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Sixers Trade Deadline Primer: Targets #20-1

Taking a look at 20 more trade targets

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Welcome to the third and final installment of the Sixers Trade Deadline Primer. In case you missed part one, we went through all of the Sixers’ assets before evaluating the first 20 candidates to acquire in a trade. In part two, we took a look at 20 more possibilities. And now that we have gotten that out of the way, it’s time for the final 20 Sixers Trade Deadline targets.

Brief note: in the first two parts, the players were split up into categories. This was done for the sake of keeping the pieces as organized as possible. The goal was to make the final 20 players be ones who are both realistic and smart targets — not only do they make sense for the Sixers, but they are actually attainable. But this made some of the rankings a bit arbitrary and inexact. So for this final part, we will just have a straight ranking from 20 to one.

#20: Markieff Morris, Wing/Big, Washington Wizards

Contract: one year, $8.6M

Where He’d Help: wing depth / versatility

Morris, still out with an injury but due to return sometime soon, is not as good as people think. While many perceive him to be a solid shooter and good defender, he’s really just okay at both of those things. But on the Sixers, an okay shooter who is an okay defender against multiple positions would be a fairly significant upgrade. Morris has shot 35.6 percent from deep over the last three seasons on decent volume, and his 0.2 Defensive Box Plus-Minus over that same time frame is also... alright.

#19: Jonathon Simmons, Wing, Orlando Magic

Contract: two years, $11.7M (second year has $1M guaranteed)

Where He’d Help: wing defense

The career arc of Jonathon Simmons has been mystifying. He showed a ton of promise in San Antonio, but then they were perfectly comfortable letting him leave for Orlando, And since joining, the Magic, he's been a massive disappointment for a few reasons, his failure to improve his jumper being chief among them. So, what would he provide for the Sixers? Well, Simmons has good size for a wing, is a very athletic player and should be a guy who will help the Sixers defensively. There is a chance he can be acquired for next to nothing, and assuming that is true, he’s worth pursuing. Think about it: on multiple occasions this year, for a final defensive possession, the Sixers have had no options better than JJ Redick. That’s crazy! Simmons would be valuable to have as a defensive replacement at the ends of games alone, let alone being able to at least log around 20 minutes per game. He’s had a very bad season, but look at the Sixers’ bench wings and tell me he couldn't be a rotation player on this team.

#18: Shelvin Mack, Memphis Grizzlies

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: ball-handling

The Sixers could use a better backup point guard. TJ McConnell is a Process Legend, but it’s the truth: his lack of a jumper and inability to switch on defense make him a guy you just can’t rely on, let alone in the way the Sixers do (24.1 minutes per game over last 25 games). If the Sixers see this and decide to act on it, Mack, a former Sixer, could likely be gotten for a very cheap price. He’s nothing special, but as a fine ball-handler, decent shooter and capable defender on a minimum contract for a Grizzlies team that seems ready to sell their team and build for the future, it’s not hard to figure out why this could be a fit.

#17: Luc Mbah a Moute, Wing, Los Angeles Clippers

Contract: one year, $4.3M

Where He’d Help: wing defense

#16: Mike Scott, Wing/Big, Los Angeles Clippers

Contract: one year, $4.3M

Where He’d Help: shooting

I’m not sure two teams could have more different roster constructions than the Sixers and Clippers. The Sixers have three All-Star caliber players and almost nothing else. The Clippers have one borderline All-Star caliber player (we see you, Tobias Harris), and then what seems like a dozen different players who aren’t stars by any means, but are guys you’d love to have on your team.

Scott, a perfectly adequate stretch four, and Mbah a Moute, an extremely versatile defender, are both players on the Clippers who is hurt by this, as they don’t get to play as much as they likely should. Scott has only 14 minutes per game this season due to being on such a deep roster, while Mbah a Moute has battled injuries since October but seems very unlikely to receive any significant amount of playing time once he is healthy. This puts LA in a position where they can be willing to take a risk and part with guys like these, as they wouldn't be losing as much as their trade partner would be gaining. Scott, a 39.5 percent shooter from deep over the last two years, isn't the very best option for the Sixers in terms of getting a stretch four (more on this later). But he would definitely be a good option as a floor spacer next to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. And while Mbah a Moute is an injury risk, when he’s on the floor he is one of the league’s most versatile defenders.

