Should the Sixers target available Nuggets role players?

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Denver Nuggets’ Monte Morris (11) and Will Barton (5) react during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, in Indianapolis. Denver won 124-116. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

One of the common themes of the past few Sixers teams has been the lack of impactful role players on the roster. With so much money set to be tied up in the trio of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and James Harden, hitting on low-cost guys is crucial to a team’s success. Stars may get the brunt of the criticism, but it is equally important to complete the back-end of a team’s roster with players who complement the main pieces.

As the Sixers search for these missing pieces, their interest should be drawn to a recent report surrounding the Denver Nuggets. Per HPbasketball, it was reported that Will Barton and Monte Morris could be available in trade talks.

Who are Will Barton and Monte Morris?

Will Barton is a veteran guard who has been around the NBA for ten seasons. He is 31 years old and still has some gas in the tank. Throughout his career, Barton has averaged 11.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He also is a 36.5% career three-point shooter. 

The Memphis product has played his best basketball in recent years with the Nuggets after having a somewhat slow start to his career. Last season he started 71 games and averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. Will Barton is a capable secondary ball-handler and also connected on 36.5% of his three-point attempts while shooting a career-high 6.1 per game.

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Monte Morris is also an appealing veteran addition. The 26-year-old is coming off the best season of his career and averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds. He shot 39.5% on 4.2 three-pointers per game and shot over 40% from three in the 2019 season. The Iowa State product has an impressive handle and is a capable isolation scorer. He is comfortable playing within his role and also flashes as a cutter.

What are the potential trade options?

Trade Option #1

Toronto Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa tumbles to the floor as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) chases down the ball during the second half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Sixers Receives:

  • Monte Morris
  • Will Barton
  • JaMychael Green
  • Vlatko Cančar

Nuggets Recieve:

  • Tobias Harris
  • Matisse Thybulle

The motivation around a possible trade likely is due to the looming return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Morris and Barton are set for reduced roles, and the Nuggets could be in search of maximizing their return. Tobias Harris has gotten his share of criticism in Philly but could be a nice addition as the fourth option on Denver. Their roster also is starved for the defensive impact, which is where Matisse Thybulle would bring an instant appeal.

The Sixers would be able to land two of their best rotational pieces in the past few years, as well as an impact stretch big in JaMychal Green. Philly is in a spot where they should be willing to sacrifice talent and potential for fit on the roster when looking at complementary pieces. Morris, Barton, and Green would retool the bench in an impactful way and set the Sixers up for greater postseason success.

Trade Option #2

LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 01: Philadelphia 76ers Forward Matisse Thybulle (22) looks on before a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Sixers Receive:

  • Monte Morris

Nuggets Get:

  • Matisse Thybulle
  • Furkan Korkmaz

The Nuggets could be swayed by the defensive value of Matisse Thybulle in this deal. The Nuggets desperately need to upgrade defensively, and Matisse Thybulle holds some of the greatest defensive appeals around the NBA. Flipping two younger wings with potential for a more proven win-now piece would be an excellent trade for the Sixers. Monte Morris is much more complete than either Thybulle or Korkmaz and would be capable of providing a heavier load of minutes.

Trade Option #3

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 21:Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green (14) before the Memphis Grizzlies vs Los Angeles Lakers game at Staples Center on Friday February 21, 2020. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

Sixers Receive:

  • Monte Morris
  • Will Barton

Nuggets Receive:

  • Matisse Thybulle
  • Furkan Korkmaz
  • Danny Green
  • 2023 second-round pick

As the Nuggets begin to make the leap from solid team to true contender, they will be in search of veteran experience. Danny Green is well past his prime but is still a proven winner. He has spoken about his desire to return following the knee injury, and he still is a capable contributor in a minimized role. Adding Green’s presence to the youthful core could prove valuable in the postseason and was one of the main reasons the Sixers targeted him in the first place.

Each of these trades has the feel of two teams exchanging mismatched parts, but it is possible they can find a fit on the new roster. Will Barton and Monte Morris are both seemingly well regarded around the NBA, so it is certainly possible the Sixers will be quickly outbid. Regardless, the Sixers should at least give a phone call as both would be a seamless fit and elevate the Sixers roster by a decent margin.

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