We’re past a quarter of the NBA season already and the Sixers look like a solid contender in the East. Keeping pace with teams like Miami, Boston, and Toronto, the Sixers are on their way to the playoffs for the third year in a row. There is, however, a giant in the East that Philly just isn’t ready to overcome, at least not yet. The Milwaukee Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo are the clear favorite in the conference. The Sixers will need to find a way to improve if they want to compete with Milwaukee and most likely that improvement will come from outside the current roster.
There are two ways they can add to the roster to improve. You can add players through free agency, though the talent is minimal (before buy-out season). If you decide to avoid free agency you can always attempt to make a trade with another team. One complication would be that players signed in the off-season cannot be traded until a certain date. Most players signed in the offseason cannot be traded until December 15th but some will have to wait until January 15th. Sixers don’t have many tradable contracts before December 15th so waiting until then would be in their best interest.
If you’re curious about available free agent targets and if they’d make a good addition you can read about that below.
Monk is a streaky shooter who can kill you some nights could save you other nights. Is he the most exciting name? no, but he is young, athletic, and if he can find a consistent shot, he’ll be a dangerous offensive player.
Three years into his young career, Monk has had trouble find a way to score efficiently, he’s never had a problem scoring though. Averaging over 18 points per 36 minutes over his first two seasons, Monk is able to find the bottom of the net, it just takes him too many tries. What’s enticing is Monk’s age, scoring ability, and affordability. Charlotte may be willing to part with him without needing a King’s ransom. The Sixers should look to move unproven talent for slightly more proven talent and Charlotte may be ready to double down on their rebuild.
Philadelphia Receives – Malik Monk & Dwayne Bacon
Charlotte Receives – Zhaire Smith , Jonah Bolden, & Dallas’ 2020 2nd round pick
It’s been a bit since Burks was relevant but he is nicely reestablishing himself with the Golden State Warriors. Injuries slowed Burks down and sadly took a large portion of his prime away from him, but Burks seems to be back on track with the Warriors. Currently averaging over 15 points per game, Bucks is scoring plenty and efficiently. There’s always a concern about empty stats on a bad team but the efficiency is encouraging.
The Warriors unsurprisingly took a step back this season after Kevin Durant left, but no one could have foreseen how this year has gone. Klay Thompson is out for the year with a torn ACL which was known before the season, but since Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and D’angelo Russell have all missed time with various injuries leading to the Warriors holding on the last place in the Western Conference. All that to say that the Warriors may be willing to call it quits this year and focus on next year. If they do, trading Burks for a young promising player and possibly a second-round pick or two may not be a bad idea.
Philadelphia Receives – Alec Burks
Golden State Receives – Furkan Korkmaz & Atlanta’s 2020 2nd round pick
Clarkson is a fierce scoring combo guard who is built to be a spark of the bench. Not much of a shooter, Clarkson scores a good chunk of his points slashing between defenders and works the mid-range. Going on his sixth-year of being a sixth-man, Clarkson is used to the bench and thrives coming off of it.
Clarkson has played on a lot of bad teams and has been mostly an inefficient shooter while doing so. That’s not out of the ordinary for a scorer on a bad team, but inefficient shooting is always concerning. What helps put that to rest is Clarkson’s performance during his first partial season with Cleveland. In his lone season playing with LeBron James, Clarkson averaged 12.6 points per game in 22.6 minutes. Not overly impressive until you look at his efficiency. Clarkson had career numbers shooting 45.6% from the floor and 40.7% from three. Clarkson’s numbers shot up in his lone season with a competitive roster. A change of scenery to a team like Philadelphia could be an opportunity for Clarkson to reinvent himself offensively and become one of the top sixth men in the league.
Jordan Clarkson’s contract is a little large which would make a trade difficult but not impossible. Unfortunately. it would most likely have to include fan-favorite Mike Scott since his contract would be needed for salary matching purposes. Cleveland would also need proper motivation but everyone including them knows Clarkson isn’t part of their future.
Philadelphia Receives – Jordan Clarkson
Cleveland Receives – Mike Scott, Zhaire Smith, Jonah Bolden, & Knicks/Nets (more favorable) 2nd round pick
It’s tough to build through trades when you have so many minimum contracts, the Sixers do have a chance though to add to this team. Who do you think would make the best addition to the team? Who is a better fit than any of the names mentioned?
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports