With February inching closer and closer, news about the potential Sixers trade deadline moves have the fans losing sleep. The team has looked great in the first year under Nick Nurse, with Tyrese Maxey taking a major leap forward and Joel Embiid looking like one of the greatest centers in NBA history.
They’re just a handful of games behind the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference, and for the first time in years, it seems like they can actually win big games and go toe-to-toe with contenders with a coach that’s capable of making adjustments.
Nonetheless, all good things can always get better. Daryl Morey is always looking to improve the roster and fleece other teams with lopsided deals, and this season won’t be the exception to that rule. But what should the Sixers do before the trade deadline? Let’s break it down.
Sixers trade deadline preview
For starters, we must say that this team doesn’t need a major shakeup. They’ve meshed nicely on both ends of the floor, and it seems like they’ve finally found their rotation. Even with Embiid out with injuries, Maxey and the rest of the team have been able to lead the way.
The Sixers were rumored to be in the market for a star player, should one become available before the trade deadline. That hasn’t happened thus far, and they should stay away from DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine and their big contracts, as they’re the only two stars likely to be available at this point.
Tobias Harris‘ deal is no longer a nightmare as he’s finally in the final year of his contract. But instead of dealing him, they should let him play it through, as he’s having a very solid year and there would be no point in giving up on him after holding onto him for so long.
The Sixers do need a backup center, though. Paul Reed is a great energy guy and a hustler, but he gives up too much size at times. Embiid is quite injury-prone, and you can never have too much depth in that position in the playoffs.
Possible Sixers trade targets
Trading draft picks is the last thing you’ll ever see Daryl Morey doing. Nonetheless, the Sixers do have an interesting arsenal they could use to bolster their roster and add some depth. They don’t need a lot of shooting, but they could use more stoppers and big men.
With that in mind, perhaps they could target someone like Dorian Finney-Smith, who’s one of the best defensive wings in the league. He’s not a big offensive factor, but he can knock down shots from all three levels and is a solid slasher.
Andre Drummond could be an interesting option as their backup big, as he already knows what it takes to play in Philly. If not, Nick Nurse could look for a reunion with Chris Boucher, who has the size, length, athleticism, shooing, and shot-blocking skills to play as a rim protector or as a stretch five.
When it comes to the backcourt, they could give the Los Angeles Lakers a hand and take D’Angelo Russell in any three-team deal, as he could give them an offensive boost. However, they would be better off pursuing a guy like Bruce Brown, a championship-caliber role player.
They could also wait until after the deadline and make the most of the buyout market to pursue Gordon Hayward, as he can still hold his own on defense and give you at least 15 points per game. Kyle Lowry could be another suitable option, especially being a hometown player.