Ever since they pulled off a series of trades for multiple prominent names last season, the Philadelphia 76ers have been a popular team when it comes to trade rumors. While they were pulling the trigger on deals early on last season, it sounds like the Sixers could be one of a few teams to make a move before this year’s trade deadline.
Reports are out there stating the Sixers are on the hunt for perimeter shooting. While they haven’t been as bad as some would assume in that department, the Sixers understand that in order to go above and beyond this year’s expectations, they have to be better.
On Thursday morning, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Sixers have interest in six different wing prospects to trade for potentially. The names included Robert Covington, Davis Bertans, Malik Beasley, and more.
While none of those prospects are ranked in order of which the Sixers prefer. There is a player on their team, who they are more willing to part with than others. Last week, we put together a list of three Sixers, who could potentially be traded within the next few weeks or so.
The two experienced veterans included starting forward, Al Horford — and reserve forward, Mike Scott. As Horford hasn’t quite lived up to his wealthy contract so far this season, his unfit spot in the starting lineup could force the Sixers to try and move him now before it’s too late.
As for Scott, he’s a player the Sixers inked to a two-year deal over the offseason. The intention was to get Scott back in the mix to become a reliable three-point shooter off the bench, but he has been underperforming, shooting just about 34-percent from three.
The third candidate happened to be the Sixers’ 2018 first-round pick, Zhaire Smith. Unfortunately for Smith, a foot injury sidelined him for a majority of his rookie season. He did manage to play in six games by the end of the year, but the Sixers opted to keep the rookie inactive throughout the playoffs.
It was assumed that the former first-rounder would get some more minutes in 2019, but it seems Philly has fallen for their latest first-round pick, Matisse Thybulle. Considering that Thybulle has already surpassed Smith when it comes to three-point shooting and defense, the former Texas Tech prospect has fallen out of favor on the Sixers’ active roster.
Lately, Zhaire Smith has been with the Sixers’ G-League affiliates, the Delaware Blue Coats. And as of late, he has been struggling even in at the developmental level. The Sixers have made it clear they are willing to be patient with Smith, but it has also been reported that if another team is interested in him, Philly will not shy away from the conversation.
“Second-year wing Zhaire Smith is the young player they’re most willing to depart with,” writes The Ringer’s O’Connor. [That] should come as no surprise since he is struggling to score efficiently in the G-League.”
Considering the circumstances, it’s going to take more than Zhaire Smith for the Sixers to get a reliable veteran shooter to come off the bench. Fortunately, Philly has some second-round picks they could move, in addition to some other depth players as well. It’s unclear what specific trade package the Sixers are willing to put together, but it sure sounds like Smith could be one of the players included if Philly gets a deal rolling.