As the Sixers prepare for the upcoming NBA trade deadline on March 25th, the team is in a great position but still needs to add depth.
While the season has gone well so far for the Sixers, there is still work to be done. The team has a few holes, including point guard.
This isn’t to say that Ben Simmons isn’t a good enough point guard but more to say that the team needs depth and that Simmons is versatile enough to play multiple positions.
Sixers Point Guard Trade Options
Target #1: Patty Mills
The Sixers need a little extra firepower off the bench, and Patty Mills provides just that. A career 39% shooter from three, Mills adds both scoring and shooting, which every team, especially the Sixers, can only ever use more of.
While Mills can spend some time running the offense, his true value would come when supporting Ben Simmons and Shake Milton off the catch-and-shoot. Mills ranks 8th in the NBA in catch-and-shoot 3P% (min 100 shot attempts), hitting an impressive 46%.
His fit in Philly is clean, and the Sixers have a chance to bring another veteran from SA with him in Rudy Gay. Regardless of whether Gay would be apart of any deal, though, the Sixers should remain interested. The Sixers have enough defensive presence between Simmons, Thybulle, Embiid, and Howard; they need scoring, they need Patty Mills.
Target #2: Eric Bledsoe
The Sixers aren’t in the best financial situation, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take on a bit of bad money if the player can still contribute; Eric Bledsoe is that exact type of player. Yes, Bledsoe has spent over 70% of the season as a shooting guard, but he’s spent 90% of his career as a point guard, and if he weren’t playing next to Lonzo Ball, he would still be a point guard.
Bledsoe is still a solid defender and above-average athlete and is as hot as he’s ever been from three. His 37.7 3P% isn’t astounding, but it’s impressive growth from where he was, and he’s also shooting 38.7% in catch-and-shoot scenarios where the bulk of his looks would come from.
The Pelicans are looking to move him because he’s “old” (31) and expensive, thus, not fitting the team’s direction. This is exactly why the Sixers should target him. They’re in a better position to win, and because of Bledsoe’s age and contract, he’d be cheap to obtain.
If they did trade for Bledsoe and it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t be a nightmare either, as they wouldn’t have given up much for him. While he is still owed nearly $40 million over the next two seasons, he’s only guaranteed $4 million in the final year of that deal.
Target #3: Kyle Lowry
Of course, Kyle Lowry made this list. He’s all Sixers Twitter can talk about. The idea of adding a player of Lowry’s caliber is obviously attractive. A little more problematic is finding a deal all sides are interested in.
Lowry is an adept ball-handler, shooter, and defender, so the fit in Philly is obvious. He could fit right alongside the Sixers’ current stars and help make sure a quality scoring threat is always on the court at all times. catch-and-shoot threes have been a focal point with the other two, and Lowry is no exception. The tenacious guard is hitting the, at a 40.4% clip showing that he could thrive playing off-ball with Ben Simmons.
As good as Lowry is, it sounds like Toronto is realistic about their ceiling with their current team, which explains why they may be willing to move Lowry. The Raptors won’t just give Lowry away, though, and the Sixers may not be thrilled to send the young talent a player like Lowry would demand to a division rival. The Raptors may also prefer to deal in picks rather than young players they didn’t choose to draft.
A third team is a clear answer to both of these concerns. On a recent episode of Dunc’d On (where almost the complete inspiration of this trade came from), a perfect third team was identified, the Memphis Grizzlies.