Report: Kings monitoring Matisse Thybulle’s availability near deadline

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 17: Philadelphia 76ers Forward Matisse Thybulle (22) dribbles up the court during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers on January 17, 2023 at Arena in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and the fateful day draws near; rumors surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers are finally beginning to come forward. With just ten days until the deadline, the Sixers appear to have a potential suitor for Matisse Thybulle in the Sacramento Kings.

According to NBA correspondent Marc Stein, the Kings are monitoring the availability of the Sixers’ defensive-minded wing and could pursue him at the deadline:

Sacramento is said to be monitoring the availability of Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle as the Kings, unexpectedly holding the West’s No. 3 seed after a league-record 16 consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, ponder the pursuit of a more defensive-minded option on the perimeter. One source with knowledge of the Kings’ thinking, meanwhile, insists that rival teams hoping for Richaun Holmes to become a buyout candidate if Sacramento can’t trade him (as mentioned here last week) are poised to be disappointed. A buyout would be complicated for both sides with two years and nearly $25 million left on Holmes’ contract after this season..

Mark Stein

The Sixers have been rumored to have Thybulle available in talks since the offseason when he was connected to the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Since then, there has been little discussion surrounding the polarizing player as he has struggled during the 2022 playoffs and has since failed to have a consistent role in Philadelphia.

It’s not just the mention of Thybulle that draws one’s eye here, but also the mention of former Sixer Richaun Holmes, who has had his own share of playing-time struggles as of late. Holmes has averaged just 10.3 minutes per game over 40 games with the Kings since the arrival of Domantas Sabonis.

It was a quick fall from starter to low-end reserve for Holmes, and it seems now his time in Sacramento could be up though according to both Stein and HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, it is unlikely he will be bought out if a trade is not agreed upon.

Could Holmes find his way back to Philadelphia in the wake of their continued backup center struggles? Barring a buyout, it does not seem overly likely, though, the Sixers could perhaps add some salary to the deal to net Holmes and, by doing so, perhaps a greater return for Thybulle.

This outcome is not overly like, however, for two reasons. The first is that the Sixers reportedly are looking to subtract from their salary total, not add to it, in hopes of dodging the NBA’s luxury tax. The second would be the potential compensation, or lack thereof, that Sacramento could provide.

Outside of draft picks, the Sacramento Kings have few players of positive value that they are not looking to retain. Additionally, thanks to the combination of the Kevin Huerter trade and the NBA’s Stepien rule, they do not have a first-round pick available for trade until 2028 (which, regardless, would be a bold ask in return for Thybulle).

More likely, the deal involves Thybulle and as little returning salary as possible. It is possible, for instance, that Sacramento replicates an offer similar to what the Lakers gave up for Rui Hachimura.

While it is unlikely Holmes is involved directly in this deal, the idea of a trade between the Sixers and the Kings for Thybulle is one Sixers fans may have to grow accustomed to.