Ranking Potential Trade Targets for the Sixers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

It is no secret that the Sixers are going to be diving into the trade market this year. After a failed experiment of roster construction this year, the Sixers find themselves (yet again) preparing for another roster makeover.

There have been multiple names that the Sixers have been linked to in trade interest. Here is a ranking of some potential players the team could acquire via trade this offseason.

4. Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder 

Chris Paul is arguably going to be the biggest name in the trade market this season. After an All-Star campaign in OKC this year, contenders are going to be calling about acquiring him.

Adding a guy like Paul is an extremely high-risk high-reward situation. If Paul can keep up his level of play he can be a huge boost, but how long can he play before he starts to lose a step? At 34 years old that decline could come at any moment.

Paul’s deal is another huge component of this high risk. Whatever team acquires him will most likely be stuck with him through the final two years of his deal. He is owed 41 and 44 million over the next two seasons, leaving very little money to fill out the rest of the roster.

Bringing in a player the caliber of Chris Paul would be a huge move both on and off the floor. This move is a huge gamble because at his age there is no certainty that the Sixers will get the return on investment on what they will have to give up to acquire him.

3. Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets 

Terry Rozier and Chris Paul could realistically go either way because they bring a lot of the same skills, but Rozier might have a slight edge. Rozier’s fit with the Sixers is slightly better than Paul’s which is why he gets the nod.

For starters, at 26 years old Rozier is in the perfect age range to fit the timeline of the rest of the Sixers’ core. Also, at 18.9 million dollars Rozier is a much softer hit on the team’s cap space than Paul would be.

There is also an argument that Rozier might be a better fit on the floor as well. Rozier is the perfect prototype of combo guard to complement Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. He is a guy who can run the pick-and-roll and can spot up on the outside. At 45.7% from three on catch and shoot attempts Rozier can be a reliable option on the perimeter.

The Sixers need an upgrade in shot creation and ball-handling from guards. Rozier could check a lot of boxes, and is someone the team could realistically acquire.

2. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans 

Holiday is a name that the Sixers have been tied to recently, but the chances of acquiring him might not be as great as other players on this list. With a weak free agency class this offseason multiple teams are going to be inquiring about a player of Holiday’s caliber.

His fit alongside the Sixers all-stars isn’t perfect, but adding Holiday to the Sixers would put them closer to being serious title contenders. Holiday is one of the best two-way players in the league, and the defensive ceiling of a duo of Holiday and Simmons would be very high.

Holiday is not the greatest three-point shooter in the league but shoots at a decent enough percentage to aid the offense. In terms of shot creation, ball-handling, and playmaking Holiday would be a great guard complement to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

This would be a good homecoming for Holiday and the Sixers, but pulling it off is going to take a lot of luck. Realistically you aren’t getting a guy like Holiday without parting ways with one of Shake Milton or Matisse Thybulle.

1. Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings 

Buddy Hield has been a name tied to the Sixers for a while now and for good reason, he is easily the perfect fit for what the Sixers need moving forward. Acquiring him in the offseason should be at the top of the Sixers’ list.

Hield’s game is based around the one thing the Sixers need most, three-point shooting. Last season Hield shot just under 40% from three while shooting close to ten threes a game. Having an unconscious shooter from deep is exactly what the team needs to fix its spacing issues.

Along with his fit on the court, he is a perfect fit off the court as well. Hield is 27 years old which is great for the team’s timeline. But most importantly, he is locked up for four years.

The Sixers have tried multiple times to reconstruct this roster on the fly to no avail. Turning Al Horford and assets into a guy who is a perfect fit with your stars and is locked in for multiple seasons would be an incredible move from Elton Brand.

The Sixers are very limited in what they can offer teams to acquire any of the players on this list. But acquiring any of these players could be a real step forward for the team as they look to bounce back from an unsuccessful season this year.   

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Rumor Report: D'Antoni Gaining Momentum in Philly

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

It feels like the Sixers could be close to a decision on who their next head coach is going to be. From the beginning, it felt like Ty Lue was the top option and the job was his to lose, but recently another name looks to be emerging as the frontrunner.

Last week a report came out that Elton Brand and the Sixers were preparing to conduct their next round of interviews with Ty Lue, Mike D'Antoni, and Billy Donovan. Now that Donovan has accepted the position to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, it looks like a two-man race now.