#15: Jeremy Lin, Guard, Atlanta Hawks

Contract: one year, $13.7M

Where He’d Help: shot creation, shooting

Lin has been a common suggestion among Sixers fans of a player the team should target. And I get it — Lin is clearly a good player, and he’d help the Sixers. But here’s where I diverge from the majority: to my eye, the two things the Sixers need most if they’re going to trade for a point guard are defense and spot up shooting. And while Lin is okay at those things, if you’re bringing him in, it should be to make plays and create shots. He deserves mentioning because he is without question a good NBA player — but I’m not sure he is what the Sixers need right now.

#14: Rodney McGruder, Guard/Wing, Miami Heat

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: shooting, perimeter defense

McGruder, a 27-year old undrafted player who Miami found and developed into a reliable rotation player, has made a leap this season from being a low-volume shooter to someone who is a much more versatile shooter while also being able to maintain acceptable efficiency. He is shooting threes way more than before (3.8 attempts per game this season), and is making 36.5 percent of those. According to Synergy Sports, he is in the 88th percentile as a spot-up shooter this season. And as for defense, he is a guy who will occasionally have a lapse and get lost, but for the most part he plays very hard on that end in order to be a capable defender. And the numbers say he is about average defensively -- he has a career DBPM of 0.1, and Synergy places him in the 47th percentile as an overall defender this season, both indicative that he is around the median. And I don't know about you, but I’d love for the Sixers to add a good shooter who is also at the very least an average defender.

#13: Wesley Johnson, Wing, New Orleans Pelicans

Contract: one year, $6.1M

Where He’d Help: wing defense

Wesley Johnson, who is most commonly-known for being a disappointing draft pick that never truly panned out, has quietly turned himself into a fairly useful role player. His advanced metrics suggest that he’s become a plus defender (1.7 DBPM over the last four years), and he’s experiencing a career-best year from three-point range, knocking down 38 percent of his attempts. Even if that that three-point percentage drops a bit from the surprisingly above-average spot it’s at now to a number closer to the league average, Johnson would be added value for a team that could desperately use another wing with his size, length and athleticism.

#12: JaMychal Green, Wing/Big, Memphis Grizzlies

Contract: one year, $7.6M

Where He’d Help: defensive versatility

#11: E’Twuan Moore, Guard/Wing, New Orleans Pelicans

Contract: two years, $19.4M

Where He’d Help: shooting

#10: Garrett Temple, Guard/Wing, Memphis Grizzlies

Contract: one year, $8M

Where He’d Help: perimeter defense, wing defense, shooting

  • 9: DJ Augustin, Guard, Orlando Magic

Contract: two years, $14.5M

Where He’d Help: ball-handling, shooting

Augustin, a well-traveled veteran point guard, wouldn't be a massive addition. But as a point guard who can handle the ball as well as shoot the lights out from three-point range, on a two-year deal at fair value, he could make a ton of sense. Augustin has made 43.6 percent (!!!) of his three-point tries at considerable volume (3.9 attempts per game) this year, making him someone who could help the Sixers improve their offense dramatically, not just with his play, but his mere presence. As the Sixers have seen to a much greater extent with JJ Redick, just having a great shooter on the floor makes an offense so much better. And while he’s not Redick, Augustin can really shoot it and opposing teams know it. As much as we all love TJ, if you replaced his minutes with a shooter like Augustin who could also handle the ball when necessary, the offense of this team would improve a lot.

#8: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Guard/Wing, Los Angeles Lakers

Contract: one year, $12M

Where He’d Help: perimeter defense, wing defense, shooting

KCP is an interesting case, because he has a no-trade clause, so one would imagine he has no interest in being moved, but his name has been in trade rumors enough that he must have indicated to the Lakers that he is willing to get dealt. If he is available, expect the Sixers to call, as they have reportedly shown interest in him in the past. He would add very useful defense against multiple positions on the perimeter, as well as capable shot-making, specifically from beyond the arc.

#7: Dewayne Dedmon, Big, Atlanta Hawks

Contract: one year, $7.2M

Where He’d Help: rebounding, rim protection, spacing

Dedmon, a Sixers legend, could be a super-sized version of what the Sixers hoped Mike Muscala would be. Known for his defensive value, he would help shore up a defense that struggles when Joel Embiid isn't in the game. He has also turned himself into a solid shooter from deep, which could prove to be just as valuable if he were to end up the backup center in Philly.

