Who should the Philadelphia 76ers keep off the table?
The Philadelphia 76ers are a good team, not a great one. Like every team, they have their flaws; however, when good teams expose those flaws, it is clear that this iteration of the Sixers need help.
With the 2020 NBA trade deadline less than one month away, the team will more than likely make a trade, something to which GM Elton Brand is no stranger. Last season, he held no sentiment when he traded fan favorites for star talent. However, Brand should be wary of trading these three players, as they are critical to the Sixers’ championship aspirations.
Disclaimer: This article assumes that Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid are already untouchable in trade talks. Rumors surrounding their availability are few, and the rationale necessary to advocate a trade for either of the four aforementioned players is nonexistent.
3. Matisse Thybulle
Matisse Thybulle is twenty-two years old, a rookie drafted in the late first-round, and one of the best defenders in the NBA. After last year’s playoffs, it was clear that the Sixers were in desperate need of stout perimeter defenders, and Thybulle is just that.
Few rival his ability to disrupt passing lanes and lock down opponents out on the perimeter. His three-point stroke is also better than advertised pre-draft, and, in just a few months in Philadelphia, he has proven his immeasurable worth.
Unlike Landry Shamet, Thybulle is not expendable. It hurt when Shamet, the Sixers’ 2018 late first-round pick who surprised with his immediate impact, was traded for Tobias Harris. He was an incredible shooter for the Sixers, but knockdown shooters are a dime-a-dozen in today’s NBA.
Thybulle is already one of the league’s most impactful defensive players as a rookie, which is unheard of, and his value to the Sixers is immeasurable. He can come off the bench and guard some of the league’s best guards and forwards, and do it with a smile.
Under no circumstances should Elton Brand trade Thybulle. His defense is impregnable, and his above-average three-point shooting is invaluable next to players like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. He is key to the Sixers’ championship hopes.