Recent reports have come out with a lot of links to Mike D'Antoni and the Sixers. The first one came out Wednesday morning from The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

It is no surprise that D'Antoni is in the final mix of names to become the head coach. Many people speculated that he would replace Brett Brown years ago when he was an Assistant under Brown before becoming the head coach of the Rockets.

These reports are puzzling as M'Dantoni and the Sixers do not look like the perfect fit. His style is fast-paced and focused on perimeter play, two things that aren't strong areas of the Sixers' current roster. Keith Smith of Yahoo sports later touched on that same issue.

It looks like we could potentially see a big makeover from the Sixers this offseason. After seeing how "bully ball" and multiple bigs did not work out in the postseason, the team might be preparing to go in a different direction.

If modernizing the Sixers' play is the goal, then Mike D'Antoni is the guy to do it. He has had success with it in the past and his style is tailor-made for a player like Ben Simmons. Seeing this growing reports gives the impression that the race for the Sixers' coaching job is tighter than what we might have expected in the beginning.

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Sixers Coaching Hunt Trimmed to Three

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The list of potential candidates to become the next coach of the Sixers felt never-ending, but it looks like the finalists have been chosen. Shams Charania of The Athletic recently reported that Elton Brand is getting ready to begin his next round of interviews.

In the report, it said that over the next 10 days Brand plans to interview former Thunder head coach Billy Donovan, former Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni, and Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue. Now that these coaches are out of the bubble, Brand plans to speak with all three in Philadelphia about the vacant head coaching job.

These three coaches are arguably the biggest names in the coaching market, so it is not shocking that they are the potential finalist for the job. Ty Lue has been a name linked to the Sixers since the team decided to move on from Brett Brown.

Although it seems like Lue has been the guy from the beginning, it still feels like the Sixers could go in a different direction. Recently Kieth Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that D'Antoni is the frontrunner for the position and the job is his to lose.

Although it seems like Lue has been the guy from the beginning, it still feels like the Sixers could go in a different direction. Recently Kieth Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that D'Antoni is the frontrunner for the position and the job is his to lose.

Although it seems like Lue has been the guy from the beginning, it still feels like the Sixers could go in a different direction. Recently Kieth Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that D'Antoni is the frontrunner for the position and the job is his to lose.

Although it seems like Lue has been the guy from the beginning, it still feels like the Sixers could go in a different direction. Recently Kieth Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that D'Antoni is the frontrunner for the position and the job is his to lose.

All three of these candidates bring something different to the table, making it very fascinating to see which direction the organization plans to go in. After we saw how "bully ball" and post-ups didn't work this season, could D'Antoni be the guy to modernize the Sixers offense?

As the Sixers look to turn the corner and look to contend for titles in the primes of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, it's hard to say that Lue is not the guy for the job. Although he has the shortest amount of head coaching experience in the NBA of the three, he has seen the most success. When looking for a coach to lead you to a title, the coach who has hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy should be the guy for the job.

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Could We See a Sixers Reunion This Offseason?

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Much of the focus around the Sixers currently is changes in coaching and the front office. That being said, readjusting the roster needs to continue to be talked about as well. There are multiple names that the Sixers have been tied to from Buddy Hield to Chris Paul, but all options should be looked into.

Another name that has been brought up is New Orleans Pelicans’ guard Jrue Holiday. This would be a homecoming as Holiday spent his first four years in the NBA as a member of the Sixers.

This potential move was first reported by Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson for heavy.com.

Holiday is one of the best two-way guards in the league and impacts the game in multiple ways on a nightly basis. In 61 games this season, Holiday averaged 19.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. He checks multiple boxes for the Sixers on both ends of the ball.

One thing we are seeing in the Eastern Conference finals is the emphasis on perimeter play. Adding another elite perimeter defender in Holiday would give the Sixers one of the best all-around defenses in the entire NBA. Between Ben Simmons and Holiday defending on the outside and Embiid protecting the rim, the Sixers would be very tough to score on.

Ball handling and shot creation are two things the Sixers need moving forward. Holiday is the kind of offensive player that isn’t afraid to put the ball on the floor, can create for himself and others, and operates well in the pick-and-roll. Holiday has also worked well sharing the floor with a true point guard, making his ability to play with Ben Simmons a non-issue.

