We are officially one month out from the beloved NBA Trade Deadline! One of the busiest days in the NBA is now on the horizon. As we move forward, teams will become buyers or sellers as they either make moves to ensure a postseason push or a spot in the NBA lottery.
The Sixers are expected to be one of the most active teams as we progress closer and closer to the date of March 25th. After all, Daryl Morey is in charge and he’s no stranger to making deals. The Sixers are currently sitting on top of the Eastern Conference, but make no mistake — there’s many holes that need to be addressed with this team for them to have a serious shot at an NBA title.
Morey has done an excellent job at putting together a Sixers roster that has some flexibility to complete trades. He even mentioned in a media season back at the beginning of the season that improving the roster midseason was factored into how he built this team. Today, we will discuss all options for the Sixers: what they can do, how they can do it, and some possible targets they may look at.
The draft capital of the Philadelphia 76ers
Before we talk about what the Sixers can get we have to breakdown what they already have. The Sixers’ treasure chest of assets collected by Sam Hinkie seems to be a thing of the past.
That being said, the Sixers do have a lot more assets in comparison to some of their Eastern Conference Rivals in regards to draft picks. The Brooklyn Nets cannot trade a first-round pick, as they shipped off everything in the James Harden deal. The Milwaukee Bucks have no control over their draft picks for the next five years, as they completed a deal to land former Sixer Jrue Holiday.
While the Sixers have control over most of their first-round draft picks, it’s important to note that they don’t have complete control for the foreseeable future. The Sixers shipped off Al Horford over the offseason and they had to attach a lightly protected 2025 first-round draft pick to do so. What does this mean exactly? Not only will the Sixers be unlikely to trade or utilize that pick, but they’ll also be limited in what they can offer in other trades.
For those unfamiliar, in the NBA there’s something called the Stepien Rule: teams cannot trade consecutive first-round picks. That means that the Sixers cannot trade their 2024 draft pick outright. However, the Sixers could package their 2024 first-round pick by offering it as a swap, with a team getting the benefit of choosing the better pick.
A great example of this is the recent James Harden trade. The Nets packaged their 2022, 2024, and 2026 first-round picks to the Houston Rockets, along with ability for Houston to swap their own pick for Brooklyn’s in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027.
While swapping a pick with a contending team in the next year to four years may not sound attractive, the deal holds a great deal of value in the later years. For the Sixers, this means they could theoretically mortgage their draft picks depending on the caliber of player they could receive.
Below is a list of every draft pick the Sixers currently own:
2021: Sixers’ first-round pick; New York Knicks’ second-round pick
2022: Sixers’ first-round pick
2024: Sixers’ first-round pick; Sixers’ second-round pick; Miami Heat’s second-round pick (protected through picks 31-55)
2025: Sixers’ second-round pick
2026: Sixers’ first-round pick; Sixers’ second-round pick
2027: Sixers’ first-round pick; Sixers’ second-round pick
As you can see, Daryl Morey does have some draft capital to work with. The Horford trade — which was completely necessary to the Sixers’ current success and flexibility — does somewhat hamper their ability in trades, however.
So what’s the most the Sixers can offer in a trade in terms of first-round picks? In terms of straight up picks (not swaps), they can offer their 2021 and 2023 first-round selections — but ONLY if they are unprotected.
This is due to the outgoing first they sent in the Horford salary dump. Teams are only allowed to trade up to three first-round picks outright. Since the Sixers have committed a future first-rounder to OKC, they currently only have an opportunity to trade up to two first-rounders. They would need to make a trade to gain additional first-round picks beyond the two mentioned above.
Financial Options: flexibility and exceptions
The Sixers actually have a plethora of options in regards to using their salaries. Morey has done a great job at gaining/maintaining NBA exceptions. So what are these exceptions the Sixers currently own?
The two types of exceptions they currently have is the Mid-Level Taxpayer’s Exception (commonly referred to as the MLE) and a common trade exception. The MLE is given to every NBA team each offseason to allow them to sign talent to a contract above the veteran’s minimum. The Sixers were gifted the taxpayer’s MLE last offseason, as they were a team over the tax line with salary. This MLE was worth $5,718,000 for the 2020 NBA offseason. This exception will not factor much at all into trades, but could be a very useful tool for the buyout market coming after the trade deadline.
The other exception mentioned, the trade exception, is gained in a transaction between teams if there is a difference in outgoing salary. For example, the Sixers traded away $27,500,000 million in salary with the Horford deal and received $19,309,867 back in combined salary with Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson.*
Since the Sixers are losing around $8 million in salary with this trade, they are granted a temporary exception — as the money would otherwise be gone for good as they are a team over the salary cap.
