New Philadelphia 76ers President Bryan Colangelo's biggest priority heading into free agency was to find a veteran point guard to help organize a team full of youngsters.
He is turning to a familiar face to help get the job done.
The 76ers agreed to terms with veteran guard Jerryd Bayless on a three-year deal worth $27 million, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be signed until July 7.
The 27-year-old Bayless was a valuable backup for the Milwaukee Bucks for the last two seasons. He averaged 10.4 points and 3.1 assists last season. His deal with the Sixers is fully guaranteed.
Bayless played for the Raptors when Colangelo, who was hired in the offseason to help expedite Philadelphia's exhaustive rebuilding process under former GM Sam Hinkie, was leading the front office in Toronto during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
Bayless has also played for Portland, New Orleans, Memphis and Boston in his eight-year career, but really started to blossom under coach Jason Kidd in Milwaukee the previous two seasons.
He shot 43 percent from 3-point range last year and was an integral part of the Bucks' second unit. At 6-foot-3 he can play both guard spots, defend multiple positions and run the offense.
In Philadelphia, he'll join a team that is switching gears from the tank mode it operated in under Hinkie. But the oft-criticized GM did amass some quality assets, including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and the No. 1 pick last month, which was used on LSU star Ben Simmons.
The Sixers tried feverishly to acquire another top-five draft pick on draft night in hopes of landing Providence point guard Kris Dunn. But they couldn't swing a deal, and Dunn landed in Minnesota, leaving Philly without a real option at point guard.
Ish Smith, who arrived in midseason and played the bulk of the minutes at the spot, left to sign with Detroit. So Colangelo went for Bayless to bring a steadying presence.