Sixers Send Thybulle to Portland, Acquire McDaniels from Charlotte in 3-Team Trade

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly agreed to send Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-team trade also involving the Hornets. The Sixers will reportedly be acquiring wing Jalen McDaniels from the Hornets as part of the trade.

Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report was first to report Thybulle going to Portland. Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report McDaniels going to the Sixers.

The trade also reportedly involves some movement of draft capital. The Sixers will receive Portland’s 2029 second-round pick and the New York Knicks’ 2024 second-round pick. Charlotte had previously owned the Knicks’ 2024 second-rounder. The Sixers are sending out the rights to Charlotte of the best 2023 second-round pick from Charlotte, the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets.

Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice first reported the collection of picks moved in the trade.

Thybulle, a two-time Second Team All-Defense, had his name mentioned multiple times in the days leading up to the trade deadline. His time in Philadelphia will always be remembered as a what-if. His defensive impact is undeniable, but a lack of offensive production always held him back from being a big contributor in the postseason.

McDaniels is a 6-foot-9 wing who should be able to help improve the Sixers’ bench in multiple areas. He has the size, athleticism and wingspan (7 feet) to be able to defend both threes and fours. His athleticism also allows him to be able to switch out and defend the perimeter when necessary. Adding him to the rotation gives the Sixers more flexibility when they elect to use switch-heavy lineups. However, he likely will be unable to defend centers due to being just 205 pounds.

Offensively McDaniels has some room to grow. His numbers are career-highs across the board this season, averaging 10.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2 assists, 0.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He is a solid, albeit unspectacular, finisher around the rim while possessing above average ball handling. His outside shot is a work in progress. After shooting a career-high 38% from 3-point range last season, that number has dropped to 32.5% on 3.6 attempts per game. He is never going to be an elite 3-point shooter, but the potential is there enough for it to be a part of his arsenal offensively.

Thybulle and McDaniels are very similar players, but McDaniels has a far more polished, well-rounded skill set. McDaniels is a more capable player offensively due to his ball handling and willingness to shoot from 3-point range. He should have no issues staying on the court come the postseason. While McDaniels is a plus defender, Thybulle has the edge on that end of the floor. Overall, going from Thybulle to McDaniels should be considered an upgrade. However, neither player is going to knock it out of the park.

The trade also gets the Sixers, barring any other moves, under the luxury tax. They came into the day sitting $1.179 million over the luxury tax. Going from Thybulle ($4.380 million) to McDaniels ($1.931 million) puts them approximately $1.270 million under the tax. Getting under the tax was reportedly a big priority for the Sixers front office heading into the trade deadline.

McDaniels’ contract expires after this season. It will be interesting to gauge how much interest the team has in attempting to re-sign him after the season.

The Sixers gave up their two most valuable trade assets to acquire McDaniels, a slight rotation upgrade, while also getting under the tax. It is a solid move on paper, but one that leaves them with minimal resources for any other potential moves before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.