Lack of bench depth has always been a glaring issue for the Philadelphia 76ers. The roster needs more, and that is obvious.
The issue was evident more than ever in the team’s loss to the Phoenix Suns Saturday, where the Sixers’ bench was outscored by Phoenix’s bench 49-20. That is an astronomically big difference.
The Sixers need an extra scoring punch from somewhere. It can’t just be the Embiid show all season long. It always plays out with Embiid being absolutely gassed come playoff time due to carrying the load for the Sixers.
There is no doubt that Daryl Morey is already fully aware of the problem and is likely working on a plan to rectify the situation.
The March 25th trade deadline is approaching, and people have become quick to throw out names that the Sixers could try to acquire to better the team. Guys like Kyle Lowry and Zach LaVine have plenty of supporters in the Sixers fandom rooting for their team to trade for them.
An Unexpected Name For The Philadelphia 76ers
However, one trade target that surprisingly hasn’t been mentioned yet is Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic.
Fournier, a 6’7 wing, typically plays second fiddle to Nikola Vucevic in the Magic’s offense. He’s averaging 17.8 points per game and is shooting 44.4% from the field and 35.2% from three. His three-point percentage has taken a small dip this season, but Fournier, who’s attempting a healthy 6.3 threes per game, is a career 37.5% three-point shooter.
A player like Fournier usually wouldn’t be cheap to trade for. He’s an efficient scorer, a capable defender. He even has some playmaking chops, as proven by his 3.6 assists per game this year. Fournier, however, is on an expiring contract. He opted into his $17.5 million player option and will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Why Would Orlando Move Fournier?
The Magic are in a bit of a financial jam. They’re $20 million over the salary cap this season and will likely be over the cap again next season as well. That’s not a great place to be for a team that currently ranks 12th in the Eastern Conference. Especially one that has been stuck in mediocrity for years now. It wouldn’t make sense to offer Fournier a contract next offseason considering their financial mess.
Not to mention that the Magic also have young guards Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz on the team, whom they envision playing next to one another in the backcourt.
Fournier simply doesn’t have a place in the Magic’s future, which is excellent news for the Sixers. He’s a player who provides the specific services that they need. Fournier could be a very useful scorer for the Sixers’ bench, who rank 23rd in points per game among all second units.
Doc Rivers likes to run lineups for stretches at a time that only consists of the Sixers’ second-unit players. Those lineups haven’t had much success because they lack shooting and shot creation. Inserting Fournier into those lineups would solve those issues.
The Philadelphia 76ers are going to make a move at the deadline, that is certain. They may target a more prominent name than Evan Fournier. Still, he gives them a perfect opportunity to land a high impact player for a shockingly low price thanks to particular circumstances.