The Sixers currently own three trade exceptions worth various costs. They are listed below along with their expiration dates:
(Generated in James Ennis Trade) trade exception: worth $1,882,867 (expires 3/21/2021)
(Generated in Al Horford Trade) trade exception: worth $8,190,133 (expires 12/08/2021)
(Generated in Josh Richardson) trade exception: worth $35,989 (expires 11/18/2021)
The most useful of each of these trade exceptions will definitely be the one generated in the Al Horford deal, as a lot of good role players can fit within the $8 million or below threshold.
What can the Sixers do with these trade exceptions? They can absorb salary within the granted amount without sending out any additional salary. For example, the Sixers could trade for Sacramento’s Nemanja Bjelica and only send out cash considerations or draft picks in exchange. Bjelica is making $7,150,000 million this season so he would fit within the Horford trade exception. If a player is making below the $8,190,133 cost, the Sixers can easily trade for them.
A common misconception about trade exceptions is that you can combine salary with a player with an exception. For example, the Sixers cannot combine Mike Scott’s $5,005,350 salary with their $1,882,867 exception to trade for a player making $6,888,217 in total salary.
Apart from exceptions, the Sixers can match a multitude of different types of salary. Danny Green, who has an expiring contract, is set to make $15,365,854 for the season. You can pair his large expiring salary with some of the Sixers’ bench rotation or third string players to make up a decent amount of cash. The Sixers could pair Green, Mike Scott, and Terrance Ferguson to match up to $24,315,217 in a trade. To get an understanding on what caliber of players are making this type of money, I’ve composed a small list of the top talent: Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo, Jerami Grant, Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Harrison Barnes.
This kind of salary flexibility can allow the Sixers to pick up a serious contributor for the team, without giving up a player out of their core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, or Tobias Harris.
*Vincent Poirier — the 3rd player involved in that transaction — was not mentioned in that example as his salary ($2,619,207) was absorbed by the Josh Richardson trade exception, which was worth $2,655,196. The Sixers now have $35,989 which is pretty much impossible to use. The remaining money with that exception will expire with time.
Team holes that need to be addressed
While the Sixers are a strong team, they’re lacking in a lot of areas. Capitalizing on this trade deadline will be key for them to make a serious postseason push. The Eastern Conference is top heavy with talent. There’s a three-headed monster nearby with the Brooklyn Nets, a deep Milwaukee Bucks team featuring the reigning MVP, along with the dreaded (albeit currently sub-.500) Boston Celtics. The Sixers must do whatever they can to set up their team to go against any opponent.
We’re now over a quarter of the way through a season and we’ve seen some glaring holes within the roster. Some of the most prevalent issues have been in regards to their bench, which has lacked reliable scoring and shooting for most of the season. The Sixers starting lineup of Simmons, Curry, Green, Harris, and Embiid has accounted for over 86 points per game, which accounts for nearly 76 percent of their team average of 114.5 points per game. The Sixers lack firepower off the bench.
The Sixers would be wise to get a veteran guard who can knock down shots from anywhere on the court. A stretch big would be very welcome as well. The Sixers have been missing a sweet shooting big that can play with and without Joel Embiid seamlessly. We’ve seen Mike Scott step into a small ball five role with very little success — he struggles defensively and he’s only shooting 28.9 percent from three on the season.
While the previously mentioned issues are definitely most important, it wouldn’t hurt the Sixers to get another perimeter wing defender as well — especially if they trade Danny Green. Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle have been excellent in this regard, but the team lacks in that department outside of those two.
Now that we’ve addressed some of the issues with the roster we can get into some realistic targets for the Sixers.
Here you’ll find a list of players that can help the Sixers with some of the issues I’ve addressed above. I’ll provide brief description of what they can bring to the Sixers along with any cons or concerns involved in trading for them. Included below will be what a trade for the player may look like, factoring in making it work with assets and/or salary. I’ll also provide any information on their contracts, explaining any options or how many years are remaining on each respective deal.
I’ve divided this section into three different tiers: with each tier separating the players by how hard I think it would be to trade for them. For example, tier 1 will feature the best talent among the group, along with the fact that it will be very challenging or nearly impossible to land them. Tier 3 will feature talent that would be somewhat low-cost to obtain, assuming that the Sixers want to acquire them. Tier 2 will be a mix of both, with a list of players that may or may not be available in the trade market.
DISCLAIMER: These trades are just examples/educated guesses of what the framework may look like. You can factor in additional assets at your choosing. These will map out some of the easiest ways to make a deal work for a specific target from a salary standpoint.
