Sixers linked to multiple sharpshooters ahead of trade deadline

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield, right, drives past Denver Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The trade deadline is little more than one day away, and the rumors continue to swirl around the Philadelphia 76ers. As all eyes are on Philly and their president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, in the wake of Joel Embiid‘s meniscus surgery, the Sixers have been linked to multiple sharpshooters ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

According to Yahoo Sports‘ Jake Fischer, the Sixers are attempting to prioritize buying now while holding onto as many future assets as possible. It has often been reported that the Sixers’ strategy has been maintaining financial flexibility into the 2024 offseason.

Currently projected to enter the offseason with the second most practical cap space in the NBA. That gives the Sixers unique flexibility in both free agency and the trade market. In order to maintain that flexibility, any player(s) the Sixers acquire at the trade deadline cannot contribute to a significant portion of this offseason’s salary cap. Ideally, unless the Sixers were to acquire a third star at the deadline, any incoming player would be on an expiring deal.

This brings us to the two targets in Fischer’s report, the first of which is the Sixers’ longtime mock trade target, Buddy Hield.

Death, taxes, and Buddy Hield to the Sixers

It seems every season; there is one name rumored to be a potential fit with the Philadelphia 76ers. That man is shooting guard Buddy Hield.

Indiana Pacers’ Buddy Hield (7) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers’ Paul Reed (44) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Since Brett Brown was at the helm of this team, there have been rumors of Buddy Hield joining the Sixers. He’s been a potential fit at every stage, whether it was alongside Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, or even Tyrese Maxey, although the latter and Hield would not be the most ideal fit come the postseason.

Hield has seen a bit of a down year despite Indiana’s success, but over the course of his entire career, he has proven to be the best shooter in the NBA outside of Steph Curry. No, that isn’t an overreaction.

As far as Philadelphia’s level of interest in Hield and his potential fit from a financial perspective, Fischer had this to say:

“Philadelphia is exploring conversations with a variety of teams, but one known target for the Sixers is Pacers guard Buddy Hield, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Hield’s $18.5 million dollar salary would be a match for several of the Sixers’ expiring contracts, and his expiring deal wouldn’t add future financial burden onto Philadelphia’s clean cap sheet for this offseason, as the Sixers have left rival teams with the impression they are still wary of taking back longterm salary at this juncture.”

Hield’s lack of production this season only works to Philadelphia’s advantage, as the asking price has perhaps never been lower than it is now. While Indiana would likely look to add a contributor to replace Hield, adding a third team to the deal could help solve that problem.

Despite his sharpshooting prowess, Hield is not known for much more than his shooting ability. He’s not much of a passer, defender, or rebounder, but what he does, he does well. And the Sixers certainly need what Hield does well.

Philadelphia currently ranks 17th in the NBA in three-point percentage and 26th in three-point attempts per game. While some of that is a function of an offense that runs through mid-range and interior presence Joel Embiid, there is a clear lack of personnel capable of any more as well.

Price depending, Buddy Hield would go a long way towards making a change for Philadelphia. It wasn’t just Hield that Fischer mentioned, though, as a potential target for the Sixers. Alongside Buddy Buckets, another sharpshooter who has been at the center of trade rumors was named.

The Detroit Bogdanović

The Detroit Pistons’ season has been anything but easy. For a squad so far from contention, the idea of moving off of a desirable veteran for future draft compensation should be second nature. Teams across the NBA have registered some semblance of interest in Bojan Bogdanović — occasionally known as the Detroit Bogdanović to avoid confusion with Bogdan Bogdanović aka, the Atlanta Bogdanović, dating back to last season, and now it seems the Sixers are among those parties interested.

Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) steals the ball and brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The idea of adding a player of Bogdanović’s skillset is not tough to grasp. He is a strong offensive player with elite shooting ability from range. He may not provide much in terms of defensive capability. However, alongside Joel Embiid, the only scenario in which adding any player at the deadline matters, his defensive weaknesses are at least somewhat hidden.

What’s interesting about Bogdanović is his contract status. While he may not technically be an expiring player, he carries a low guaranteed salary number of just $2 million next season. If the pairing of Bogdanović and the Sixers were to not work out for any reason, at least to the point that retaining his 2024-25 salary, which sits at just over $19 million, is considered undesirable, then Philadelphia can open up $17 million in cap with ease.

The reasons for the Sixers’ level of interest are evident, but Fischer’s report on Philadephia and their potential interest in Bogdanović has another wrinkle to the equation that may kill talks before they ever truly begin:

“Another target for the Sixers is Pistons guard Bojan Bogdanović, sources said, who is on the books for $20 million this season, but has just $2 million guaranteed for 2024-25. Detroit has long shown an interest in a reunion with Tobias Harris, league sources told Yahoo Sports, but in any deal where the Sixers bring back Bogdanović, it would seem Philadelphia doesn’t want to part with Harris.

Alas, Detroit officials haven’t indicated to rival teams they’ll even be willing to move Bogdanović. Veteran shooting bigs Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari do appear to be likely trade candidates for the Pistons.”

It’s difficult to imagine any scenario in which the Sixers unload Harris at the deadline. If the Pistons truly want to reunite with the veteran forward, and all signs point to that being the case, the will likely have to wait until free agency begins.

As for Philadelphia, their need for shooting is evident with or without Joel Embiid. Will they pull the trigger on either Hield or Bogdanović? Only one day left to find out.