The Sixers are in the market for some certified shooters. The team as a unit shoots incredibly poor for a modern NBA contender. They rank 17th in 3-point percentage and 25th in 3-pointers per game (as of 1/14/20). The numbers are even worse than they appear because the Sixers also lack consistency. They may shoot the lights out on occasion but often they slump and slump hard. The Sixers shot 6-33 for a robust 18.2% against the Pacers on Monday night and it was as clear as ever that a change is needed.
The clear need above all else is the need for outside shooting. All of the Sixers’ strengths are handcuffed by their inability to shoot. The Sixers have star power, length, athleticism, and defense. What they lack is shooting and try though they may, I don’t see enough players on this roster becoming the type of shooters they need.
The Sixers should be scouring the trade market for shooters, one problem is the lack of tradable contracts/assets. With that said, here is a look at some bargain bin trade targets:
*Note* Bargain bin is considered a trade where the Sixers retain all first-round picks, starters, Matisse Thybulle, and Zhaire Smith.
Trade Scenario: Knicks/Sixers Help Each Other Out
New York Knicks Receive: Jonah Bolden, Raul Neto, and Atlanta’s 2nd round draft pick
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Reggie Bullock
The Knicks, try though they may, will not make the playoffs this season. New York may not want to continue tanking but they should still be sellers at the deadline. Swapping Bullock for a younger player and high 2nd round pick is a no-brainer for a team looking to add young talent. The Knicks should jump right on a deal like this.
The Sixers meanwhile have the same desperate need for shooting that they’ve had for years. Bullock may not automatic from three but he is shooting a healthy 36% this year and is a career 39% shooter from deep. He doesn’t carry much in the way of salary either. That definitely increases his value along with the fact that he is on a two-year deal. Giving up a likely top 35 draft pick isn’t ideal but for a player like Bullock, it could easily be worth it.
Trade Scenario: Markieff Morris Comes Home
Detroit Pistons Receive: Jonah Bolden, Raul Neto, and 2nd round draft pick via Brooklyn or NY (more favorable)
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Markieff Morris
The Pistons have to be disappointed with this season so far. They’re a long shot for the playoffs, Blake Griffin had season-ending surgery, and they have announced they’re selling anything that isn’t nailed down. The Pistons need a hard rebuild and while that may be very difficult for the fan base to hear, they just aren’t competitive. Add youth, add draft picks, unload bloated contracts and take on some for extra draft picks.
The Sixers meanwhile get another stretch four who is a bit more consistent than Mike Scott. Morris, a Philly native, can also do more than Scott, a better defender, a bit more athletic, Morris clearly fits the mold the Sixers want. You may think Scott redundant with Morris but the two could fit together easily in either big or small lineups. Morris can cover a few minutes at Center while Scott can and has played Small Forward in spurts.
The 2nd round pick will most likely be from the Knicks which makes things a little more interesting. The Knicks say they refuse to tank and will not be major sellers at the deadline. If that’s true the pick could be as high as 31 or as low as 42.
Trade Scenario: Take Your Pick
Golden State Warriors Receive: Jonah Bolden, Atlanta’s 2nd round draft pick, and 2nd round draft pick via Brooklyn or NY (more favorable)
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Either Alec Burks, or Glen Robinson III
At the beginning of the year, the Warriors were expecting to take a slight step back. Flash forward to today and the team has the second-worst record in the league. Now the Warriors are in a unique spot as next year they should automatically return to contender status AND have a high lottery pick in the draft. Until then, the Warriors should make the most of their rentals and sell. Gaining a young athletic big in Bolden is valuable and two high second-round picks could be used either as trade pieces or to try and find a steal in the second round.
The Sixers cannot go wrong with adding either player. They should add both but that obviously would be more costly. The trade would not be overly expensive but Zhaire and/or a first would have to be included.
Both players can space and run the floor with Burks being a slightly better scorer while Robinson is younger, more athletic, and a better defender. Again you can’t go wrong either way but from the sound of things, the Sixers prefer Robinson (probably for his versatility).
What’s the Bottom Line
The bottom line is the Sixers need to add shooters. There are plenty of names out there for the taking and if the team doesn’t want to break the bank, this is the way. Hopefully, the Sixers will strike soon before all the bargains are out of stock. Until then, we wait patiently for Embiid to return, Simmons to shoot, and the team to start winning again.
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers writer for Philly Sports Network.
”Never fo fo fo-get Moses led them to the promised land.”