Tier 1 of Trade Deadline Targets: Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, and Kyle Lowry
This tier will feature the biggest “needle movers” for the Sixers. These are the players that can take this already good team into the serious contention conversation. While they are the most talented of the group, they’ll likely be the hardest to get.
Bradley Beal: 2+1 year contract (player option) — $63,253,905 guaranteed
Beal would likely be the absolute best case scenario for the Sixers to land. There’s only one problem: the Sixers are likely short on the assets it would take to land a player of Beal’s caliber and he’s shown zero inclination that he wants out of Washington. In fact, a recent report even stated that he’s frustrated with the portrayal given to him by outside voices.
With that being said, Beal would fit like a glove here in Philadelphia. He’s been arguably the best scorer in the entire league this season, despite Washington’s poor record. He’s capable of scoring in isolation or playing off the ball. While his defensive numbers have taken a bit of a hit this season, it’s likely due to the scoring load he’s taken on. He’s averaging a career-high of 32.7 points per game on over 24 shot attempts.
Highlights from Bradley Beal's 60-point performance! pic.twitter.com/E1vQQtnZly— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 7, 2021
The questions with Bradley Beal would likely depend on Philadelphia’s view of him. Is he good enough to be the second best player on a championship team? He’s proven to be an elite scorer, but would he be that big of a difference maker? That’s a question that the Sixers would have to answer in the future if Washington is willing to deal the swingman.
There is no shot of landing Bradley Beal without including Ben Simmons in a trade offer. The bidding price of Beal’s services could likely be driven up by other teams with a stockpile of draft picks such as New Orleans and Oklahoma City. There would be a steep asking price, and would likely take a haul like this:
Sixers trade: Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, 2021 unprotected first-round pick, 2023 unprotected first-round pick, unprotected 2022 first-round pick swap, unprotected 2024 first-round pick swap, 2026 unprotected first-round pick swap
Wizards trade: Bradley Beal
Chance of landing him before the trade deadline: Better chance of the Sixers’ 01 AI Era jerseys returning — nearly impossible.
Zach LaVine: 2 year contract — $39,000,000 guaranteed
Another player you all likely knew would be mentioned as a trade target. LaVine has taken yet another step in his individual development and has been a bright spot in Chicago’s rollercoaster of a season.
LaVine would bring similar things to the team that Bradley Beal would: great isolation scoring, unlimited range, and underrated playmaking. His 28.6 points and 5.1 assists per game would give the Sixers the missing piece they desperately need to solidify themselves in the Eastern Conference contenders discussion. While LaVine is far from a lockdown defender, it would be easy to hide him on a team with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
And that’s exactly where the question marks begin to pop up. So far, there’s been zero inclination from any reputable source that LaVine is even available on the trade market. Assuming he was, there’s no reason to believe that Chicago would be willing to deal him for anything the Sixers have outside of Simmons or Embiid. The team would only trade him if they’re getting exactly what they want back in a deal or if they know for sure he isn’t planning to re-sign with the team in his unrestricted 2022 free agency. Even if the Bulls know he will walk at this point in time, they have zero reason to rush a trade for him.
If the Sixers would trade for LaVine, it would most likely be for the goal of pairing him alongside the previously mentioned cornerstones, not in exchange.
There is a connection between the Sixers and the Chicago Bulls, however, that could possibly help things. Their new GM and former Sixers’ assistant GM, Marc Eversley, has an affinity for the Sixers’ Matisse Thybulle. He was a large reason the Sixers drafted him in the first place. He could have interest in bringing the player he was so high on to the Windy City in a trade. My best guess at a theoretical trade:
Sixers trade: Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, 2021 unprotected first-round pick, 2023 unprotected first-round pick
Bulls trade: Zach LaVine, Luke Kornet
As you can see I also snuck Luke Kornet into the deal. Kornet isn’t good enough to be a full time backup, but having a stretch five to use in some matchups alongside Dwight Howard would be very beneficial. It’s a low risk/high reward type of thing. The Sixers would lose a lot of perimeter defense in this trade, but that could possibly be found elsewhere via trade or the buyout market. LaVine is definitely more realistic to acquire than Beal, but that probably isn’t saying much.
Chances of landing LaVine before the 2021 trade deadline: more likely than Beal, but still a longshot.
Kyle Lowry: 1 year contract — $30,000,000 guaranteed
Daryl Morey once said that trading for Kyle Lowry was his favorite move in his basketball executive career. There may be a chance for him to repeat the move, if he wants to do so.
