HOW DID THEY GET HERE
The Philadelphia 76ers have sprinted into the All-Star Break with the best record in the Eastern Conference (24-12). New coach Doc Rivers has transitioned smoothly into his new home.
While new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has left his mark in his effort to build a title contender. There is no denying what Morey brings to a franchise as he wanted to move East leaving his former team the Houston Rockets.
After his move, both of the Rockets’ former superstars demanded trades. Russell Westbrook went to the Washington Wizards and James Harden joined the Brooklyn Nets. There was a good chance for James Harden to reunite with Morey in Philadelphia but the franchise did not want to part ways with Ben Simmons.
After Jimmy Butler left for the Miami Heat last year, there was a lot of concern because the Miami Heat made the NBA Finals as the 76ers got swept in the NBA bubble down in Orlando in the first round to the Boston Celtics.
With the many critics doubting them, Morey got to work by bringing in Doc Rivers as the new head coach and solid assets who can contribute to both the offensive and defensive end of the court. Doc has been huge as a part of the 76ers keys to success.
The addition of Dwight Howard has been great as he has been a solid backup to Joel Embiid who also missed six games this season. The additions of Seth Curry and Danny Green have opened up the offense providing the team with the much-needed shooting.
Tobias Harris has been excellent next to Embiid and Simmons. Harris even made a solid case for an All-Star selection as he is currently averaging 20.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 3.4 APG. He is also shooting 51.3% from the field, 40.2% from behind the arc, and 88.7% from the free-throw line.
Ben Simmons has also improved tremendously in the defensive end which is putting him in the discussion for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the argument can be made that Joel Embiid was the MVP through the first half of the season 30.2 PPG and 11.6 RPG.
With the trade deadline approaching, the 76ers will be active for a possible deep run in the playoffs, here are some moves the team could make. One rumor that is circling around the league is the team could look for a half-court playmaker.
POSSIBLE MOVES AT THE DEADLINE:
Kyle Lowry (TOR)
While Lowry might not be specifically asking for a trade to his hometown team, it would certainly make sense with Ben Simmons being a point-forward. He would help the team create spacing on the court. He is also is a former NBA champion.
Lowry would is also a shot creator who can help his teammates find open looks. A deal would involve a young player like Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green (contract), and a few draft picks.
Nemanja Bjelica (SAC)
He may not be a big-name player but he won’t cost as much. One or two second-round picks and a player like Mike Scott should do the trick. The Sacramento Kings have no need for Bjelica as they are not battling for a playoff spot.
In his first two seasons with the Kings, Bjelica shot 41.1% from beyond the arc and was especially lethal from the corner (52.5%). The Kings could use the 76ers’ picks to build for the future.
George Hill (OKC)
Similar to the Kings, the Oklahoma City Thunder are nowhere near fighting for a playoff spot. The Thunder’s general manager, Sam Presti, is known for stockpiling draft picks for the future.
Hill is great at dishing the ball off the bench, boasting an 18.2% assist rate which is higher than that of Lowry.