The Sixers are true contenders for the title this season, though they might be just one piece away from having what it takes to overcome the Nets in the Eastern Conference.
Daryl Morey is expected to be active at the trade deadline, as I explained on the Hardwood Knocks podcast. During Morey’s tenure with the Rockets, only the Sixers (which for much of that time were led by Sam Hinkie), executed more trades than the MIT graduate did.
Philadelphia’s top concern is adding another playmaker either in the backcourt or on the wing. Any major addition, such as Kyle Lowry, is unlikely to occur without Matisse Thybulle departing from the franchise, as the 24-year-old is likely the team’s most valuable players who is actually on the table in trade talks. It’s worth noting that the Sixers still view Thybulle as a budding prospect, as do other teams around the league (we reported that some around the league believe Thybulle could garner a lottery pick in a trade).
More NBA Trade Rumors
- Several rival executives believe that P.J. Tucker will ultimately land in Philadelphia, per Tom Haberstroh of TrueHoop. The market for Tucker is expected to be a competitive one with the Lakers and Bucks among other teams in the mix.
- In the same piece, Haberstroh writes that the Warriors are viewed as a wild card nearing the trade deadline. “Golden State is the team to watch right now,” one general manager told Haberstroh. “No one knows what they’re going to do with that pick.” The Warriors own the Timberwolves’ 2021 first-rounder from the D’Angelo Russell trade (top-3 protected; unprotected after).
- The Celtics are not considered real threats to make a big splash at the deadline. “That’s not Danny’s style,” one Eastern Conference general manager told Haberstroh in the same piece. Boston has a $28.5 million trade exception from Gordon Hayward, though it doesn’t expire until the offseason.
- ICYMI: The Nets are considered the frontrunners to land Blake Griffin, though they aren’t the only team chasing him now that he and the Pistons have agreed to a buyout.