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Brown: 76ers are a 'high-level' free agent away from title contention

Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

Brett Brown thinks his Philadelphia 76ers are just one piece away from becoming legitimate championship contenders.

The Sixers coach said Friday in his season-ending press conference that his team needs to add a "high-level" free agent to have a real shot at winning a title.

"At some point, when the time is right, I think we need help to win a championship," he said, according to ESPN. "If that's the goal - and for me, and us, it is - then that's the answer I give."

Just days after being bounced in the second round of the playoffs, Brown indicated the 76ers "have the ability to attract" a star in free agency as an up-and-coming club boasting young talent, strong culture, and a great system. It certainly helps they're in position to possess requisite cap space to sign a big-name player. Philadelphia could clear $25 million in salary by renouncing the rights to free agents JJ Redick, Amir Johnson, Marco Belinelli, and Ersan Ilyasova and do some more maneuvering if necessary to accommodate a max-level star.

General manager Bryan Colangelo echoed Brown's sentiment, saying his staff will explore all options for "adding talent" via trades and free agency. Neither he nor Brown named any names, but Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder wing Paul George are both expected to hit free agency this offseason. San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard could also become available via trade.

Brown acknowledged the Sixers' timeline to contend has changed following four years of futility - dubbed "The Process" - which afforded them much of their current core. Led by two possibly generational talents in Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ben Simmons and All-Star center Joel Embiid, Philly made its first postseason appearance since 2012 and looks poised to compete for many years to come.

"Our expectations have changed and that's a good thing," Brown said. "... I love the direction that we're heading all over the place. We're on to something special here."

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