NBA

NBA trade deadline: Five potential targets for 76ers, including Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and Rockets’ P.J. Tucker

The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, which means that contenders will be looking to bolster their rosters for the playoff push. At the same time, many teams headed for a lottery landing will be looking to unload assets to better position themselves for the future. As a team with championship aspirations, the Philadelphia 76ers fall into the former category.

The Sixers have occupied the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings for a majority of the 2020-21 campaign, but there’s still room for improvement. Namely, they would benefit from added 3-point shooting and bench production around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey and GM Elton Brand will likely look to address these areas ahead of the March 25 deadline. With that in mind, here’s a look at five potential trade targets for Philadelphia. 

Lowry is by far the biggest impact player on this list. He has championship experience, and he projects as an ideal on-court complement to both Embiid and Simmons as a player capable of both initiating offense and spacing the floor. Plus he’s from Philly and he reportedly has some interest in playing for his hometown team.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Raptors would actually want to trade Lowry given the fact they’re right in the thick of the playoff picture in the East at the All-Star break. However, if they thought they were going to lose him for nothing in free agency over the offseason, they would have to at least consider making a move. At that point, the Raptors would likely trade Lowry somewhere he wanted to go given all that he has meant to the franchise. The asking price would probably be high — and a move might require the Sixers to part ways with a young player like Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, or Shake Milton — but Lowry’s addition would certainly raise the Sixers’ ceiling, albeit just for the current campaign. In order for Philadelphia to land Lowry, a third team would likely need to be involved to make the salaries match. 

Potential trade: 76ers receive Kyle Lowry, Raptors receive Andre Drummond (from Cleveland), Tyrese Maxey, 2021 first-round pick from Philadelphia, 2022 first-round pick from Philadelphia, Cavaliers receive Danny Green, Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, 2021 second-round pick from Philadelphia, 2023 second-round pick from Philadelphia

As a player who has shot nearly 37 percent from long range over the course of his career, Terrence Ross has long projected as a solid fit in Philadelphia alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. In fact, the Sixers were interested in Ross in free agency in 2019. They didn’t add him then, but perhaps they will before the trade deadline this season as he would provide some much-needed firepower off the bench for Philadelphia. 

On the season, Ross, 30, is averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists for Orlando, while also knocking down two 3-pointers per game. He’s capable of going off for 20-plus points on any given night, as he’s still one of the most potent bench scorers in the league. The Sixers need both 3-point shooting and bench production, and Ross certainly fits that description.  

Potential trade: 76ers receive Terrence Ross, Magic receive Danny Green, 2021 second-round pick from Philadelphia, 2023 second-round pick from Philadelphia

Tucker will be a hot commodity leading up to the deadline as the rebuilding Rockets will likely be selling off assets like a failing millionaire trying to avoid bankruptcy. Tucker is having a down season statistically, but some of that dip in production could probably be contributed to the general disarray surrounding the Rockets this season. Over the course of his career, Tucker has proven to be a reliable rebounder, a decent defender and an able floor-spacer. He would provide the Sixers with some needed frontcourt depth as a player that could play off Embiid and Simmons. 

Tucker, 35, is set for unrestricted free agency after the season, so his addition wouldn’t impact Philadelphia’s future salary situation. The Sixers would surely face competition for Tucker, but for the right price, his addition would be beneficial. 

Potential trade: 76ers receive P.J. Tucker, Rockets receive Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, 2023 second-round pick from Philadelphia

Terrence Ross isn’t the only Magic player the Sixers could consider trading for. Evan Fournier is another player who could provide the Sixers with some much-needed scoring and floor-spacing, either off the bench or even in the first five. Fournier, 28, is averaging 18.2 points and 3.9 assists on the season for Orlando, and he boasts a career 37 percent average from deep. 

Fournier is a crafty scorer who could potentially be an ideal complement to Embiid, Simmons and Tobias Harris. Plus, he could be available, as the Magic reportedly might be willing to part with Fournier for the right price. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the season so Orlando would probably want to get something for him while he’s still under team control. Philadelphia’s odds of adding Fournier obviously depends on the asking price, but he would definitely provide the Sixers with a big boost offensively. 

Potential trade: 76ers receive Evan Fournier, Magic receive Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, 2021 second-round pick from Philadelphia, 2023 second-round pick from Philadelphia

Rivers has basically fallen out of the rotation in New York following the arrival of Derrick Rose. However, as a player capable of playing with the ball in his hands and also playing off the ball, he could provide the Sixers with some much-needed guard play off the bench. Plus, he has familiarity with new Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers, who just happens to be Austin’s dad. Rivers previously played for Doc for several seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, so the two can clearly coexist on the same sideline. New York’s asking price likely wouldn’t be too high given that Rivers isn’t playing major minutes for them, so bringing him in to bolster the bench is something the Sixers could consider.

Potential trade: 76ers receive Austin Rivers, Knicks receive Terrance Ferguson, 2021 second-round pick from Philadelphia


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