As expected, Sixers pick up $1.5 million option on Robert Covington for next season

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This was a no-brainer, the Sixers were always going to do this.

The Philadelphia 76ers have picked up the $1.5 million option for next season of Robert Covington.

Covington started 67 games for the Sixers last season and averaged 12.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals per game (fourth in the NBA) and he while shooting 33.3 percent from three. He is an improving “3&D” type player, a quality NBA rotation player who is just 26 and improving.

The Sixers have options about how to lock up Covington beyond next season, but the price tag is going to go up — at least to a league average salary and likely higher. He is a very good wing defender whose three-point shooting is improving, and “3&D” guys are getting paid around the league in recent years. Bobby Marks of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports laid it out.

If the Sixers strike out on big free agents such as Kyle Lowry, they can use their cap space to renegotiate and extend. If the Sixers do not extend and reach a deal with Covington on future years, other teams will start circling. He has real value.