The Sixers offseason has essentially come to a close, but we know that the team’s roster building will be an ongoing process, even throughout the season. During the 2017-18 campaign, the additions of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova helped transform Philadelphia from a playoff team to a true contender in the Eastern Conference, a squad that ripped off 16 straight wins to finish the regular season.
Similar opportunities will arise this season when the calendar turns to 2019. Teams will find themselves out of playoff contention and either look to recoup some asset in return for a player who won’t be with the team long-term, or save some money by buying out a veteran. Let’s comb through NBA rosters to find guys who might fit the bill and provide an in-season boost for the Sixers.
Note: I tried to focus on players who wouldn’t require too much of a return. Someone like Patrick Beverley could be a great acquisition, but might require a protected first round pick, even as a short-term rental.
Kyle Korver – A deal for Korver was reportedly discussed this offseason, but the Cavaliers wanted a first-round pick in return. Despite extending Kevin Love, it’s possible the Cleveland’s season doesn’t go as planned and they look lottery-bound come February. If that’s the case, maybe the Cavaliers lower their asking price to a mere second-round pick for Korver in an effort to get off his (partially) guaranteed money next season. Read our Tom West on how Korver would fit in with the Sixers.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - Los Angeles has aspirations to make the playoffs, but it’s entirely conceivable that in the highly competitive Western Conference, the Clippers find themselves destined for the lottery. If Jerry West comes to such a realization by the trade deadline, Mbah a Moute and his one-year deal would be somebody he might look to move. In exchange for a second-round pick, Mbah a Moute would be valuable as a versatile defender and competent shooter in his return to Philadelphia.
Garrett Temple – With Mike Conley and Marc Gasol returning (hopefully) healthy, Memphis wants to compete for the playoffs. Still, the West is basically Fury Road and things could easily go south for the Grizzlies. If they do, Temple on the last year of his deal could be somebody the Grizzlies available for a fair price. Temple is a career 35.7% three-point shooter, including a career-best 39.2% last season in Sacramento. He would also bring some solid secondary play-making and defensive versatility.
Lance Thomas – The $7.6 million on the books for Thomas in 2019-20 is non-guaranteed. The Knicks could look to get a draft pick in return for Thomas if Kristaps Porzingis takes too long returning to form from his injury and the playoffs become a pipe dream. He has shot better than 40% from behind the arc each of the last three seasons and would be a valuable 3-and-D guy for the Sixers in exchange for one of their better second-round picks.
Justin Holiday – Philadelphia could look to bring another former Sixer home in Holiday. On the last year of his deal, Holiday appears to be out of the long-term plans for a Bulls team that signed Zach LaVine to an extension, signed Jabari Parker in free agency, and drafted Chandler Hutchison in the first round. Holiday has shot 35% from three in his career and has good size at 6’6” for a two-guard. He would be very available and could even be a buyout candidate for the Bulls.
Terrence Ross – The Magic are on about the 50th year of their rebuild, and project to be on the outside looking in of the playoff picture again this season. Ross is a guy whose name was floated around a lot for the Sixers back in the Bryan Colangelo days, given their shared Toronto connections. He is a career 37.1% shooter from behind the arc, but shot just 32.3% last season in 24 games. Ross will be a free agent next summer and doesn’t seem long for Orlando. The Sixers likely wouldn’t have to give up anything much of value to take a shot at him.
Jared Dudley – Dudley signed with Brooklyn for the chance to play and show he can be more than a veteran locker room guy at this stage of his career. If he does prove to have something left in the tank, he could be a valuable fit for the Sixers as a career 39.6% three-point shooter. We know how much Sean Marks loves to collect assets; I’m sure the Sixers could find something in the second round to throw Marks’ way if Brooklyn is on its way to the lottery, as expected.
Mike Scott – Another potential acquisition if the Clippers season goes off the rails, the Threegional Manager is a career 35.1% shooter and shot 40.5% from behind the arc last season in Washington. Scott doesn’t do much else, and only signed for 1 year, $4.3 million in Los Angeles, so the price could be very cheap.
Robin Lopez – Making $14.4 million this season, Lopez would likely have to be a buyout candidate to make his way to Philadelphia. Once Chicago slides down the standings behind the Zach LaVine-Jabari Parker defensive pairing on the wings and wants to maximize their minutes for Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., enter the Sixers. Lopez would be a steady defensive presence as a backup center if Amir Johnson doesn’t have another effective season in him.
Ed Davis – Philadelphia was rumored to be interested in Davis at the beginning of the free agency period. A second-rounder for Davis would make a lot of sense at the deadline if the Sixers frontcourt struggles with injuries or ineffectiveness. Read our Kevin Love from a piece earlier this summer on what Davis would bring to the table.
Dewayne Dedmon – The Sixers are incredibly familiar scooping up veterans from the Hawks, and Atlanta is full speed ahead for the lottery once again this season. The Hawks could reach the point when they want to give as many minutes as possible to young big men John Collins and Omari Spellman, and unload the 28-year-old Dedmon for a second-round pick. The former Sixer revolutionized his game last season, hitting 35.5% of his threes on over two attempts per game. He could be a good fit as a stretch 5 if Mike Muscala doesn’t work out.
The regular season is less than three months away, but even then, the Process never ends.