Philadelphia 76ers

Should Matisse Thybulle Be “Untouchable” In Sixers Trade Talks?

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You won’t be able to tell just by looking at the stat sheet, but Matisse Thybulle has seen substantial improvement this season for the Sixers.

The second-year player out of Washington has quickly become an elite defender and would be known as his team’s best defender if they weren’t also blessed with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Thybulle has not only added more skills defensively but continued to perfect the skills that he showed last season.

Probably the most impressive of his improvements is his ability to contest shots. Thybulle was clearly an off-ball defender last season, and it showed in a few ways, one of which being his tendency to foul jump shooters. Flash forward a year, and Thybulle has become much more effective at closing out shots.

This improvement has led to some impressive recent performances against Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, and, most recently, De’Aaron Fox.

Thybulle played Fox brilliantly all game especially come the fourth quarter. While De’Aaron Fox isn’t known as a scorer like LaVine and Beal, he’s a complete offensive weapon, one that Matisse Thybulle shut down. Fox even went so far as to say after the game that Matisse Thybulle is “one of the best” defenders in the league.

Thybulle has shown to at least be one of the most active defenders. He leads the entire NBA in deflections per 36 minutes this season with 5.8, more than Ben Simmons and former Sixers Robert Covington, Nerlens Noel, and T.J. McConnell.

Should The Sixers Keep Thybulle?

With the NBA deadline right around the corner, the question posed many is should the Sixers make a “major move“? The team has the best record in their conference and second-best overall; their team has shown both star power and depth but would a move for a player like Kyle Lowry seal their title aspirations?

The Sixers would certainly be better by adding better players; that much is obvious, but the team would be wise to hold on to Matisse Thybulle in any deal. Obviously, if the Bulls decided to trade Zach LaVine and Thybulle is the only thing holding the deal back that is different, but frankly, that’s an unrealistic situation at this point.

In almost any other deal, Matisse Thybulle should be considered untouchable. His defensive prowess is too important, and he’s a major reason why the Sixers rank second in the entire league in defensive rating.

Even a player of Kyle Lowry’s caliber wouldn’t be worth what you would lose in Thybulle (mostly considering you’d need to give up Danny Green and a first as well). Thybulle’s age also plays a major factor as he’s just 24 years old. He has the potential to be a major piece of the Sixers’ future.

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Philadelphia 76ers Managing Editor for Philly Sports Network and host of the @baseline_scoop. Follow me on Twitter @ZCiavoPSN and follow the rest of our team for more quality content.

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical" - DR. J


  • sddd says:

    He averaged 4.7ppg last year, and 3.7ppg this year. Sure, great D, but lets settle down.

  • Thybulle will become this generations Bruce Bowen. I wouldn’t include him in a trade for hardly anyone.

  • Ivan Vassall says:

    I would never trade Matisse because next year he will start in place of Danny Green. He is shooting better in the second half and having him for the playoffs is very important. Ben on KD, Green on Harden, Thybulle on Kyrie. Last year he shut down Kyrie. And Nets have no one for Embid, We go to the Finals!!!!!!

  • Kevin says:

    I am glad that you point out how integral a person Matisse is to this team. So many people always look at his shooting numbers and never give him enough credit on how much his defense helps. If he averaged just 3 points more a game his offensive numbers are similar and his defensive numbers are already superior to Andre Iguodala’s for 36 minutes when he played for Golden State. I am sure most fans would have liked to have Iggy back during his Golden State days.

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