SIXERS RECAP - After a string of road games and some time off in between,…
The Philadelphia 76ers remain atop of the Eastern Conference standings with a half game lead over the Brooklyn Nets. Even with MVP-caliber play from Joel Embiid and huge progression from both Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, this Sixers team has more holes than we initially thought at the start of the season. I recently wrote a more low key Sixers trade target article, but the needs for this Sixers team have shifted over the past few weeks given lack of offense, shot creation, and ball-handling from the second unit.
The Sixers might be better off reaching deeper into their wallets rather than just surrendering a few second round picks or using their MLE to snag a player before the deadline. I previously touched on JJ Redick and Tomas Satoransky. Reports have been circling linking the Sixers to George Hill and Delon Wright. Let’s take a look at some other options that could impact the Sixers team over the second half of the season that have a higher price tag.
Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart
If the Sixers want to stay atop of the Eastern Conference, they should target both Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart to make them serious title contenders heading into the playoffs. Ball has been performing at a high level and would be an amazing backup point guard off the bench for the Sixers. Since the start of February, Ball is averaging 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game while shooting 47 percent from three point range.
Josh Hart is another perfect fit to the Sixers rotation. Hart is averaging nine points, seven rebounds, and two assists per game and shooting 36 percent from three point range. To make a trade for both players, the Sixers would need to make the money match. Both Hart and Ball are on expiring contracts and with the current state of the Pelicans, I wouldn’t expect the team to be eager to re-sign either player. The Sixers would have to throw in salary fillers, but more importantly, one first round pick, if not two. It’s a steep price but adding two players with the skillsets that Ball and Hart both have could be the solution to the Sixers’ bench problems.
Scary Terry is an intriguing player on a Hornets team that currently sits in the middle of the pack as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Rozier is a spark plug that has proven time and time again over the past two seasons what he can provide offensively. Scary Terry is currently averaging a career high 21 points per game and would easily help the Sixers fix their shot creation issues off the bench.
Again, the issue here would be the Sixers’ lack of comparable contracts. They would have to move on from Danny Green, which I’m not convinced that Morey and Elton Brand are prepared to do. In order to create a deal that would actually be beneficial for both the Hornets and Sixers, the Sixers would have to part ways with a first round pick to secure Rozier.
In terms of a perimeter shot creator off the bench, Terrence Ross has been a name that has been tossed around in trade rumors for a few years now. The Magic are in a similar position with the Hornets, both fringe playoff teams, but have valuable players that, if moved, would deserve value in return. Terrance Ross is one of those players, averaging 16 points per game, which tops his career high.
Again, Ross becomes a luxury for the Sixers and the only issue I see, fit wise, is that he mirrors the style of play of Shake Milton who is a massive part of this rotation on a fraction of the money that the Sixers would need to spend to acquire Ross. For that reason, I wouldn’t do too much to get Ross from the Magic. The usual suspects such as Scott, Pourier, Ferguson, and even a guy like Korkmaz could be on the move during this trade season and I wouldn’t be opposed to Furkan being the main piece in this trade if the Magic think he is valuable. I cannot believe that those words are coming from me, but his poor play recently could be a bad sign for his future.
Kyle Anderson has been a player that I have been a fan of for quite some time. He provides a unique skillset that the Sixers desperately need and has been playing the best basketball of his career. After his years in San Antonio, he’s taken his offensive game to a new level, scoring more than ever at a higher percentage across the board. The 27 year old wing is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc and is averaging 13.7 points per game, adding 6.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Anderson is still under contract for another season following this year.
I am not opposed to Morey and Brand going beyond the naked eye to attack trades that are under the radar, and I am also not opposed to them digging into their stash of draft picks in order to make this happen. Anderson could be the perfect fit in a similar role that Shaun Livingston during his years with Golden State if he were to end up in Philadelphia.
The writing has been on the wall for some time now. The Sixers need to make a move to improve their roster for the short term if they are serious about contending for a title. I’ve expected a move by the Sixers but the difference now is that the team has hopefully realized the necessity of a higher quality upgrade instead of a cheap addition at the deadline.
Most of the players I mentioned are important pieces to teams that aren’t necessarily in a terrible spot, but definitely are not contenders, which doesn’t mean they are available but doesn’t mean they aren’t available either. This is what creates the largest question mark for the 76ers. Do you overpay for a higher quality player that will more deeply impact the contention of this squad, or do they really believe in this unit now? All yet to be determined, and we will all surely find out soon.