3 guards the Sixers could target at the trade deadline

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Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones (5) shoots against Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Philadelphia 76ers have had a difficult week. With Joel Embiid’s injury and an unclear timetable for return, the Sixers are at a crossroads. The Sixers could wait for Joel Embiid to return and hopefully coast by on the stellar play of first-time All-Star Tyrese Maxey, or they could turn to the trade market to make improvements to the team.

While waiting for the offseason to improve the team has been the plan previously and is still viable, the dominant play of Maxey, combined with the hopeful return of Joel Embiid, could force the Sixers into making a move sooner rather than later.

The Sixers have often boasted an excellent bench for the season; the loss of Embiid changes the look and the efficiency of the bench deeply. Should Philadelphia decide to improve their bench at the deadline, here are 3 guards the Sixers may target to shore up their reinforcements.

Sixers trade target #1: Tyus Jones

Tyus Jones is stuck on the Washington Wizards, one of the worst teams in the NBA, but that has not stopped him from being one of the most consistent guards in the league. He is posting career highs in both points and assists per game at 12.1 and 6.3, respectively.

Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones (5)looks to shoot against Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren (0) and guard Alec Burks (14) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The veteran guard is also posting career highs in field goal percentage (49.2%) and three-point percentage (39.9%). He is also leading the league, once again, in assist-to-turnover ratio with a score of 7.2:1. The Wizards have seemingly also been gauging interest in him, with reports coming out that he could be on the block for a first-round pick, though teams have been hesitant to meet that price. Should the Sixers trade for the guard, he would immediately upgrade either their bench or starting lineup.

Sixers trade target #2: Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown was the Indiana Pacers prized free agent last season, signing a two-year, $45 million contract with the Pacers in the offseason with a team option in the second year. 33 games into his Pacers tenure, Brown was shipped out to the Toronto Raptors in the Pascal Siakam deal.

Toronto Raptors forward Bruce Brown (11) fouls Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) during first-half NBA basketball action in Toronto, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

While Toronto may very well wish to keep the 27-year-old defensive specialist, he could provide a playoff-proven depth piece for the Sixers should they want to go that route. Brown is averaging 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game on 47.2% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc.

He was a valuable piece to the Nuggets championship run last season and could prove just as valuable this year for whatever team he’s a part of come playoff time. While Brown more than likely won’t be acquired by Philadelphia, he remains a possibility for the Sixers as look to improve their team.

Sixers trade target #3: Quentin Grimes

Quentin Grimes is the youngest and the least-proven player on this list, yet he is still garnering interest around the league, thanks to his three-point shooting specialty. The third-year guard looked prime to break out this season after playing nearly thirty minutes per game last season.

New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes, left, goes to the basket against Houston Rockets forward Cam Whitmore in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

However, after posting a true shooting percentage of over sixty percent last year, he has stumbled in only twenty minutes a game this year. His field goal percentage has tanked from 46.8% last year to 39.5% this year. His three-point percentage has also dropped but has remained respectable, going from 38.6% down to 36.3% this year. Grimes may need a change of scenery to get back to his former self.

While it seems like the New York Knicks would prefer to trade the young guard to the Western Conference, Grimes could provide the volume shooting the Sixers desperately need.

The Sixers, should they want to contend for a championship, need to make a move as quickly as possible. Other teams in the league aren’t going to stand pat through the deadline, and the Sixers need to add talent to this roster if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

While these guys individually may not be championship winners, the depth they provide, along with whatever moves Daryl Morey makes, could be the difference between a championship or another 2nd round exit.