The Philadelphia 76ers were seen as one of the top candidates to rule the East before the start of the season, but things are very different right now. The Sixers have lost the last four games they’ve played, something that hasn’t pleased their fans and players.
For instance, Joel Embiid has shown his discomfort with the team’s current moment and it looks like it’s time for them to make some changes. Philly are in need of shooters as well as playmakers/facilitators to recover their best form.
According to Tim McMahon of ESPN, the Sixers’ poor spacing is of particular concern, especially for Embiid. They are looking for perimeter shooting threats with playmaking ability, a need that was apparent as Philadelphia went 6-of-27 from 3-point range Friday night against the Houston Rockets.
Today, we’re going to take a look at five of the best targets they could pursue before the February trade deadline.
In any potential trade, they could offer Zhaire Smith, 2020 Second Round Pick, 2021 First Round Pick, and if they need to match salary, they can offer Mike Scott. So let’s take a look at the players who could be landing in the City of Brotherly Love soon:
After having a tremendous tenure with the Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas was wandering around the league without much success. This season, though, he appears to be recovering his best form with the Washington Wizards.
Although he’s been involved in some controversies recently, IT has been good for the Wizards and could be joining a contender if he keeps playing at a decent level. He’s a good playmaker, is fast and knows how to move in the offense. A very good option for the Sixers. This season IT is averaging 12.8 points per game, 1.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Wizards.
Joe Harris is another good target for Philly. He’s the type of shooter they need to add firepower to the offense with his 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per outing, showing his quality from deep with a 42.7 3-point field goal percentage. He signed a two-year contract with the Nets in 2018 and a move for Philadelphia could be a win-win for both parties.
He’s a great addition in the short run. Harris was the best 3-point shooter in percentage last year. If you dare to make a comparison, he’d be some sort of a younger JJ Reddick. They’re missing Reddick this season and Harris could be a very good player for them.
Ellington is a veteran 3-point shooter that could be good for any contender. That’s when the Sixers appear to land him at a cheap price. He’s been wandering around in the league in the last couple of seasons and Philly could give him a proper role this term.
He’s a 3-and-D guy who will be much appreciated at the Wells Fargo Center. Another one to help the team in the short run. Some may consider him a gamble for Philly, but if he turns out to be the right piece they need, it’s a win-win situation. Ellington is recording 4.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists.
Davis Bertans has been a pleasant surprise with the Wizards, improving his numbers considerably, posting 15.4 PPG, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 43% from beyond the arc. That’s why he’s been followed by some teams in the league and the Sixers may well be his next destination.
Bertans has a big range, is a great rebounder, is not an expensive player and is a great sixth man. If the Sixers don’t make a move for him, any other contender will make a run for the big man given the numbers he’s posted this campaign.
Patty Mills is a great player, he’s often underappreciated but that doesn't mean he hasn’t had great performances in his career. Right now he’s part of the San Antonio Spurs, but seeing the team’s bad moment, perhaps Mills could join another team with draft picks. Mills is currently averaging 11.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 34 games for Spurs.
Philadelphia is a good candidate for that role as Mills would take their game to the next level. He’s a veteran who doesn’t get scared in the crunch time, who knows how to move around the offense, he doesn’t need to be a starter and is very trustworthy when the game is on the line.
Without any hesitation, this could be the perfect target for Philly, but they need to send a big package to San Antonio if they want to make it a reality.