Toronto Tampa Bay Raptors had a very underwhelming start to their season, losing eight of their first 10 games. While they managed to start to turn things around by winning 11 of their next 18, questions still surround the Raptors and their franchise point guard, Kyle Lowry, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Lowry could bring an additional proven playmaker to the Sixers with championship experience. Father time hasn’t defeated the 34-year-old Lowry, as he’s having a solid season averaging over 17 points per game and shooting above 38 percent from behind the arc. Lowry is an underrated defender at the guard position as well and can switch onto bigger guards or even small forwards in short spurts of time.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that Kyle Lowry, a Philly native, would welcome a return to the city he grew up in. Competition would reportedly arise between Miami and the LA Clippers in the trade market if Toronto were to move on from Lowry.
The idea of trading for Lowry has a ton of question marks surrounding it. Would Toronto really be willing to deal their franchise player who helped win them a championship? How would the Sixers even amass a trade offer to land Lowry and his massive $30 million in salary? It would likely take a three-team deal, as you’ll see below:
Sixers receive: Kyle Lowry
Raptors receive: Andre Drummond, Terrance Ferguson
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Danny Green, Mike Scott, Vincent Poirier, 2021 lottery protected first-round pick via Sixers
In this mock trade every team would accomplish their respective goals. The Sixers would land Lowry, who would very much help the team in their shortcomings of playmaking and shooting. The Raptors would receive a quality center (who they’ve been reported to have interest in) that they’ve be missing since the departures of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. The Cavs would gain expiring salary that would free up space for them to use along with a first-round pick, which would be quite a win since they only traded a second-rounder to land Drummond in the first place.
Chance of landing Lowry before the 2021 trade deadline: It entirely depends on Toronto’s success in the next month. The team has completely turned things around in recent weeks, now finding themselves within the top six in the East. If the Raptors continue to win, it’ll make it very unlikely that they’ll look to move Lowry.
Tier 2 of Trade Deadline Targets: Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, Eric Gordon, Victor Oladipo, and Will Barton
Tier two features of a group of players that are all capable of playing a starting role with the team. You’ll find a wide range in this group in terms of contracts, with some on expiring deals and others locked up for the foreseeable future.
Evan Fournier: 1 year contract — $17 million guaranteed
Fournier has long been a player that Sixers Twitter has targeted. Many favor his ability to flat out shoot the ball and also provide some shot creation. He’s the perfect fit for the Sixers as he’s a successful player on and off of the ball.
The Orlando Magic are approaching a crossroad in terms of where their franchise is heading. They’ve been stuck in mediocrity since the Dwight Howard trade. They have a collection of good talent — Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon — which has led to some wins. However, their core is nowhere near good enough for a serious postseason run. The Magic may choose to sell off some of their veterans to develop some of their younger players.
Fournier is on an expiring deal that will draw interest from around the league. He’s a good player, but also comes with some concerns. Apart from his impending unrestricted free agency, his playoff stats are one of the worst you’ll find in the entire NBA. Through 14 postseason games he’s averaged 10.4 points per game on dreadful 35 percent shooting from the field and 26 percent from three. Yikes.
There are serious concerns surrounding the postseason version of Fournier, as he’s far from a lockdown defender. While he would help the Sixers in scoring and shot creation, there are likely better fits out there. However, if the Sixers want to take a swing at Fournier, the risk is low as he’s an expiring deal. I do believe that his asking price won’t be worth it in the long run.
Sixers trade: Danny Green, 2021 Knicks 2nd round pick
Orlando Magic trade: Evan Fournier
As you can see, this is a pretty simple deal. Can Evan Fournier fetch a first-round pick from a team in a talented draft? I have my doubts. Giving up any draft pick apart from a second-rounder seems too risky, in my point of view, for this trade. If this doesn’t get it done, I don’t think it’s worth it.
Terrence Ross: 3 year contract — $37.5 million guaranteed
Keeping with the Orlando Magic theme, let’s talk about Terrance Ross, who I think is a much better candidate to trade for. Nicknamed “The Human Torch”, Ross has solidified a role for himself in the NBA as a spark plug off the bench. He’s one of those players that goes off for 40 points every blue moon. He’s put together another great season with the Magic, as he’s currently averaging over 15 points per game off the bench.
The Sixers have been long tied to Terrence Ross. The franchise was rumored to be attempting to trade for him in the Markelle Fultz deal, before settling for Jonathon Simmons and a first-rounder which turned into Tyrese Maxey.
Ross would bring three-point shooting, streaky shot creation, and above average defense to the team. While many would look at Ross’s scoring numbers, I think his ability to defend is very intriguing. The Sixers lack a tall forward outside of Ben Simmons that is gifted at defending. Ross is listed at 6-foot-6, which would give the Sixers another versatile forward off the bench that could score and defend.