His three-point shooting is not great but is also not a weakness. This past season he shot 35.3% from deep on 5.7 attempts a game. Although that number is slightly under league average, he is more than capable of knocking down shots on the outside. His outside shooting is more effective off the catch. When catching and shooting Holiday shot closer to 37% from three.

Recently I had the chance to speak to a league source about the possibility of the Sixers acquiring Holiday. I was told that there is interest on the Pelican’s side as well as the Sixers. It was also mentioned that there were brief talks between the team about a Holiday trade before the 2019 trade deadline.

Acquiring the 30-year-old Holiday is going to be no small task. He is a former All-Star and multiple time All-Defense player, it is going to take quite the offer to sway the Pelicans. Another aspect of getting this deal done is that Holiday is not a rental. His current deal does not end until the end of the 2021-2022 NBA season.

If Elton Brand can pull off a deal like this it might get him back in the good graces of Philadelphia fans. Holiday would be a good veteran piece that although is not the most ideal complement to Embiid and Simmons, would still play great alongside them. It will be fascinating to see if the Sixers can outbid opposing teams in the trade market.

Sixerdelphia

 

 

Ben Simmons Receives All-NBA Honors

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The accolades continue to rack up for Ben Simmons. After being named to an All-Defensive team a few weeks ago the two-time All-Star has received more league-wide recognition.

Earlier today the NBA announced its All-NBA team. Simmons found himself on the All-NBA third team with Jimmy Butler, Jayson Tatum, Rudy Gobert, and Russell Westbrook. He received nine second-team votes and 34 third-team votes.

In just his third season Simmons averaged 16.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 8.0 APG, and a league-leading 2.1 SPG. Simmons also had the fifth most triple-doubles this season with six. He continues to show he is one of the league's brightest young talents, and it looks like the league is finally giving him his due.

At just 24 years of age Simmons has built up quite the resume. He is won Rookie of the Year, is a multi-time All-Star, received All-Defensive honors, and now All-NBA recognition. It's no secret that the future is bright for Ben Simmons.

Joel Embiid received some recognition, but not enough to find himself on an All-NBA team. The All-Star big man got three first-team votes, 14 second-team votes, and 22 third-team votes. As arguably the best center in the league, there is a real case that Embiid was snubbed.

This nod was well deserved for Simmons. There are very few players who impact a game on a nightly basis the way he does. From his defense to his playmaking, Simmons is a special talent. This will likely be the first of many All-NBA selections as Simmons gets ready to enter the prime of his career.

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Potential Second Round Picks for the Sixers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

There is a lot of speculation that the Sixers will package their first-round pick in this year’s draft in a trade. With that being said, the team cannot afford to waste their second-round picks. 

The Sixers will pick four times in the second round, giving them a chance to take a flier on a couple of interesting prospects. Here are three names the team should keep an eye on.

Immanuel Quickley 

It might sound like a broken record at this point, but the Sixers need to address their lack of shooting. Since JJ Redick’s departure, the team has missed a go-to knockdown shooter on the outside. This is a role that Immanuel Quickley could fill if drafted to the Sixers. 

Quickley is coming off a sophomore season at Kentucky where he averaged 16.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.9 APG. He also shot a stellar 42.8% from three on close to five attempts a game and shot 92.3% from the foul line. 

Elton Brand said that moving forward he plans to complement Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid better, and this is the exact kind of player that does. Quickley is a guy that could come in and be used the same way Redick was used. 

Whether it is catching and shooting on the perimeter or in the dribble handoff game with Embiid, Quickley is a great complement to the Sixers’ All-Stars. He would be a great choice with one of the early picks in the second round for the Sixers.  

Grant Riller 

Riller is a name that continues to rise and fall on draft boards. Some early mock drafts had the Sixers drafting him at pick 21, and recent ones have him available in the second round. 

Part of that has to do with the “four-year guy” tag he has on him that teams like to stay away from. But this could be a benefit for the Sixers as they need mature prospects as they look to compete. Drafting upperclassmen has paid off in the past for the Sixers with guys like Landry Shamet and Matisse Thybulle. 

In his senior season at College of Charleston Riller averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG. He was also effective from deep, shooting 36.2% on four attempts a game. Finding a suitable backup point guard has been a struggle in the past for the Sixers, but they might find one in Riller. 

