The Philadelphia 76ers have a lengthy list of things to improve on this offseason. Multiple recent reports show their front office, led by president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, is hard at work scouting out potential avenues to improve the roster in the days leading up to the NBA Draft on June 23.
Just a few days after The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported the team was shopping Danny Green and the No. 23 pick in trade talks, The Inquirer's Keith Pompey is out with a report delving into further potential trade discussions:
Multiple league sources have said the team is gauging teams’ interest in Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, and Shake Milton, in addition to potential trade partners for Danny Green and the No. 23 pick.
The Sixers are trying to gauge the market and see what they can get for the players and draft pick, one source said. This approach is part of their effort to compile information and see what deals could work when it’s time to make a trade.
The Sixers' roster is centered around Joel Embiid, James Harden (who Pompey also reports is likely to pick up his $47.3 million player option for next season) and Tyrese Maxey. The front office doing its due diligence, to say the least, to see what potential trade offers are out there is to be expected.
The roster is clearly, after another second-round playoff exit, in need of improvement if they are going to be able to reach the ultimate goal of winning a championship. Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang, Shake Milton and the No. 23 pick are all trade assets the Sixers could move on from relatively easily if it brought them a veteran, win-now player in return.
Tobias Harris, who is due to make $37.6 million next season, is the team's top potential trade asset. There were rumors throughout the past two seasons of the team shopping Harris around, but clearly nothing came from them. With Embiid and now Harden growing another year older, the front office might be more desperate to make a move and try to capitalize on the prime years of Embiid's career.
The Sixers, according to Pompey, "would love to acquire a third star" to pair with Embiid and Harden, perhaps in the form of Bradley Beal. Moving off from Harris' contract would be a necessity in order to clear enough cap space to potentially bring in a third star player. Finding a team willing to take on his salary will be tough, especially after the Oklahoma City Thunder traded for JaMychal Green and in essence no longer really have enough cap space to take on Harris' mammoth contract.
The team will likely have to add on extra assets in addition to trying to get a third team involved in any Harris trade. Thybulle could be a big enough asset to help propel a team to take on Harris' contract. He was previously off the table in trade discussions, but his lack of offensive improvement and poor performance this past postseason have potentially led to a change in the team's stance.
Pompey also reported some information regarding Milton's future with the Sixers:
The Sixers have a club option of $1.9 million on Milton for next season. However, there’s a belief around the league that the team won’t pick it up.
If that’s the case, it would make sense to try to package him in a trade in order to get something back in return. The problem is, teams don’t want to trade for a player if they believe he could be scooped up as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Sixers' stance regarding not picking up Milton's $1.9 million option is odd. He produces well for a player making roughly the veteran minimum, averaging 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season. The chances of them getting someone who will produce at a higher level on a minimum contract is not very likely.
In other Sixers-related news, the Utah Jazz are interviewing assistant coach Sam Cassell for their open head coaching opportunity according to The Athletic's Shams Charania and Tony Jones. If Utah elects to hire Cassell, he would be a big loss for the Sixers' coaching staff.