If Sam Hinkie is known for anything, it's his flurry of activity around the trade deadline. He shipped out most of the core the old regime had left behind in Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, and sent away Michael Carter-Williams while picking up a couple of future assets. Rumors involving possible Sixers deals are usually in full swing by now, but it's been all quiet on that front. Seeing as we're just two days away from Thursday's deadline, this week's Sixers question to rule them all is...
What will the Sixers do before the trade deadline?
Sohil Doshi: I can't see anything crazy happening this trade deadline since the team is in the perfect position to get a top 1-2 draft pick and has a lot of roster/cap flexibility. With how poor the draft is apparently this year and the roster crunch as it is, it's hard to see the Sixers helping out taxed teams like in years past for current year draft picks (though it's possible to keep building that pipeline or war chest). There aren't a lot of players that I'd want the Sixers to potentially cash in some of their assets for either, and the ones brought up like the guards from Atlanta don't really move the needle for me. The Griffin rumor was fun but ultimately is a pipe dream.
It's always possible for the Sixers to move a guy like Landry to a team that needs front court help, but it's pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme. So I don't think the Sixers do much of anything aside from getting a second round pick or two in the future. But considering the lack of a lot of movement or actual rumors on the days leading up to the deadline, I won't be surprised if there's an explosion of movement up until the top of the hour.
Mike Levin: Sam Hinkie goes into GM's houses with a Jerry Colangelo mask and politely asks if they want to discuss trade exceptions. There will be a few loud, bizarre rumors, but all the Sixers end up with is a few second rounders, a shooty Euro, and an Isaiah Canaan-shaped hole in our heart.
Max Rappaport: I'd say there's a 65 percent chance they do nothing, 30 percent chance they do something so minor that it might as well be nothing, 5 percent chance we say hello to your new starting lineup of Ish Smith, Nik Stauskas, Hollis Thompson, Blake Griffin, and Nerlens Noel.
Marc Whittington: I'll go ahead and agree with Sohil and Mike and guess that there will be very little exciting activity this week. It's probably too soon to judge whether Okafor is a keeper vis-a-vis Noel, and they have little else of value to offer to any teams who might be buying this deadline. Might as well grab a second rounder or two while giving up almost nothing of value, and wait until the end of the season to put all of our chips on the table.
Then again, if another GM doesn't know the stretch provision exists, there's no harm in hoodwinking them.
Kyle Neubeck: I'm completely unprepared for what might happen. Under Hinkie's leadership the specifics of deals have rarely (if ever) leaked to the public before completion, and Colangelo's torrid love affair with the press has shifted the dynamic on that front. I'm prepared for a flood of rumors or radio silence.
That said, I can't see anything of consequence going down. On the home front, the Sixers are in a position of uncertainty until they figure out what the deal is with Joel Embiid, so the needle-movers who would return anything of significance aren't going anywhere. They're not helped by the inevitability of this season either -- I can't see anyone dealing off key future assets for immediate help when all roads lead to destruction at the hands of Golden State anyway.
So sure, maybe Landry or some other inconsequential guy gets moved for a second, but this feels like a quiet deadline. Summer feels like the time to cash in all these chips.
Matt Carey: I'd take a guess that they make some sort of move that involves them taking on salary or facilitating a deal somewhere that nets them a 2nd rounder this year. I'm just not emotionally ready to go into a draft without a 2nd in the Hinkie era, regardless of how many firsts they have or how many times Grandpa Jerry asks when the draft stopped being 10 rounds long.
I do think there's actually an outside shot of something pretty big happening. It's been too quiet league wide, and it feels like the lid's about to blow off something. There's a couple teams with star-level talent that don't seem to fit and in a year where the title picture is as narrow as ever, now might be the time for some teams to make some moves and set themselves up for Capageddon 2016: The Road To Blowing All Your Cap Space on Demar Derozan.
As a betting man, however, I'd bet on taking on a couple million from somebody for a pick and I'd bet on Kendall Marshall seeking alternate employment next week.
Sean O'Connor: I have two thoughts:
1. The entire league is in a waiting status until the summer. None of the non-contenders can make a move to put them on the level of Golden State, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City, and there aren't enough teams looking to tear down to really make a major move. Thus, the pieces aren't in places for the Sixers to cash in on having cap space and draft picks and dramatically alter the franchise. Add in Jerry Colangelo''s desire to build in the summer, and the lack of available options which fit the team's needs, and I think there's no reason to make any dramatic changes now.
2. Or, the Sixers have already come to a realization that they need to move on from trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, despite recent improvements, do not together fit the ideological system that Jerry Colangelo and Mike D'Antoni (and even Brett Brown and Sam Hinkie) subscribe to. A young big, a franchise-changer on one end of the floor in either case, would be an attractive piece for many teams. Ish Smith's return increased the trade value of each. Maybe the Sixers decide to end the experiment and add an attractive young big with 5-7 years of team control to the trade market? The Sixers won't be kicking more cans down the road you'd think, given the public perception such a trade would have and the sudden image-consciousness of the organization, so the Sixers would be in the market for another young player.
In either case, aside from the near-constant Marcus Smart chatter, I can't pinpoint any young players teams are in position to move for a guy like Noel or Okafor. But the Sixers - and Colangelo and Hinkie - probably have a few in mind.
Roy Burton: I don't expect anything of consequence. The standard "act as a third wheel in a deal for a couple of second round picks" is always in play, and I think something will happen along those lines. I do, however, think they'll move Kendall Marshall at the deadline as something of a goodwill gesture.
In short: Nerlens stays, Jah stays, hell... even Carl Landry sticks around.
Brandon Gowton: Stay woke.
Jake Fischer: The only things I can foresee the Sixers doing before the deadline is moving Carl Landry to a contender and/or playing third-party in another deal to help even out salaries or draft assets. Right now, all of the team's players are on extremely valuable rookie or minimum contracts with the ensuing cap rise and it would be hard to part with any young player of real value unless an unforeseen superstar truly becomes available, a la Doc Rivers publicly lied about Blake Griffin's status in LA, or some All-Star demands a trade a day or two before the draft, like Goran Dragic did a year ago. I wouldn't hold my breath expecting a JaVale McGee-like salary dump-for-pick, either. That cap jump has pretty much eliminated the value of expiring contracts as well.