The Sixers took a big step back this season. While some players saw improvement like Ben Simmons and Shake Milton, the team as a whole struggled to find cohesion. The recent additions of Horford and Richardson have struggled to fit and the offense had often stalled. There’s not one move that will fix things for the Sixers, but there are definitely moves to be made to improve the roster.
It’s not all about blockbusters either. While adding a star may be exciting, the team also has other needs like adding depth on the bench or switching one of the current starters for a better fit. What also can’t be ignored is the potential for addition by subtraction. The Sixers need to improve on multiple levels if they’re going to have a chance at a chip. With that said, let’s take a look at an example of each of those types of trades:
Bolstering the Bench
The Sixers need more quality bench pieces if they’re going to make a real playoff push. There are plenty of holes too, the Sixers quality backups at the point, power forward, and center positions. While the needs at point and center are crucial, there’s one player who is available and who more than fills the Sixers’ need for a stretch four.
The Target: Nemanja Bjelica
Philadelphia Receives: Nemanja Bjelica
Sacramento Receives: Mike Scott, Furkan Korkmaz, and a Sixers’ 2020 second round pick (from NYK)
The Sixers would thrive with a player like Bjelica, he would be a major improvement over Mike Scott in almost every area. Bjelica is a better shooter, rebounder, and better at finding the open man. When it comes to shooting Bjelica is an absolute sniper from deep. He shot 42.4% from three this past season. Losing Korkmaz would hurt but the Sixers have plenty of depth at the swing positions. They need to build up their bigs.
The Kings have been motivated to move Bjelica essentially since he joined them in Sacramento. Furkan Korkmaz is the key piece here, a young sharpshooter on a cheap deal, Korkmaz would help round out a young Kings roster. The second round pick the Kings’ would acquire would be in the mid-thirties so it would hold some half decent value as well. The Kings could always flip it in a package to move up also. Finally, adding Mike Scott gives the Kings a Bjelica replacement of sorts. He may not be as talented but considering the rest of the return, it would be worthwhile.
Not going to lie this is fully based on my man-crush on Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Target: Spencer Dinwiddie
Brooklyn Receives: Tobias Harris, Furkan Korkmaz, and a Sixers’ 2020 First round pick (from OKC)
Philadelphia Receives: Spencer Dinwiddie, Deandre Jordan, Taurean Prince
Tobias Harris has faults. In-spite of those faults he has been a wonderful addition to the team. His shooting would be missed but the Sixers are a Dinwiddie away from contention in my opinion. Dinwiddie, 6’6″ combo guard more electric than a lightning bolt, can fill the missing role of bucket-getter for the Sixers. Jimmy Butler filled a similar role for the team in the 2018-19 season that brought them four bounces away from the Eastern Conference Finals. DeAndre Jordan fills a necessary role too as a rim-running, shot-blocking insurance policy for Joel Embiid. Taurean Prince is mostly a salary match but can shoot a bit and switch defensively.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are officially running the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve already gotten their coach fired. Now the all-star duo will make the team trade whatever assets needed to land another star. While their sights are set on Bradely Beal and Devin Booker, Harris is a more realistic addition. He would fit like a glove with Irving and Durant as an athletic shooter and even next to Jarrett Allen, the team’s young rim runner (if they keep him). The spacing the Nets would boast would be much improved with Harris and Korkmaz and that seems to be the game plan for Irving and Durant. Plus the Nets would have a chance to add a fourth star as they would have Caris LaVert, Jarrett Allen, and two first round picks to offer. Furkan Korkmaz would also offer nice depth.
TRADE HORFORD AT ALL COSTS
The Target: Getting Rid of Al Horford
No specific target here, as long as they’re a better fit than Horford.
Chicago Receives: Al Horford, Furkan Korkmaz, and a Sixers’ 2020 second round pick (from NYK)
Philadelphia Receives: Otto Porter and Kris Dunn
If the Sixers are going to keep Tobias Harris, they should utilize him as a power forward, his natural position. Harris is a modern day PF and to force him to play as a small forward, the team is throwing away opportunities for great mismatches with Harris on offense. In steps Otto Porter, a player who has struggled at times but would fit nicely, especially next to Harris. His cap number is large and by no means did he deserve the contract that he has but it’s only for one more year and helps match Horford’s salary. Kris Dunn is also as nice as throw-ins come. He may not be much of a shooter but he is an athletic capable point guard with great defensive instincts.
Chicago needs to make a move and soon, or they will cause both of their stars, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, to soon force their way out. The two young stars have been very outspoken in reference to their frustrations with the team’s lack of success. Adding a seasoned veteran like Horford could help the Bulls on many levels. While he hasn’t had too much success as a Sixer, if Horford were to become a center again he could slide in as a perfect fit next to Markkanen. It doesn’t stop with Hoford either. Korkmaz adds obvious depth to the bench and the Bulls could find a contributor with an early second round pick.
Shooting for a Star
If the Sixers are going to aim high and just go for it, add the player that not only fans have been craving but, even Ben Simmons.
The Target: Devin Booker
Phoenix Receives: Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Sixers’, 2020 first round pick (from OKC), Sixers’ 2022 first round pick
Philadelphia Receives: Devin Booker, Ty Jerome
There has never once been one legitimate rumor of the Suns looking to trade Booker but that didn’t stop us then and it won’t now either. Booker’s fit with the Sixers is so clean that you could eat off it. A ball handling sniper who scores points in bunches, Booker is the type of third star the Sixers need. This trade wouldn’t be easy as losing Harris and Milton would hurt terribly. To be honest I would trade Thybulle before Milton, but Thybulle would be redundant with Mikal Bridges. Losing two first round picks would also hurt but that’s the price for star hunting. Booker alone would make the Sixers a contender.
The Phoenix Suns are in denial. They feel that they can fix things for Booker when in reality they should be building things around DeAndre Ayton and drafting a young point guard like Cole Anthony. The Suns would actually be able to become MORE competitive by trading Booker if it’s for the right package. Harris is a snug fit next to Ayton and would cause unending headaches for the defense with Ricky Rubio. The Suns are closer than most people think, but they need to realize that it might be time to move on from Booker. Last on this, if Shake Milton gets a chance he could be an all-star in Phoenix.
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Lead Philadelphia 76ers writer for Philly Sports Network. Follow me on Twitter @ZCiavoPSN and follow the rest of our team for more quality content.
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