There is less than a week left before the trade deadline expires Friday February 24, at 4:00 pm. Philadelphia has stayed relatively quiet over the past few deadlines, but fans are expecting the team to be active this time around. Trade rumors have already begun, focusing mostly around the Sixers’ three big men. By this time next week the deadline will have passed and analysts will be assessing each team’s decisions. But until things actually happen, here are the three players most likely to find themselves being traded by the Sixers.
1) Jahlil Okafor
Jah Okafor has already been at the center of many different rumors. The Sixers even benched him at times to suggest a trade was imminent, encouraging other teams to raise their offers. The Mavericks, Pelicans, Bulls, Nuggets and Trail Blazers all appeared interested in the former Duke big man. The 2015 third overall pick has fallen out of the rotation with the emergence of Joel Embiid and a healthy Nerlens Noel. With every day passing and Okafor still a member of this team the chances of him relocating with a new team seems less likely to happen.
2) Ersan Ilyasova
The Sixers traded Jerami Grant to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova after the opening two weeks of the season. He has had an up and down year so far. In his ninth NBA season, Ilyasova is averaging a career high 14.8 points per game. He has proven to be a great fit at the four next to Embiid, showing great chemistry and complimentary games. Ilyasova possesses the shooting ability to spread the floor while also being a great passer and can get him the ball in ideal positions. He’s an attractive trade piece considering he is a good stretch four and is only due $8.4 million for this season. With a contract expiring at the end of this season and an ideal trade target for a team like Washington or Houston, Ilyasova could be a perfect fit for teams looking to win now.
3) Gerald Henderson
Gerald Henderson signed a two-year $18 million contract with Philadelphia this past offseason. He has been a key contributor coming off the bench and has provided a lot of veteran leadership to this young team. The Philadelphia born NBA player could be a critical bench player on a playoff contender. While Henderson has played well in Philly, he is one of the few veteran presences on this team and could be on another. The return for Henderson wouldn’t be nearly the same as Okafor or Ilyasova but a mid-round pick is certainly plausible.
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