Outside of a stray report about Blake Griffin, the Sixers have been attached to minimal trade deadline talks. That ends today, with the Inquirer's Keith Pompey reporting the team has reached out to Atlanta regarding point guards Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder.
Despite his absence on the court, it would appear Joel Embiid still looms large in the grand scheme. In addition to inquiring about the availability of Teague and Schröder, it would appear the Sixers are in a holding pattern with their most valuable players. Via Pompey's report:
The source said the Sixers have not made a trade offer for either of the two. Mutliple league sources said they don't expect the Sixers to make a serious push for one of the point guards before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
That's because centers Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor have the biggest trade value on the team. As a result, teams have been calling about those two. However, the Sixers don't want to part ways with either until they know if Joel Embiid, a third center, will be healthy enough to play.
Atlanta's desire to reload and rebuild has become apparent in the last couple weeks, with various media outlets suggesting they will look to find new homes for vets like Teague and Al Horford.
At age 22 and still on his rookie deal, Schröder would seem to fit best with the Sixers timeline. He would represent a talent upgrade at the point guard position, as well as long-term upside the likes of Ish Smith can't provide. Schröder is an interesting case in that he's been a trade target for some Sixers fans despite the jury being out on whether he's actually a good (non-Sixers edition) player or not.
The Sixers hesitation to trade Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel isn't surprising, nor is it something I'd expect to leak out if they were actively shopping either player. Unlike in the case of the Griffin talks, I don't think that's necessarily a barrier to getting a deal done with Atlanta. If Horford, Teague and Co. are on the block, it's doubtful the Hawks are in the same desperate win-now mode as the Clippers, and thus don't need the same immediate returns.
Philadelphia has generally been good at keeping trade talks under the radar with Sam Hinkie in charge, so following the noise leading into Jerry Colangelo's first deadline with the team will be fascinating. Covering all your bases can't hurt, and reaching out to a selling team in Atlanta seems a necessary step in the process.