Sixers coverage on FortyEightMinutes.com is exclusively sponsored by the Borderline Restaurant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Check them out on Facebook!
LOS ANGELES, CA — Here are five takeaways from the Sixers’ 109-101 win over the Lakers and the team’s results at the 2021 NBA trade deadline.
- Daryl Morey might have gone 4-for-4. Coming into Thursday, Morey had only made three trades during his tenure. The Danny Green–Al Horford swap was a hit; The Seth Curry–Josh Richardson switch was masterful; The Tony Bradley–Zhaire Smith deal was stealth. And at the 2021 trade deadline, Morey made another solid move, acquiring George Hill in a low-risk deal that shipped Bradley, Ferguson, and a pair of second-rounders outbound. Philadelphia was in the running for Kyle Lowry, though the price was said to be much higher (there were rumblings that Toronto wanted Matisee Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, and two firsts). Morey smartly went with Hill—the better value given the two price tags.
2. George Hill likely to join the second unit. Rivers told FortyEightMinutes and other reporters in Los Angeles that Hill is likely to play in the second unit to begin his Sixers career.
3. Sixers centerless basketball may become a thing. With Bradley on his way to Oklahoma City and Joel Embiid remaining out, Dwight Howard was the only true center available. Yet, that changed quickly as Dwight was ejected in the first quarter.
Philadelphia did alright against Los Angeles’ centers starting Mike Scott alongside Danny Green, Seth Curry, Simmons, and Tobias Harris. Paul Reed saw nine minutes of action but other than that, it was an untraditional lineup for the Sixers—one that may be the best was to maximize Simmons’ value on the court—which dominated the night.
While it won’t be a main dish once Embiid is back, playing Simmons as the defacto five could pay dividends for stretches in the playoffs.
4. Sixers unlikely to target a center on the buyout market? Trading away Bradley leaves Philadelphia thin at the five, as we saw on Thursday night. However, Rivers’ decision to go with the untraditional lineups for most of the night, rather than see what Reed could do may foreshadow that they do not have any intention of adding another big.
Additionally, some of what we saw against the Lakers without a true center, is reminiscent of Morey’s strategy last year with Russell Westbrook and the centerless Rockets. One game where Howard fouls out isn’t a big enough sample size to draw a conclusion. Still, it’s worth monitoring.
Philly was in the market for an additional wing before the deadline and they were also rumored to be shopping Danny Green. While this is strictly speculation, I’d bet that they go harder after a 3-and-D forward than one of the centers via a buyout.
5. The chemistry of this year’s club is a thing. Rivers said that the fact that everyone was happy at 12:01 pm (the Sixers, much like this writer, experienced the trade deadline on West Coast time), really shows you how much the team likes each other and are invested in each other’s success this year. Rivers explained that he’s been on teams where people were upset about not getting traded.