With the trade deadline less than a week away, many teams around the league are looking to make deals to either improve for a playoff run or improve their draft odds. The Sixers are one of the teams who should be looking to make improvements to the margins of their roster. One position the Sixers need to improve at is backup center. It seems like this has been the theme for this team for the last few postseason runs.
The current depth behind Joel Embiid includes Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed. Head Coach Doc Rivers declared Paul Reed the backup center at the conclusion of training camp, seemingly giving him an opportunity after his positive showing in the playoffs last season. As the season progressed, Reed fell out of the rotation and Montrezl Harrell emerged as the backup center. Harrell is more polished than Reed on the offensive end but a much worse defender. The Sixers’ defense suffers tremendously when Harrell is on the floor instead of Embiid.
If Rivers won’t give Reed a chance and Harrell isn’t the best option, the Sixers need to upgrade the position at the deadline. There are definitely some options available in the trade market. Take a look at some mock trades to help the Sixers upgrade behind Embiid:
Home Run Acquisitions
These trades would be considered home runs and would definitely be a great addition to the roster:
2023 Second Round Pick(CHA
There has been some recent smoke about teams’ interest in trading for Naz Reid and apparently, the Sixers are one of those teams. Reid has been playing well as a backup for Minnesota and he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. If the Sixers could acquire Reid, it would be a huge upgrade over Harrell and Reid and a win-now move. The Sixers would also obtain his bird rights and could compete to try to sign him in the offseason.
There hasn’t been much noise around Hartenstein, but the Knicks seemed to have found their backup center of the future in Jericho Sims. The former second-round pick will more than likely back up Mitchell Robinson when he returns from injury. That could leave Hartenstein as the odd man out. The Sixers could pounce on a deal now to get Hartenstein, which would be an upgrade over their current roster options. He can stretch the floor, finish at the rim, and can also pass a little bit out of the short roll.
In this deal, the Knicks would get some much-needed shooting from Korkmaz, who fell out of the rotation in Philly. Paul Reed may also get a chance to show his defensive versatility with a coach that really focuses on that end.
Although he wasn’t perfect, Andre Drummond was the best backup big in the Joel Embiid era. He played well for the most part before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in the deal for James Harden. If the Sixers could get Drummond back in the fold, it would definitely be an upgrade over Harrell. He is familiar with the coaches, would be a lob threat to pair with Harden, and do a much better job at rim protecting. #BringDrummondBack
The Charlotte Hornets flat-out stink and should be sellers at the deadline. Their season was derailed early by an injury to LaMelo Ball and they never recovered. He has returned and hasn’t played nearly as well as he played last season. Mason Plumlee, Kelly Oubre, Kelly Oubre, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, and PJ Washington all have the possibility of being traded near the deadline.
Plumlee would be a great fit off the bench in Philadelphia. He is a good rebounder and much more of a rim protector than the Sixers’ current options. He may not be the best one on one defender against guys like Anthony Davis, but he can protect the rim from dribble drives. Plumlee still has some athleticism and could help be a vertical threat for the Sixers.
Let’s Have Some Fun
Christian Wood & Frank Ntlikina
Danuel House Jr.
Let’s have some fun! Christian Wood seems to be on his way out of Dallas after having a solid year thus far. Rumors are swirling that Wood will be traded at the deadline and it is just a matter of where. Wood hasn’t been the best locker room guy in the past but with more than half the season left, the Sixers may be able to endure it. Wood would be a great addition to the bench offensively and would be a solid rim protector. He could also play with Embiid because he can space the floor. Ultimately this trade is unlikely but it’s fun to dream!
The Sixers have to make a move to upgrade the center position before the deadline, so let’s hope Daryl Morey can make something happen.
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