Along with being a guard who could facilitate a second unit, he could also share the floor with the Sixers’ stars. Riller’s ability to operate in the pick-and-roll could make him a good secondary ball-handler with Ben Simmons running the show. His offensive game is also strong enough where he could go off the ball and knock down shots off screens or handoffs. 

Jordan Nwora

Nwora is another upperclassman the Sixers should have their eyes on. He has a skill set that could transition to a very solid three-and-D player. Plus, at six foot seven and 225 lbs, he already has a frame ready to compete against NBA athletes. 

This past season at Louisville Nwora averaged 18.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, and knocked down 40.2% of his shots from deep. He is at his best when catching and shooting, knocking down 66.5% of his attempts off the catch. 

His skill set and athleticism are exactly what the Sixers need off the bench. Adding guys who can knock down shots and defend on the perimeter is going to be a must for the Sixers. Nwora could be a guy that could come in and give you a lot of what Glenn Robinson III gave on both ends. He is worth taking a chance on with one of the four picks in the second round. 

All three of these players bring a role or skill set that the Sixers need to fill. It will be fascinating to see what road the organization decides to take on draft night. 

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New Name Emerges in Sixers' Coaching Search

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The list of names in the running to become the new coach of the Sixers continues to grow. As of Sunday afternoon, another big name has been thrown into the mix.

After being eliminated from the postseason on Saturday night, Rockets' head coach Mike D'Antoni has informed the Rockets that he will not be signing a new deal with the team. D'Antoni has spent the last four seasons in Houston where he posted a record of 217-101.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowkski has reported that D'Antoni will be considered as a candidate for the Sixers' head coaching position. This could be a potential homecoming as he was an assistant coach under Brett Brown in the 2015-2016 season before becoming the head coach of the Rockets.

Overall as a head coach D'Antoni has a record of 672-527 in the regular season and 54-56 in the playoffs. In terms of experience, he arguably has the most among candidates in the running for the job, but his fit with the Sixers might not be the best.

His losing record in the postseason is one red flag that stands out. As the Sixers are looking to take the next step in contending for a title, his struggles in the playoffs are concerning.

Another thing that sticks out is his style of play. D'Antoni's brand of basketball doesn't exactly match the mold of the current Sixers' roster construction.

Whether it was with the "seven seconds or less" Suns or with the Rockets, D'Antoni has always liked to push the pace. Playing fast has always been his focus and that isn't how the Sixers are built to play.

Hiring D'Antoni as head coach could do wonders for Ben Simmons, but he might not be the best coach for Joel Embiid. If the Sixers are going to get this most out of their All-Star duo they need a coach that is good for them both.

D'Antoni will likely one of the finalists for the coaching position. A lot of this decision will come down to if the Sixers want to modernize their offense after their attempt at "bully ball" didn't pan out.

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Swapping Al Horford for a Scoring Guard

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

All the latest trade rumors regarding the Sixers are focused on chasing Chris Paul. Although this would not be a bad move for the Sixers, they need to keep their options open. There are multiple players the Sixers could potentially acquire for Al Horford in the right situation.

One name they should keep an eye on is Hornet’s guard Terry Rozier. With the emergence of Devnote Graham this season the Hornets might be willing to part ways with their key signing from last offseason. Now Rozier is no Chris Paul, but he could fill a lot of holes that the Sixers have right now.

Rozier is coming off a season for the Hornets where he averaged 18.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.1 APG. He also managed to shoot an impressive 40.7% from three on just under seven attempts a game. Also, at 26 years old Rozier fits the timeline of the Sixers’ core.

Adding a combo guard like Rozier is the kind of move the Sixers should be open to. He is the ideal prototype of point guard to be in the backcourt with Ben Simmons running the offense. Rozier can be a secondary ball-handler but mainly look to score as Simmons facilitates. His scoring abilities would make him a great partner for Ben Simmons in pick-and-roll play as well.

Switching on and off the ball is something that Rozier has done well this season sharing the backcourt with Graham in Charlotte. He also became a knockdown spot-up shooter, this past season Rozier shot 45.7% from deep on his catch and shoot attempts.

