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Sixers rumor roundup: Siakam to Indy, latest on Murray, LaVine, Bogey & Bogi

There are no shortage of rumors involving names like Dejounte Murray and Zach LaVine, and what the word is with the Sixers. Plus much more.

Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We’ve officially entered the height of “slop” season, when it seems just about every few hours there’s another piece of scuttlebutt or NBA gossip to digest. I’ve got this 7-foot abacus in my bedroom, along with multiple, multiple pie charts helping me rank each player and calculate whether or not they may change teams. When players change teams, or we even think players might change teams, everyone gets so excited.

Anyway, hopefully, you have your piecharts too. Oh! I also have a The Wire style corkboard with black-and-white photos connected by yarn, helping me connect players to their agents or any relevant relationships. I have a special pink spool that reminded me Pascal Siakam may not like Nick Nurse, for example.

If you don’t have all of the equipment I have, I strongly urge you to get some.

Anyway, let’s get to the newest rumors in Sixers land.

Dejounte Murray

Let’s start with HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. Scotto discusses the rumors connecting the Philadelphia 76ers to Dejounte Murray:

Scotto:

“The Sixers have been linked to Murray, but would Daryl Morey give up multiple picks for a guard who’s a questionable fit next to Tyrese Maxey, his franchise cornerstone alongside Joel Embiid?

Rival executives who spoke with HoopsHype expect Morey to continue gauging the trade market through the deadline....

Scotto also splashes a bit of cold water on the idea some fans have had that Daryl Morey and Elton Brand could make a play for Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma. But it sounds like the asking price on the former Lakers’ champion might be a bit rich for Morey’s blood:

“Following reports that Washington wants two first-round picks to potentially part with Kuzma, there is further clarity and caveats to that. The Wizards would need future first-round picks beyond the 2024 draft with the potential to become lottery picks to consider parting with their best player, league sources told HoopsHype.”

But what about this idea of adding Dejounte Murray? Murray recently punished the Sixers, dropping 25 on them in an overtime win for the red birds. And on Wednesday night, DJM helped Atlanta edge the Magic, calling game here:

Now we’ve heard pushback that the team wasn’t too intrigued by adding Zach LaVine, still on a max contract. But it hasn’t sounded as if the team is quite as reluctant to onboard the Hawks’ combo guard. He makes significantly less money per season.

But Shams Charania recently hopped on FanDuelTV to discuss the latest he’s been hearing on the matter, and on LaVine too:

Per Shams, speaking before the Siakam-to-Pacers-blockbuster:

“I think [the Sixers] are gonna be measured....they have these salaries like Marcus Morris, Robert Covington that are really in that range of ... it’s not a major salary. You’re not going to be bringing back a max contract type of guy, but ... you could be in the market to bring back a really good bench piece, a really good scorer. I think they’re gonna be active. I don’t get the sense that they’re as engaged right now on Dejounte Murray or Zach LaVine or Pascal Siakam...I have not gotten the sense they’re gonna pursue those three aggressively. I think there is a level of interest there for them but not an aggressive pursuit.... they have max salary space in the summer.... there’s gonna be options for them in the summer. They have a bunch of assets, remember they got two first-round picks from the Clippers. This team is gonna have great ability to go at talent if they want this summer.”

Shams mentions the potential benefit to Philly of simply seeing how far this team can go as currently constructed, maybe with a move “around the edges;” and then think more about bigger shakeups come summer when they’ll have max cap space and a couple of extra picks (they can trade their own first round-pick and others come 2024 NBA Draft) to play with.

Now, to Shams’ point, the Sixers could actually combine a couple of those medium-sized salaries he mentions to enter max-level ballparks. But perhaps he knows they’d prefer not to, given the available talent pool.

The Knicks may be open to moving Quentin Grimes?

Some Sixers fans wanted the team to make a play for role-player-turned-NBA-Finals-hero, Bruce Brown, shipped by Indiana to Toronto in the Siakam deal.

If you thought Brown might have been expensive to acquire, wait until you hear what Masai Ujiri may be asking for the career 34% three-point shooter!

So if Brown’s cost in players and assets is too steep, maybe the Knicks would be willing to part with Grimes? They did recently give Obi Toppin away to the Pacers for a can of R.C. Cola and a thimble. It’s worth a call because I think Grimes has likely underachieved a bit on the Knicks and could perhaps thrive in a slightly different or more consistent role in Philadelphia under maestro Nick Nurse.

Might I interest you in a Bogdanović?

Because Shams mentioned the team working more around the margins this season (maybe it’s just leverage and they’re looking to go big but don’t want the world to know!), by adding a “really good scorer” perhaps I could interest you in a player named Bogdanović?

There is the Serbian-born Bogdan Bogdanović on the Atlanta Hawks. I’ve always been impressed with his ability to rise to the occasion in big moments. Ice Water Bogi. No doubt, part of the intense environments he’s played (and thrived) in overseas helped him deal with road arenas and big game pressure.

And there’s Bojan Bogdanović, who plays for the Detroit Pistons.

Now our Harrison Grimm made a compelling case for the Hawks’ combo guard and sniper. And I’ll be honest, I was sold by this piece.

On the other hand, I spotted this on Twitter:

Two or three stars?

Many of the local fans have been talking about this idea that under new CBA financial environment, perhaps it’s better to regard Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey as your two max-salaried stars, and devote the rest of the resources to bolster depth and complementary pieces around those two. The three-star model is outmoded now with the punitive second apron, it’s been said.

But how does that square with the continued phrasing fans hear that Morey is “always star hunting?”

Grimm hopped on Twitter and surmised that Morey may not want to build around three max players, following a rumor that the team might have been able to top the Pacers’ offer for Siakam, but didn’t love the idea of committing to him for the next five years at a max salary.

Both Bryan Toporek and I chimed in on the subject as well:

So there’s plenty to think about, plenty to debate, and plenty of calls for Morey to make. I’m not sold that Morey is really saving his cap space for the summer. Once Kawhi Leonard signed his Clippers’ extension it wiped one of the top FA names off the board, and simultaneously increased L.A.’s odds of keeping L.A. native superstar Paul George. Bummer. But Morey may very well enjoy the idea of having maximum optionality along with up to five firsts to play with.

Wouldn’t it be weird if the team just like... did nothing interesting ahead of the deadline? Seems unlikely. You never want to miss a chance to help Joel Embiid win a title. He turns 30 by March. But I suppose the idea of them staying pat through Valentine’s Day has increased with moves like Leonard’s or the Siakam deal.

Anyway, let me go update my abacus. I still have to have four coffees then connect Knicks’ Prez Leon Rose to his agent-son who reps some current CAA clients. Don’t you guys dare come after Joel! Then I have to decide if rumors the Sixers may not make a big shakeup are real or just team-fueled leverage leaks. Brb.

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