA teams have stockpiled salary-cap space.
Bibby earned more than $14.9 million last season, and seems destined for something closer to the mid-level exception of about $5.6 million for the coming season. It is also entirely possible that he will re-sign with the Hawks, who have already added Jamal Crawford in a trade with the Golden State Warriors, and drafted Wake Forest's Jeff Teague.
The Sixers are exploring their options should they be unable to reach agreement with Andre Miller, their own unrestricted free agent point guard. The source indicated that Miller and his agent Andy Miller would like a contract of 3 or 4 years; Andre Miller was listed on the Sixers' cap at more than $10.3 million, a likely starting point for a new deal. The Sixers are interested in a shorter length of term for a point guard who will turn 34 in March.
That is why it is likely that both sides have been pursuing potential sign-and-trade packages. It remains unclear whether Orlando Magic unrestricted free agent Hedo Turkoglu's decision to spurn the Portland Trail Blazers and join the Toronto Raptors would have any effect on Andre Miller's situation.
Teams have been able to negotiate with agents and players since July 1, and can begin finalizing deals Wednesday. In the meantime, the Sixers - sharing a roster with the New Jersey Nets - open a five-game schedule today in the Orlando Summer Pro League at the RDV Sportsplex. The Sixers -Nets, featuring Sixers' first-round pick Jrue Holiday and Nets' first-rounder Terrence Williams, face the Indiana Pacers at 3 p.m., then meet the Utah Jazz tomorrow at 5 p.m.
The games are open to league personnel and the media, but not to the public. *
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