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Bringing Covington back is the best trade for Sixers before deadline

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The Philadelphia 76ers need to add shooting before the trade deadline next month and former Sixer Robert Covington might be the best option of the lot.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Covington will attract plenty of interest in a recent episode of The Hoop Collective. Philadelphia won’t be the only team calling the Minnesota Timberwolves about the three-and-d wing, but they are in a good position to make a deal and are one of the teams most in need. The Timberwolves are 5-15 over their last 20 games and will almost certainly be sellers.

Despite making several big moves in the summer, the Sixers still have some flexibility. A trade for Covington would work with Mike Scott and Zhaire Smith‘s salaries. Philly have plenty of draft picks, including the Knicks’ 2020 second rounder, which will likely fall in the low-30s. Sending Smith, Scott and a couple of their haul of second rounders should be enough to prise Covington back to Philadelphia.

Covington was part of the Jimmy Butler trade last season. A career 35.9% three-point shooter and an All-Defense player in 2017/18, Covington was a big loss – getting him back would be a huge boost for a Sixers team that has been inconsistent this season. Covington might not be JJ Redick from beyond the arc, but he’d still provide vital spacing.

Suggestions of trades involving Al Horford, Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons are far-fetched. Philly are going to give this core a shot this year. Elton Brand will be well aware of the need for another shooter or two, however. A reunion with Covington may be the way to go.


Although the defence has fluctuated from elite to ordinary, the Sixers have the personnel to be a ferocious postseason opponent. Adding shooting can damage that – Covington would be a compromise, a player who might not be the best shooter available, but who bolsters a defensive unit with an already high ceiling.

It depends on Minnesota’s asking price, of course, but the Sixers should be making Covington their top priority before the trade deadline. Without trading a starter, Philly’s trade options are relatively limited. Covington might not be as high-profile an acquisition as Jimmy Butler or Tobias Harris, yet he could prove to be a vital addition to a team that needs tweaking before the 6th February deadline.

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