Terrance Ross hits the game winner to spoil Jimmy Butler’s Sixers debut. pic.twitter.com/cdU7WYo83u— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) November 15, 2018
Ross’s contract is also very attractive, as he’s locked up for the next three seasons on a very reasonable salary of $13.5 million this season (which goes down by $1 million every season for the next two years). The Sixers could safely trade away more assets as they aren’t risking an impending free agency.
Sixers trade: Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, 2021 lottery protected first-round pick
Magic trade: Terrance Ross, Gary Clark
In this trade the Magic gain an expiring salary in Danny Green, which would provide some extra flexibility for the franchise if they choose to go in a different direction. They also get a chance to see a young sharpshooter in Furkan Korkmaz, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Korkmaz could provide some intrigue as the Magic look to implement Markelle Fultz as a franchise cornerstone. Picking up a first-rounder in a talented draft could also potentially sweeten the pot.
Ross would help strengthen nearly every area of the Sixers’ current weaknesses. Clark is featured in this deal as required salary to make the trade work. Clark, who is a fringe NBA player, did have a small stint with Morey’s Rockets in 2019-20.
Eric Gordon: 4 year contract — $54.6 million guaranteed
While he certainly isn’t the Houston Rocket most craved for — that being James Harden — Gordon has proven to be a great NBA player over the past few seasons, evening winning the 6th man of the year award back in 2017. Gordon is in the midst of his best season in years, as he’s helped taken up the offensive void left by Harden’s departure.
Gordon can flat out shoot the basketball. He has been one of the main stables for the Rockets since his arrival back in 2016. While his three-point percentage of only 35 percent this season may not be eye popping, it’s important to remember that he’s attempting a large amount of threes per game at almost 8 attempts. While his shooting form is somewhat unorthodox, it works. He’s become a great floor spacer and scorer throughout his NBA career, which is a need the Sixers could use in the starting lineup or off the bench.
The concerns with Gordon arise with his age and salary. One of Daryl Morey’s last moves with Houston was signing him to a massive 4-year/$76 million dollar extension. Gordon is already 32, and has a checkered history of injuries. How well he will hold up with time remains to be seen.
Nobody will know Eric Gordon better than Morey, however, and he could be in line to get his former sixth man of the year. Houston may be undergoing a retooling phase where they will look to gain flexibility — something that Gordon’s contract may hamper. If the Sixers are confident in how well Gordon and his game will age they could look to trade for him. Here’s what a deal could look like:
Sixers trade: Danny Green, 2021 lottery protected first-round pick
Rockets trade: Eric Gordon
Yet another simple trade: The Sixers give up their first-round selection this season, along with Danny Green. This trade would allow the Rockets to gain an expiring deal and salary relief while gaining a draft pick. Keep in mind that the “Morey tax” might come into play with any deal involving the Rockets. Let’s take another look at a Houston Rocket!
Victor Oladipo: 1 year contract — $21,000,000 million guaranteed
Oladipo might be the biggest wildcard dealt on the trade deadline for this season. Ever since Houston acquired him in the Harden deal, he’s been in the rumor mill for the trade market. Reportedly wanting to sign with Miami in the upcoming offseason, most expected the Rockets to turn around and deal Oladipo to another team.
We’ve seen glimpses of the former All-Star that Oladipo was before he went down with a foot injury. He’s put up solid numbers during his limited time with the Rockets, averaging over 19 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting from the field. Oladipo is a proven shot creator and underrated playmaker that can provide defense on the perimeter.
The questions with Oladipo really depend on his health and upcoming free agency. He went through a devastating injury back in 2020 and hasn’t looked quite like his All-Star self for a long period of play. This season he’s dealt with foot problems — a new issue involving his health. On top of the health concerns, it’s hard for any team to ignore the loud rumors that he wants to land with the Miami Heat in the offseason. Oladipo turned down an extension with Indiana that was worth $25 million a year before he was dealt to Houston. He’s looking for a near-max to max contract in the upcoming free agency.
He’s absolutely worth a phone call if the Sixers are willing to bet on his health and their chances of retaining the former All-Star in unrestricted free agency.
Sixers trade: Danny Green, Mike Scott, 2021 lottery protected first-round pick, 2021 Knicks second-round pick
Rockets trade: Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore
In this trade the Rockets gain flexibility with their money as they take on two expiring deals. They also gain two draft picks that will hold decent value in a deep draft. I also snuck Ben McLemore into the deal as he could give the Sixers yet another wing shooter.
