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News » 76ers prez Stefanski wants to keep Cheeks, Iguodala

76ers prez Stefanski wants to keep Cheeks, Iguodala

76ers prez Stefanski wants to keep Cheeks, Iguodala
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The 76ers want coach Maurice Cheeks and guard Andre Iguodala to stick around for longer than one more season.

Adding a top-tier power forward and a 3-point shooter via free agency or trade would be nice additions, too, for a Sixers team suddenly on the rise in the East.

No doubt, this will be a busy summer for team president Ed Stefanski.

"There's no question that we're a team that's moving in the right direction," Stefanski said. "So from that standpoint, I would think we'd be attractive to free agents. And the bottom line is the dollar, so people will want to know if we have the money to pay guys and we're sitting in a nice cap situation right now."

The 76ers have about $11 million in salary cap space and plenty of buzz following a surprising playoff berth. Stefanski, in his first offseason running the show, believes the Sixers can be players in the free-agent market. Stefanski said on Wednesday he will be active in trying to fill all of Philadelphia's roster needs.

"The perfect situation is to get a power forward, but I'm not going to be distraught if we don't get one because we'll add some pieces to do it a different way," Stefanski said.

Before he signs some players, Stefanski would like to work out a new deal with Cheeks. The popular third-year coach started the season in the final year of his original three-year deal and appeared on his way out once former GM Billy King was fired in December. Cheeks acknowledged losing his job "absolutely crossed my mind" once King was let go and Stefanski left his job with the Nets to take over.

Instead, Stefanski and Cheeks agreed to a one-year extension in late February. Once the Sixers took off over the final 34 games and made the playoffs, Stefanski said he realized Cheeks was the right man for the job.

Stefanski has not met with Cheeks yet to discuss an extension, but hopes to sit down with the former All-Star guard some time over the next few months.

"His handling of the players was good when I got here, Stefanski said. "It just solidified my thoughts."

More cloudy is the organization's view of Iguodala. Iguodala rejected a $57 million contract extension offered at the start of the season, and appeared to make it look like a wise choice with a solid regular season. Iguodala, though, has always been knocked for being a complementary player and not a true No. 1 star - something shown with awful performances in the six-game series against Detroit.

Philadelphia will hold a right of first refusal on any offer from another team, or Iguodala could sign a one-year qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next year. Stefanski wants him back, even though another $57 million offer might not be on the table.

"I think Andre Iguodala is a good fit for our team," Stefanski said. "Is he the (No.) '1' man on our team? He has to prove that, but I'll take a lot of Andre Iguodalas on our team."

The Sixers also could negotiate an extension with Andre Miller. The guard, who was outstanding for the Sixers and had a career-best scoring average, wants to see what moves they make before deciding if he wants to commit beyond next season. He's signed through next year, so Stefanski is in no rush to extend the deal.

"I don't see it as a priority," he said.

Stefanski said the 76ers likely won't go over the NBA's luxury tax threshold, but the organization would pay the dollar-for-dollar penalty if they could find "a star who can turn us totally around."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 7, 2008


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