Taking on Rozier’s contract will take a bite out of the cap, but less to the extent of what Horford is owed. He is under contract for two more years, where he will receive 18.9 million in 2020-2021 and 17.9 million in 2021-2022.

We saw this year that the bright lights of the postseason hit some players harder than others. One thing Rozier does not lack is confidence and has stepped up when it mattered.

When given a chance to play a major role for Boston in the 2017-2018 playoffs he stepped up and never looked back. Over 19 games he averaged 16.5 PPG, 5.7 APG, 5.3 RPG, and 1.3 SPG playing 36 minutes a game.

The NBA draft will be a big tell if the Sixers will be able to pull off a deal like this. The Hornets currently hold the third pick, and if they draft James Wiseman it might make them reluctant to trade for a veteran big on a huge deal.

Trading for Rozier is far from a blockbuster deal, but it is one that could move the needle for the Sixers. His skill set is what they need and his fit in Philadelphia would be seamless. His softer cap hit would also give the front office more breathing room to fill out the bench. If the Sixers miss out on the Chris Paul sweepstakes, acquiring Rozier wouldn’t be a bad backup plan.

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Report: Sixers Have "Seriously Debated" A Chris Paul Trade

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Trading Al Horford has been something that has been tossed around a lot regarding the Sixers. His fit on the team never really worked, and his price tag is high for a backup position.

One name that has been thrown in Horford trades is current Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul. The Thunder recently parted ways with their head coach Billy Donovan, indicating they plan to go into a rebuild. This move makes it pretty clear that OKC will look to move the All-Star point guard this offseason.

Reports have popped up that the Sixers might be in the mix to trade for the 34-year-old Paul. NBA writer for The Ringer Kevin O'Connor reported that the Sixers have "seriously debated the idea of chasing a trade" for Chris Paul.

Swapping Horford's contract for Paul's will be expensive, but adding an elite-level guard would greatly improve the Sixers. Also, Paul's contract is one year shorter than Horford's.

The Sixers have limited assets, which is going to make acquiring Paul no easy task. Along with Horford, the Sixers will have to send multiple draft picks, and young talent like Zhaire Smith to make the money work.

Paul is owed 85 million dollars over the next two seasons, eating into what little cap space the Sixers have to work with. But if Paul can still play even close to the level he played at this season he could be a big boost to the Sixers.

Out of all the situations to trade Al Horford and get something of good value in return, this is one of the best. Paul is an All-Star guard that has shown he can be a leader on and off the floor. Elton Brand has traded for big-name stars in the past, time to see if he can pull it off again.

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Sixers Select Josh Green in Latest Mock Draft

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

We are about a month away from the NBA draft. The Sixers hold five picks in the upcoming draft and could fill some holes as they look to reconstruct their roster.

Mock drafts have had multiple names for who the Sixers pick in the first round at 21, but the latest one is very enticing. Recent mocks have the Sixers drafting Josh Green out of Arizona with their first selection on draft night.

Green is a 6-6 wing player who is coming off a freshman season at Arizona where he averaged 12.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.6 APG. He also knocked down 36.1% of his three-point attempts while shooting around three a game.

One thing the Sixers need to focus on is how ready these prospects are. In recent drafts, the front office has done well selecting guys who can contribute right away. Despite Green only have one year in college, he is a guy who could come right in and produce.

For starters, Green is ready for the league from a physical standpoint. At six foot six and 210 pounds Green has a frame that is ready to go against other NBA athletes. Not to mention he has a 6'10 wingspan. He is the ideal mold of wing players in today's game.

Josh Green is one of the best three-and-D prospects in this draft class and checks a lot of boxes for the Sixers. This past postseason we saw that lack of perimeter defenders hurt the Sixers greatly. Adding a prospect like Green could help fix that.

Glenn Robinson III will likely move on in free agency, making the Sixers' wing depth thinner. Green is the type of prospect that could come in and play the same type of role that Robinson III played in his short time on the Sixers.

Elton Brand told the media moving forward that he is going to look to better complement the team's two All-Stars, and Green is the exact type of player to put around those two. He is a knockdown shooter that can spot up when Joel Embiid works in the post, and he is super athletic to run the open floor with Ben Simmons in transition.

There is a slight chance that the Sixers trade this pick to sweeten an offer. But if they don't, drafting Green with the pick would be a good move for the Sixers.

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