There has been a ton of noise surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers potentially trading their first-round pick, No. 23 overall, over the past few weeks. In Kevin O'Connor's latest mock draft for The Ringer, he adds to the buzz about the Sixers potentially trading away the pick.
The Sixers are exploring trades involving this pick and Danny Green, according to sources. While Green was an important two-way wing for the Sixers, he tore both the ACL and LCL in his left knee in May and now he has an expiring $10 million contract.
The Sixers' president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has a limited amount of resources to use to further build the roster around Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and presumably James Harden. Trading the pick for a veteran asset who can more immediately help the team was always something that was going to be on the table this offseason.
One thing of note procedurally: Any trade involving the draft pick will have to be done after the draft due to the Stepien Rule not allowing a team to go without a first-round pick in consecutive seasons. The Brooklyn Nets, after deferring the pick, own the Sixers' first-round pick in 2023.
Morey can generate some flexibility in any trade by adding either Danny Green ($10 million cap hit in 2022-23) or Furkan Korkmaz ($5 million cap hit in 2022-23, $5.37 million cap hit in 2023-24) into a trade to match salaries and bring back a better player in return. O'Connor's report states the Sixers are attempting to pair Green with the 23rd pick in the draft, presumably for a veteran player in return. Green, who is turning 35 later this month, is on an expiring contract and is likely to miss most (if not all) of next season with both a torn ACL and LCL.
Should the Sixers pull the trigger on a deal involving the 23rd pick in the draft or should they hold onto the pick? How the Sixers end up answering that question will reveal some of their priorities for how to build out the rest of the roster, namely how much they value adding in more veterans to the roster. Head coach Doc Rivers does not have a good track record during his tenure with the Sixers of trusting young players (with Maxey being the major exception), giving the perception he would prefer trading the pick and bringing in a veteran rather than an unproven rookie.
If they choose to hold onto the pick, there are some solid players who will potentially be available for them at No. 23 including E.J. Liddell, Jalen Williams or Jake LaRavia. The Sixers are in need of wing depth, especially if it comes on a cheap contract. Using the pick would help fill a big need on the roster without having to spend much salary cap space, a win-win situation for them.
However the Sixers elect to use their first-round pick, things will definitely remain interesting heading into the NBA Draft on June 23.