When the Sixers traded Al Horford to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Daryl Morey and the team created an $8.2 million dollar trade exception. After building a pretty nice roster around stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Morey has one more ace in his back pocket that he can use to bring in a number of interesting options. Here are my 5 targets for the Sixers to use their trade exception on.
Option 1: P.J. Tucker
The talk of the NBA right now is how the Sixers are one of the preferred destinations for NBA star James Harden, however, I think Morey should be picking up a different, much cheaper option from his former team and that guy is P.J. Tucker.
Tucker, over the last two years, has massively improved his game and evolved into a phenomenal 3&D player for Houston. Playing at power forward, Tucker would instantly improve the Sixers at a much-needed position given that Mike Scott is currently the backup power forward.
Defensively, Tucker has provided an insane contribution to his team over in the West, keeping guys like Kevin Durant to 5-9 off 44 possessions, Kawhi Leonard to 5-15 off 44 possessions, LeBron James to 3-9, Jayson Tatum to 1-4. The only star I really found who had a solid game against Tucker was the Sixers’ own Ben Simmons, but even then, when Tucker was on point guards against the Sixers, the Rockets outscored the Sixers by over 14 points.
Whilst Tucker truly shines on the defensive side of the ball, he adds some quality corner 3 shooting off the wing. Over his career, he’s actually led the league in corner 3 attempts and has improved his overall 3-point shot in the past few seasons despite a slightly lower 35.8% clip last year.
Everyone knows the issues that plague the Rockets right now. Westbrook wanted out after one season, Morey left for the Sixers, and now franchise star James Harden wants out too. But PJ Tucker has also had his issues with the team. Reports came out last year that he was unhappy in Houston and the team waited quite a long time to give him his contract offer this season, so a trade wouldn’t be hard to come by.
Option 2: Doug McDermott
Over the offseason, the Sixers have done a fantastic job of placing shooters around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Seth Curry and Danny Green were great additions to the squad, so why not add another shooter at power forward in Doug McDermott?
McDermott is a pure 3-point shooting power forward, and one who would benefit really well off the pick and roll offense that the Sixers should run with Embiid and Simmons. Whilst he doesn’t offer you the defensive stats and skills that P.J. Tucker does, he comes with better offensive attributes and is coming off a career year where he averaged 10.3 points a game, 19 minutes, with a 43.5% 3-point shot.
He’s been discussed in trade talks already this offseason, so it shows that the Pacers are at least up to the idea of trading their sharpshooter power forward.
The Sixers would instantly improve their power forward depth with more shooting potential.
Continued on the page below.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire