The Sixers’ new Head Coach Doc Rivers has coached many players in his career. Could he bring some of those players with him to Philadelphia?
Like was talked about when Mike D’Antoni was considered the favorite for the position, Rivers will likely get his chance to suggest the team add his former players.
Most of the players that Rivers has coached in Orlando or Boston are no longer active but those he coached in LA may be ripe for the picking. The Clippers, like the Sixers, are in the midst of a crucial offseason. By the time their season starts, their roster may look drastically different than it does today.
Would Doc have any interest in reuniting with any of those players? Or any others who have played for him for that matter.
The “Wish Upon A Star” But Impossible
Paul George’s position with the LA Clippers seems tenuous at best. It would be no surprise to me if the Clippers find a way to unload him to either one of the NY teams or somewhere else for that matter.
What would surprise me is any interest the Clippers would have in any Sixers player not named Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons. Unless the Sixers mortgage their future (trading Shake Milton, Thybulle, and multiple first-round picks) there is no way this trade happens. It’s better to look elsewhere for talent.
Sign-And-Trade Shooters For The Sixers
Philadelphia native Marcus Morris could provide some much-needed shooting for the Sixers. The nine-year vet would bring toughness, experience, and scoring to a (mostly) young squad.
The Sixers were interested in Morris at the trade deadline so it stands to reason that interest remains.
He may not be the best locker-room presence and that’s certainly something to consider but Doc Rivers would know more than most if Morris would be a quality addition; then again, Rivers’ relationship with Morris may end up the reason a reunion isn’t considered.
One of the most consistent shooters over the past 10+ years, Gallinari would be a picture-perfect fit next to Joel Embiid. A combo forward for most of his career, Gallinari spent 98% of his time last season at Power Forward. At that position, Gallinari flourished.
What would be interesting is the fit between Gallinari and Tobias Harris. Both are tweeners who seem more adept as small-ball fours. Now, in a sign and trade, Harris may be used as a trade piece but assuming the Sixers kept both, it’s fair to wonder how Doc would use the two even if he doesn’t get “lost in what position guys play“.
While Gallinari would be a great fit next to Simmons and Embiid, his fit is questionable next to Harris. The question becomes, can you give up on Harris before even one game with Doc? I’m not too sure it’s worth the risk.
The Unlikely But Interesting
Former 76er Louis (Lemon Pepper Lou) Williams has been at the center of trade rumors to the Sixers for years (at least among fans) but recently it’s seemed a little more legitimate. The Sixers parted with Lou near the beginning of “the Process” and immediately after, he blew up. “Sweet Lou” became one of the most electric scorers in the NBA and a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
What would a reunion cost? Well likely, it would start with Josh Richardson. A straight swap seems the most logical but both sides may overvalue their respective trade piece. The Clippers being unwilling to part with Williams scoring, and the Sixers, blinded by Richardson’s versatility.
In a straight swap, the Clippers arguably receive more value than they give up, but Williams would be a better fit for the Sixers than Richardson. If nostalgia won games it would be a no-brainer. Even for those who are more future-focused though, the idea of adding a scorer like Williams is intriguing.
The Sixers need help at both guard positions, that’s a known fact. Jackson is capable of helping at both spots. The nine-year guard has shown an ability to shoot, score, and run an offense, all traits the Sixers need more of.
Jackson joined the Clippers after being bought out by the Detroit Pistons and, though his role was diminished, he thrived in his limited opportunities shooting over 40% from three with the Clippers.
The key here is if Jackson would be willing to take a bit of a pay-cut. The Sixers can only offer $5.7 million and Jackson may find more lucrative offers. But what does winning mean to Jackson? Would he prioritize an opportunity to win over an extra 4/5 million?
After seeing his desire for a buy-out, the odds seem rather good that Jackson would have interest in such a deal. Another question to consider is, what other contending teams will have interest in Jackson?
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Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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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