What should be at the top of the 76ers wishlist from Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick?
The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t been very merry during this holiday season. They have been hovering around .500 as we head into Christmas and could use more than Santa’s help to get back to the top of the Eastern Conference. If the 76ers organization had a Christmas list, there are five things that would be on the top of that list. Take a look at them below:
Ben Simmons Trade
Daryl Morey and the Sixers would love to have Santa drop off Damian Lillard in Philadelphia while picking up Ben Simmons and dropping him off in Portland on his travels. With news coming out of Portland that Lillard is committed to the Trailblazers, it looks like that dream is over. The 76ers now need to pivot to other trade targets to help get the 76ers back into contention for the best team in the Eastern Conference. Whether Morey and company target players such as De’Aaron Fox, Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown, and Dejonte Murray or a package including CJ McCollum and a load of picks, a trade needs to happen. Sixers fans can only hope that teams around the league continue to struggle with Morey ready to pounce on the best deal.
Veteran Point Guard
Without Ben Simmons playing for the Sixers, there aren’t any true point guards in the rotation. While Tyrese Maxey is starting at the point, he is a natural two-guard and still learning how to run the team. Shake Milton is also more of a scoring guard, with Doc Rivers also relying on Furkan Korkmaz for playmaking in the second unit. This team needs a veteran point guard to help run the second unit and occasionally play with the starters. They could get one back in a potential Ben Simmons trade, but if they don’t, Morey should definitely pursue one.
An Improved Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris started this season off well before he contracted COVID-19. Since returning to the lineup, he hasn’t been the same. Not only has his play been inconsistent, but he has also dealt with injuries and illnesses that have kept him out of the lineup. Without Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris has to step up to be the second-best player on a team with championship aspirations. Harris has mentioned how he is still feeling the effects of his bout with COVID and is still trying to find his wind. The fans and the team hope that Harris begins to look like his normal self as the team moves toward the new year.
An Athletic Wing Player
Without Simmons, the Sixers have a clear hole in their roster from a few standpoints. They rank 24th in the NBA in defensive rebounds and last in offensive rebounds. They also have trouble defensively guarding teams with bigger wing players. With Danny Green dealing with nagging injuries and Matisse Thybulle being an offensive liability some nights, they need someone who can step up when needed. If an athletic wing doesn’t return to Philadelphia in any Simmons trade, Morey and the Sixers should look to package some things to acquire one.
This could be number one on the Sixers’ Christmas List. Like all teams in the league, the Sixers are facing issues with Health and Safety Protocol, as well as dealing with injuries. A healthy Sixers squad with Joel Embiid leading the way (without Simmons) could fight for one of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.