Will Barton: 1+1 year contract (player option) — $13.9/$28.8 million guaranteed
Will Barton would give the Sixers many skills that they lack on the roster. He provides the common theme of being a capable shooter and defender, but is also a very talented slasher. The Sixers have been missing a wing player who specializes in slashing to the rim, apart from a few games of Glenn Robinson III’s cutting. Barton is capable of scoring at all three levels and would be a huge upgrade over Danny Green at the small forward spot.
Whether Barton will be on the trade block is anyone’s guess right now. Denver is a contending team and they would be in no hurry to move a talented player off of their roster. However, if they see that the writing is on the wall and assume that Barton will decline his upcoming player option, they might opt to move him for additional assets instead of losing him for nothing.
Sixers trade: Danny Green, 2023 lottery protected first round-pick
Nuggets trade: Will Barton
The Nuggets get Danny Green, a capable three-and-D player in Barton’s absence. Gaining a swingman may be vital for Denver, especially if Gary Harris cannot get fully healthy before the postseason. Picking up a future first-round pick for a player that may leave in free agency is quite a win as well.
That wraps up my tier 2 of trade deadline targets. You’ll notice a common theme with most of these mock trades: they all involve Danny Green. While Green has been a big part of the Sixers’ success, his salary is big enough to help acquire talent and the team could soon find itself in a tough spot. He’s a capable player and decent starter, but is he good enough to start on a contending Sixers team? Should Daryl Morey look for a potential upgrade?
It’s hard to say. Green is an upcoming free agent and will have a ton of teams lining up for his services. The Sixers will have a MLE worth just over $9 million per year that they can offer. Would re-signing an aging Danny Green using that exception be worth it? If the answer is no, the Sixers may look to deal him. Green has a decently sized expiring contract — which would provide a lot of teams flexibility in their cap space.
Let’s move on to some of the tier 3 targets. The Sixers will have many more options in terms of what they can do with some of these players, as you’ll see.
Tier 3 Trade Deadline Targets: JJ Redick, George Hill, Delon Wright, Patty Mills, PJ Tucker, and Nemanja Bjelica
JJ Redick: 1 year contract — $13,013,700 guaranteed
When reports surfaced that the Pelicans were listening to trade offers for JJ Redick, most of the Sixers community didn’t take the idea too seriously. The team acquired Seth Curry in the offseason, who at this point in his career is better than Redick. Giving up limited assets for Redick seemed to be a misguided idea.
However, we’ve seen the Sixers’ bench struggle shooting the three ball. Redick would allow the Sixers to have a constant floor spacer on the court between Redick and Curry’s minutes. The idea of trading for him now may seem more attractive than it did in weeks prior.
Most people reading this know what you’ll get with Redick as we saw some of his best career years in Philly: reliable three-point shooting, dribble hand-offs between him and Joel Embiid, and constant floor gravity. You aren’t getting much shot creation outside of dribble hand-offs or off-movement threes with him. Defensively, he’s a weakness.
Redick can make some sense for the Sixers depending on the asking price. However, I would imagine that playoff/contending teams will drive up his bidding price. The Celtics, Knicks, and Nets are just some of the reported teams interested in his services. The Nets lack draft assets or cap flexibility, but the Knicks and Celtics can offer some potential packages that a rebuilding Pelicans team may favor.
Sixers trade: Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier, 2021 lottery protected first-round pick
Pelicans trade: JJ Redick
The only real value the Pelicans would receive in this trade would be this year’s first-round pick, which looks to be a late one. Many teams could absolutely outbid this offer, but it remains to be seen if anyone would be willing to part with a first-round selection for an aging Redick in a down year. If the Sixers can add Redick without giving up their core, it would be a pretty notable boost to the bench. The team would still need to address many of its current issues, however, as the team isn’t gaining perimeter defense, a stretch big, or any playmaking.
George Hill: 2 year contract — $10,866,093 guaranteed
Hill has long been a target for most Sixers fans since he was shipped out of Milwaukee in the Jrue Holiday deal.
Hill is one of the safer trade targets out there, as you know what you’re getting with him. He’s a talented shooter and is actually coming off of a season where he lead the league in three-point percentage at a scorching 46 percent. Hill brings you some added perimeter defense and reliable playmaking. He’s a veteran that has been on many talented teams, including Paul George’s Pacers, LeBron James’s Cavs, and the successful Milwaukee Bucks.
The issues with trading for Hill are entirely concerned with his age. He’s already 34 years old and questions have arisen about how his game and body will age in the future. The Thunder are likely to deal him to a contending team as they are a few years away from seriously competing. While Hill’s salary at over $19.5 million may seem a bit high to some people, it’s important to note that the last remaining year on his contract is only partially guaranteed. There’s little risk when trading for Hill from a financial standpoint.
