As the NBA trade deadline approaches on Thursday, February 8th at 3:00 pm, the Philadelphia 76ers are in desperate need of some help if they’re even to consider making the playoffs. The Sixers are holding out hope that the surgery that reigning MVP Joel Embiid had on his meniscus on Tuesday will heal, and Embiid will be able to return and be in the form he was this season for the playoffs.
In order for Embiid to play in the post-season, the Sixers are going to have to make it there. That’s where the problems arise. The Sixers are already 4-11 on the season when Embiid doesn’t play, they’ve lost six of their last seven games and there really doesn’t seem to be an end to the losing in sight as they’ve been destroyed by injuries.
With that being said, the names floating around the NBA rumor circuit include Dejounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, and Klay Thompson, just to name a few. While Murray is still at an age where he could be a solid starter for a few years to come, DeRozan is 34 years old, and while he’s still a talented player, there’s no telling if he’ll be able to remain healthy and playing at a high level over the next few years. On top of that, the cost for players like DeRozan and Murray would be high.
That leaves Klay Thompson. The Sixers have reportedly shown up as the odds-on favorite to land Thompson at the league’s trade deadline. But what exactly would that do for the Sixers?
The Sixers need some talent to pair with All-Star Tyrese Maxey while they wait on Embiid. They also need three-point shooting, so the Thompson name doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
What the problem becomes is that the Warriors are going to want a price equal to the value of 2018 Klay Thompson, who was at the top of his game as one of the most accurate and lethal shooters in the entire league.
What the Sixers would be getting is a player who turns 34 years old on the date of the trade deadline and is a shell of his former self. Thompson has been sitting on the bench at the end of two of the last three games the Warriors have played in. That’s not something that anyone would have thought of just a few short years ago.
While Thompson is a sure bet to make the NBA Hall of Fame when his career is over, what he represents today is an overpaid rental that the Sixers need to stay away from.
On the season, Thompson is averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 41.5% from the floor. Where he’s really struggled is at the three-point line, as he’s shooting 37.1%, which represents the lowest total of his career. Over the past three seasons, Thompson has seen career lows in three-point shooting in two of them. That’s not a good sign for a guy that’s known for his long-range abilities. On top of that, this is looking like the first season since 2018 that Thompson may be healthy enough to play a whole season.
While the Sixers, with a healthy Embiid, could have used Thompson to open up the floor for Maxey and teammates, the team doesn’t have Embiid. They only have Maxey and some semblance of a starting roster, as almost every one of their starters is listed on the injury report.
At the cost of picks and players, there’s absolutely no reason for the Sixers to entertain any calls from the Golden State front office, and they’d be smart to just forget about calling themselves. If this was 2018 and the Sixers were getting the chance to bring in Thompson, then they would go all in on the move, but this is 2024, and sadly, Klay Thompson is cooked.