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Sixers Trade Deadline Primer: Targets #40-21

Looking at lights out shooters, lockdown defenders, and more

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Media Day Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to part two of the Liberty Ballers Trade Deadline Primer. In case you missed part one, click here to get up to speed with what the Sixers can and can not do at the deadline, as well as the first 20 trade targets — some young players potentially worth taking a shot on, some guys who may make more sense as buyout candidates, and more.

And now, let’s begin part two.

#40-33: Specialists

For some clarity in case the term “specialist” has many interpretations, players in this category can help the Sixers in one specific way.

  • #40: Omri Casspi, Wing, Memphis Grizzlies

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: shooting

Casspi just suffered a torn meniscus, which may make him an unlikely target at this point. But if the Sixers were to end up with him, his 3-point shooting could be of use in a limited role off the bench. His defensive ability (or lack thereof) may make him a poor fit in a playoff setting, but as a guy to space the floor in the regular season, he could make some sense.

  • #39: Alex Abrines, Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder

Contract: one year, $5.4M

Where He’d Help: shooting

  • #38: Troy Daniels, Guard, Phoenix Suns

Contract: one year, $3.2M

Where He’d Help: shooting

  • #37: Darius Miller, Wing, New Orleans Pelicans

Contract: one year, $2.2M

Where He’d Help: shooting

These three players are all similar in that they probably shouldn't be main targets, but as a fallback option, getting one could make sense. They all have flaws, but can really shoot the ball, especially Miller. While giving up any assets of real consequence for any of these three may not be smart, I’d bet one of them may be attainable for next to nothing, and at that point, you might as well.

  • #36: Lance Thomas, Wing, New York Knicks

Contract: two years, $14.7M ($1M guaranteed in second year)

Where He’d Help: wing defense

Thomas, who can easily be waived next offseason for a very little financial hit, would be a worthwhile addition if he can be added for a low trade price. His defensive versatility as a wing with good size would be of use for a team that lacks players of this kind. He is also a decent shooter — he doesn't shoot much, just taking 1.7 three-point attempts per game over the last four years, but has made 39.7 percent of those tries, a mark worth mentioning.

  • #35: David Nwaba, Guard, Cleveland Cavaliers

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: perimeter and wing defense

With Nwaba, you’d be getting a mixed bag — he is basically a non-shooter from deep, which could inherently limit his potential playing time on the Sixers, as he shouldn't spend much time playing with Ben Simmons. But his defense, specifically his versatility, could be huge for a team that lacks guys like him on the perimeter. He can guard positions one through three, making him capable of filling multiple defensive holes on this team within a given night. The question is if that defensive versatility is worth not just what you’d be giving up for him in a trade, but also the harm it may cause on the offensive end.

  • #34: Dorian Finney-Smith, Wing, Dallas Mavericks

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: wing defense

Like Nwaba, Finney-Smith should be considered a defensive specialist — defense is clearly his strong suit, and he doesn't have any other skills you would consider to be a strength. But he isn't a total zero in other facets of the game. DFS has been essentially a league-average shooter this season — he’s made 34.9 percent of his three attempts per game from beyond the arc — which instantly makes him a positive-impact player, because at 6-foot-8, he plays great defense on the wing. Finney-Smith is a player who can step in and help the Sixers right now, also help them in the playoffs, and at 25 years old with restricted free agency coming up, can be considered a long-term addition. This one makes too much sense.

#33 Luke Kornet, Big, New York Knicks

Contract: one year, $1.6M

Where He’d Help: shooting

Luke Kornet is a 7-footer who can shoot the lights out from deep. The problem is, there’s nothing else in his game to write home about. But over the last few days, I’ve talked myself into Kornet making sense as a potential backup center for this team. Yes, they will struggle defensively. But won’t they anyway? The Knicks have a Defensive Rating of 115.8 when Kornet is on the floor, a putrid number — but only a bit higher than the 114.6 DRtg that the Sixers put up when Joel Embiid is on the bench. So here is what I’m suggesting: when Joel Embiid isn’t in the game, don’t try to replicate the success you have when he is in the game. Waive the white flag on defense to an extent. Surround Ben Simmons with guys like Kornet who have nearly unlimited range and see what happens — the offensive production may turn out to be so substantial that Kornet’s defensive weaknesses will be rendered inconsequential.

#32-25: Thinking Outside The Box

  • #32: Vince Carter, Wing, Atlanta Hawks

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: shooting

Carter is a fascinating candidate. His minimum salary makes him easily acquirable, and you’d imagine he would like to finish this season on a contender, a request the Hawks would almost certainly oblige. And even at 42 years old, he could probably be a rotation player for the Sixers. Carter has made 37 percent of his 3-point tries this year on considerable volume. He may just not be good enough anymore to warrant going out and trading for him, but he does at the very least deserve consideration, which in itself is an accomplishment for someone his age.

  • #31: Salah Mejri, Big, Dallas Mavericks

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: rim protection, rebounding

Mejri has never had more than a minor role in Dallas’ rotation, but has always had intriguing per-minute production, meaning he was always impactful within the playing time he got. And as an option for the Sixers to log some minutes when Joel Embiid is off the floor, who can likely be gotten for a small price, why not?

  • #30: Treveon Graham, Guard/Wing, Brooklyn Nets

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: perimeter defense, shooting

Graham should be far from the Sixers’ primary target as a perimeter player who could hopefully be a valuable contributor on both ends. But if better players aren’t attainable, it’s worth calling the Nets about Graham, who has flashed potential as a two-way rotation wing but does not get a ton of run in Brooklyn.