Sixers trade: Mike Scott, Tony Bradley, Furkan Korkmaz
Thunder trade: George Hill, Mike Muscala
In this trade the Thunder would receive multiple expiring deals and a chance to gain an interesting young player with Furkan Korkmaz (a draft pick may also be needed, depending on how much interest Hill draws around the league). Korkmaz’s season has been a roller coaster in terms of consistent play. Isaiah Joe continues to inch closer to taking Korkmaz’s rotation spot, which may make him expendable to the Sixers. The Thunder would be able to get a close look at Korkmaz and could sign him to a deal to help give a young thunder team another shooter for their core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, and Darius Bazley.
I’ll also briefly mention Mike Muscala, who I put into this mock trade. While most Sixer fans would likely groan over the idea of trading for him again, he would provide the team with a solid shooter that could play center or power forward next to Embiid. The Sixers need a stretch five, and he could be a cheap yet effective option. The Sixers and Thunder did do a recent deal, and they may be on the phone again soon.
Delon Wright: 2 year contract — $17,526,316 guaranteed
Wright, along with Hill, has been in the Sixers rumor mill recently. Wright has been putting together a solid season with the rebuilding Detroit Pistons, who have lost their lottery pick, Killian Hayes, to an injury.
Wright would give the Sixers a capable scorer with some additional playmaking. Wright is a talented slasher and can get to the rim with ease. His jumper is far from the best out of this group of trade targets, but he is capable of hitting shots from behind the arc, as he’s shooting a respectable 38.4 percent from three on the season. Wright has also developed into a respectable defender. He uses his 6-foot-5 height to his advantage and he’s more than capable of holding his own against point/shooting guards.
Wright is an intriguing target as he could provide reliable scoring to the Sixers’ second unit, which has looked completely lost at times on the offensive end of the court. Concerns with trading for him would mainly rest on his ability to hit jump shots consistently. Sixers rookie Tyrese Maxey will likely not be in the playoff rotation, but a trade for Wright would drastically reduce his minutes and possibly hamper his development as well.
Sixers trade: Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, Vincent Poirier, 2021 Knicks’ second-round draft pick
Pistons trade: Delon Wright
In this trade the Pistons gain value with Korkmaz and a 2021 second-round pick. Korkmaz could give the Pistons additional insurance in the perimeter scoring department, as Svi Mykhailiuk is an impending free agent. The upcoming draft is filled with talent and the Pistons gaining a draft pick of any kind would be viewed as a big gain. Can Delon Wright fetch a first-round pick from any NBA teams? We will certainly see in the coming weeks if he’s dealt.
Patty Mills: 1 year contract — $13,285,714 guaranteed
The Sixers could use an additional Australian on the roster to go along with Ben Simmons and there’s arguably no better fit than San Antonio’s Patty Mills. The Sixers have been linked to Mills in trade talks, as the Sixers and Spurs reportedly held brief trade discussions in regards to Josh Richardson before last year’s draft. The Spurs may look to deal Mills as they have a loaded backcourt rotation that even has DeMar DeRozan playing power forward.
Mills is a proven backup point guard in the NBA. He’s developed into a lights-out shooter over the past few seasons. Mills is chipping in yet another great season of shooting, as he’s averaging 40 percent from behind the three-point line on over 6 attempts per game. That’s a great percentage, let alone factoring in the high amount of attempts.
The concerns surrounding Patty Mills involve his contract and defensive abilites. While his contract is an expiring deal, making the money work between the Spurs and Sixers would be a great challenge unless they were to include Danny Green. The Sixers would lose a lot of defense in a Green for Mills swap, and would likely need to do additional deals to ease the blow in that regard. While Mills plays with effort, he’s only 6 feet tall and could be a defensive liability. Playing him along with Seth Curry would be nearly impossible in the postseason for some match ups.
The Sixers could do a deal without involving Green, but it would have to include at least two or three players if not more to make the salary work. That would mean that the deal would likely require a third team if Danny Green wasn’t apart of it. The simplest deal they can do?
Sixers trade: Danny Green, 2023 Sixers second-round pick
Spurs trade: Patty Mills
Again, the Sixers would have to gain more perimeter defense from an outside transaction. But, if the Sixers are looking for a veteran point guard that can shoot lights out the asking price would be pretty low with Patty Mills. It’s worth a phone call.
PJ Tucker: 1 year contract — $7,969,537 guaranteed
Tucker would be a very solid candidate to land for a trade. He would provide the Sixers a swiss-army knife on the basketball court: someone who can defend any position and hit a catch-and-shoot three from the corner. One of the best parts about trading for Tucker would be that his salary fits within the Al Horford trade exception, meaning the Sixers wouldn’t have to trade salary in exchange.