#6: Terrence Ross, Wing, Orlando Magic

Contract: one year, $11M

Where He’d Help: shooting, scoring

Ross may not be attainable, as Orlando is reportedly desperate to make a playoff push, but the Sixers should be willing to put some decently valuable assets on the table if he is. Ross is having a career-best year on offense, specifically from three-point range, where he is matching career-high volume with career-best efficiency. He’s far from a lock-down defender, but his size and length makes him at the very least passable. He can also add a bit of ball-handling and scoring as an added bonus, making him a player who would absolutely raise the ceiling of this team.

#5: Anthony Tolliver, Wing/Big, Minnesota Timberwolves

Contract: one year, $5.7M

Where He’d Help: shooting

Anthony Tolliver may be the best shooting big-man in the entire NBA. And it stands to reason that he could be attainable. The Wolves have a bit of a log-jam when it comes to bigs, with Karl Anthony-Towns, Taj Gibson and our good friend Dario Saric all being locks in the rotation, then Gorgui Dieng and Tolliver also fighting for minutes. In addition to being a lights out shooter who can take (and make) any shot on the perimeter due to his tremendous range, he is also a fine defender. The Sixers could theoretically add Tolliver, and depending on who they’re playing, start him or Wilson Chandler. Pairing the star trio of Simmons, Embiid and Jimmy Butler with two of the best shooters in the league at their respective positions in Redick and Tolliver would make for an absolutely unstoppable offense.

#4: Reggie Bullock, Guard/Wing, Detroit Pistons

Contract: one year, $2.5M

Where He’d Help: shooting

Another elite shooter, Bullock represents a wing option for the Sixers that makes a ton of sense. Like Tolliver, if you plug him in next to Embiid, Simmons, Butler and Redick, it’s hard to imagine the offense not being one of the best in the league. Bullock has shot 41.1 percent from three-point range on significant volume over the last four years in Detroit, and now with him set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, teams have reportedly been calling Detroit to gauge Bullock’s availability. He is somewhat of a super-specialist, but his one strength would just be so helpful.

#3: Taurean Prince, Wing, Atlanta Hawks

Contract: two years, $6M

Where He’d Help: shooting, shot creation, wing defense

Prince seems like a home-run trade target: he’s a young and promising wing who has shown that he can shoot well from deep, create shots on occasion, and be a positive defender. So why, in year three, is a young team in Atlanta reportedly so open to moving him? This is what concerns me — on the surface, Prince seems to make total sense, but the fact that a young and rebuilding team is willing to move a young player with his reputation gives me significant pause. Still, though, it’s hard not to get excited about this possibility- Prince could make perfect sense as the fifth starter next to the Sixers’ big four.

#2: Noah Vonleh, Wing/Big, New York Knicks

Contract: one year, $1.5M

Where He’d Help: spacing, defensive versatility

There is no reason for the Sixers not to go after Vonleh — his versatility on the defensive end alone would make him worthy of a starting spot on this team. Vonleh, who at times can guard as many as three positions credibly, has improved more than almost any other player this year, and the Knicks seem prepared to capitalize on his success by moving him for a future asset. Vonleh’s emergence as a defender isn't particularly shocking, because he has always been gifted with great physical tools. But what came out of nowhere was his three-point shot. After shooting below 30 percent from deep in the first four years of his career, Vonleh is up to 36 percent from deep this year on respectable volume at two attempts per game. The combination of his minimum salary, defensive prowess, offensive competence and overall versatility make him a clear target.

#1: Nikola Mirotic, Wing/Big, New Orleans Pelicans

Contract: one year, $12.5M

Where He’d Help: shooting, scoring, defensive versatility

Anthony Davis requesting a trade may end up being a huge win for the Sixers, and it won't be because they’re getting Davis. And it probably won't even be because of Jrue Holiday. If the Sixers can get Nikola Mirotic, it will significantly boost their floor and ceiling as a team. Mirotic is a very good two-way player who would fit in seamlessly as the stretch four that Joel Embiid and Brett Brown both seem to covet and enjoy having on the roster. But he wouldn't just be a stand-still shooter. Mirotic is a solid all-around offensive player who can serve many different roles. And while his defensive numbers are down this year, he has a track record of being an underrated defender. Mirotic is currently enjoying the best season of his career, with averages of 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game to go with an uber-efficient 59.1 true shooting percentage. Elton Brand, this is the guy.

That is going to do it for the Liberty Ballers Sixers Trade Deadline Primer. Let us know which players you’d like to see in Sixers jerseys by the end of next week. Thanks to all who read and enjoyed these pieces.

And now, we wait and see what the Sixers pull off...

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