  • #29: Michael Beasley, Wing, Los Angeles Lakers

Contract: one year, $3.5M

Where He’d Help: shooting, scoring

Signing Beasley has not worked out thus far for the Lakers, though part of that is because of an extended absence caused by personal reasons. While he should never be someone a team relies on, he is an interesting theoretical complementary piece; a combo-forward who is able to get to the spots he likes on the floor and put the ball in the hoop. His reliability is definitely questionable, but as a cherry on top of other deals, I could be talked into this.

  • #28: Tyrone Wallace, Guard, Los Angeles Clippers

Contract: one year, $1.3M

Where He’d Help: perimeter defense

Wallace is a fascinating player — after logging over 28 minutes per game as a two-way player for the Clippers last year, he ended up signing a deal in restricted free agency with New Orleans, only for LA to match the deal despite not having a clear role for him on a roster full of proven contributors. Wallace has played only 10 minutes per game this year, so it’s hard to imagine that there isn’t a chance he can be acquired for a small price. Wallace won’t be of much help offensively, but he has made the Clips’ defense better whenever he’s played. An aggressive point-of-attack defender who could potentially be a steal for the Sixers, he is someone who can help fix their problems defending the pick-and-roll.

  • #27: Ish Smith, Guard, Detroit Pistons

Contract: one year, $6M

Where He’d Help: shot creation

Bring Ish home!

Whether or not the Pistons would be willing to move him is a question, but for a team that is struggling the way they are, nobody should be untouchable. Ish could be of real help to the Sixers, as a playmaker who can come off the bench. And while we know Ish has never been a good 3-point shooter, he has made some strides there in recent years, now shooting over three attempts per game from beyond the arc, a sign that he is clearly much more comfortable with the shot than he was during his stints in Philly.

  • #26: Kyle O’Quinn, Big, Indiana Pacers

Contract: one year, $4.4M

Where He’d Help: rebounding, rim protection

I have been desperate to get KOQ on the Sixers for years, and that may never change. One of the most perpetually underrated players in the NBA, O’Quinn has been one of the league’s better backup big men for years. Few reserves put up as consistently good per-minute numbers as O’Quinn, who for his entire career has blocked shots at an elite rate, as well as put up great rebounding numbers. He also is a surprisingly effective passer; in the last four years, he’s averaged 3.8 assists per 36 minutes, a solid number for a big man who doesn't have the ball in his hands very often. O’Quinn doesn’t get much run for the Pacers, who seemingly signed him to be insurance for their other bigs. If they are willing to move him to upgrade elsewhere, the Sixers should call immediately.

#25-21: Unlikely, But Make The Call

This section will contain players who would be great additions for the Sixers, but for whatever reason are unlikely to be moved. The implication here is that if they were more realistic targets, they’d be higher on the list.

  • #25: Trevor Ariza, Wing, Washington Wizards

Contract: one year, $15M

Where He’d Help: shooting, wing defense

I get the feeling that Washington would be down for anything, but what makes this hard to imagine is Ariza’s salary. In all likelihood, the only way for the Sixers to add him would be to give up Wilson Chandler and a draft pick, and I’m not sure that makes sense for the Sixers — they really need to add rotation players, not make slight upgrades over the ones they already have. But theoretically, Ariza would help this team. He has had a terrible year, but I do believe that putting him on a contender (or whatever you’d like to call this Sixers team) could invigorate him to some extent.

  • #24: Jeremy Lamb, Guard/Wing, Charlotte Hornets

Contract: one year, $7.4M

Where He’d Help: shooting, scoring

Lamb, set to hit free agency this summer, should be a guy the Sixers have their eyes on. While a partially flawed player who can have somewhat frequent defensive lapses and isn’t the most efficient scorer, he has often displayed an ability to put the ball in the basket that isn't worth ignoring. Plus, it’s hard to imagine his efficiency not improving by a lot if he was removed from Charlotte and placed on a team with multiple stars who would make him better.

  • #23: Maxi Kleber, Big, Dallas Mavericks

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He'd Help: rim protection, shooting, defensive versatility

Likely no longer available due to the increased role he will have in the aftermath of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, Kleber would have been the perfect backup option at the center position. His overall versatility plays well into the Sixers’ switch-heavy scheme, and he could both play center with Embiid off the floor or power forward next to Embiid. Unfortunately, though, this seems extremely unlikely at this point.

  • #22: Patrick Beverley, Los Angeles Clippers

Contract: one year, $5M

Where He’d Help: perimeter defense, shooting

Frustrated by how poorly the Sixers have defended point guards since trading away Robert Covington? Pat-Bev is here to solve that problem. While his rather small frame means he won’t be able to switch a ton, that’s something the Sixers are already accustomed to with T.J. McConnell. What Beverley brings that T.J. doesn't is both a track record of elite point-of-attack defense, as well as the ability to be a competent off-ball player on offense, with an ability to knock down catch-and-shoot 3-pointers at a perfectly acceptable rate.

  • #21: Cory Joseph, Indiana Pacers

Contract: one year, $7.9M

Where He’d Help: ball-handling, shot creation, shooting, perimeter defense

Given their current state, it may make sense for the Pacers to consider moving Joseph. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and with Victor Oladipo out for the year, why not move him for someone who can help you in years to come, and in the process create some playing time for promising rookie Aaron Holiday? But still, giving a legitimately good player like Joseph up to a team that is your closest conference competition could be a tough pill to swallow. According to Synergy Sports, Joseph grades out as an excellent spot-up shooter (1.173 points per possession, 87th percentile) and an elite defender against pick-and-roll ball-handlers (0.624 points per possession, 95th percentile!). As a point guard capable of running the team when Ben Simmons is off the floor and playing off the ball when Simmons is on the floor, he’d make a ton of sense.

That’s it for part two! Stay tuned for the third and final part coming soon. Less than a week away from Thursday’s trade deadline!

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