Tucker has been an integral part to the Rockets’ success, playing within a role as one of the better three-and-D defenders in the entire league. The Sixers could use an additional defender outside of the likes of Simmons, Thybulle, or Green. The most appealing part to trading for Tucker would be his fit on offense, as he could fill in spot minutes at the center position. Playing Simmons and PJ Tucker together on the floor would hold many advantages to both ends of the court.
PJ Tucker's defense on LeBron & AD in the 4th quarter! pic.twitter.com/VokCqJ0RoE— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 5, 2020
The concerns with trading for PJ Tucker would primarily be with his age and upcoming free agency. Tucker is already 36 years of age and his defensive skills will likely fall off soon. Tucker will have a ton of suitors in his upcoming unrestricted free agency as well, which could complicate things beyond this season in the event of a trade.
Sixers trade: 2021 Knicks’ second-round pick, and 2023 Sixers’ second-round pick
Rockets trade: PJ Tucker
Reports have shown that the Rockets’ asking price of Tucker will likely be 2-3 second round picks or a protected first rounder. I’m pretty confident that no NBA team will be willing to part with a first-round pick for a 36-year old on an expiring deal. Two second-round picks would be a decent return for a player that is almost certainly bolting in free agency. There are no outgoing players in this transaction as the Sixers can absorb all of Tucker’s salary within their $8.2 million trade exception.
Nemanja Bjelica: 1 year contract — $7,150,000 partially guaranteed
Bjelica seems to be a big target in most people’s eyes and deserves to be seen as such. Even with backing out of a prior free agency agreement with the Sixers, most fans want Bjelcia dawning the red, white, and blue of the Sixers.
Bjelica is arguably the best big man shooter that will be available on the trade market over the next month. While he’s gotten off to a slow start with Sacramento, he’s picked things up in recent weeks as their team battled through multiple injuries. His 26.3 percent shooting from three this season may not be a legitimate cause for concern. While it’s certainly something to note, Bjelica’s playing time has been inconsistent at best and it’s well-known he wants out of Sacramento for playing time reasons. He’s a capable shooter and has good range, shooting near or at 40 percent from three over the majority of his career.
NEMANJA BJELICA!!!!!— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) December 10, 2019
OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!!! pic.twitter.com/D8plAp63e3
The concerns that come with trading for Bjelica would be in regard to his upcoming free agency and his defensive skills. He’s not a rim protector or good defender by most means. However, the Sixers would still have Dwight Howard on their team and could alternate between Bjelica and Howard depending on the matchup. Bjelica is a mobile big, and is more than capable of playing the power forward position next to Embiid or Howard.
Like Tucker, Bjelica’s salary would also fit within the trade exception. My mock trade is going to be very similar to the prior one for Tucker, as their asking prices will likely be the same if not very close.
Sixers trade: 2021 Knicks’ second-round pick, and 2023 Sixers’ second-round pick
Kings trade: Nemanja Bjelica
The Kings will do their best to optimize Bjelica’s value in a trade, but the writing is on the wall: everyone knows he wants out. His upcoming free agency will also hurt his value, as could his current poor shooting percentages. The Kings gaining two draft picks in this situation would be a pretty big haul. It would provide the retooling Kings with assets and playing time for their developing frontcourt.
As you can see, the Sixers have a lot of options with this trade deadline. These aren’t even all of the players that they could land or look at. There’s many more I haven’t listed, such as Lonzo Ball, Wayne Ellington, or Harrison Barnes. While this trade deadline may seem somewhat uneventful, the Sixers can definitely take advantage with some of the talent that may be available in the coming weeks.
I think it’ll be much more likely that they’ll look to bolster their bench with shooting and additional playmaking rather than make a big blockbuster deal. All of the tier 1 targets haven’t been publicly announced as available in the trade market and there’s no inclination to believe otherwise at this point in time. Players such as George Hill or Nemanja Bjelica can be great additions to an already good team.
This season has put together one of the best Sixers teams we’ve seen in awhile. Joel Embiid has been playing at a historic level and the Sixers cannot waste this season and type of play. It will, however, be important for the Sixers to maintain the long view beyond this season. Some of the stars mentioned above could become available in future deals and the Sixers will want to do everything they can to position themselves in a place where they can be competitive in such trade discussions. They’ll have to follow a fine line on making marginal moves to improve the team in both short and long term, without burning through their limited assets. Thankfully, they have one of the best basketball minds in the business to do so in Daryl Morey.
It’s your time to shine, Daryl.