The Two Best (Non-Star) Sixers Trade Targets
Let’s get them both!
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He has been legally banned from covering the team in person, and when that ban was set to be lifted, Covid-19 struck. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
The Sixers have dropped a few games, their starting lineup is no longer undefeated and there have been frustrating lingering injuries. You know what that means: everyone is talking about trades on a daily basis.
If you’ve read my column for the last year-plus here at The Ricky, you know these are waters I will happily dip my toes into. As rumors swirl, I’ve started to focus on two players who could be ideal acquisitions.
PJ Tucker has likely been the most popular trade target among online Sixers fans, and it makes sense -- the dots are easy to connect. Tucker adds spot-up shooting and defense on the wing, and his history with new Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey speaks for itself.
For the last couple of months, I have been content with the idea. But in recent weeks I’ve warmed up to it even more. At this point, a deal for Tucker makes more sense to me than any other trade.
First of all, let’s tackle how to get there: Tucker makes a modest $7.9 million, which means he can fit into the Sixers’ trade exception generated by the Al Horford - Danny Green trade. He can also be acquired in exchange for Mike Scott and any other Sixer. The Sixers have plenty of routes to add Tucker that does not limit their spending power.
On the court, the deal makes even more sense. Scott at the backup four is the spot in the rotation that could be most easily upgraded. Tucker can play considerable minutes on the wing, but that’s not all. With Dwight Howard continuing to struggle during recent weeks, Tucker provides the Sixers with a fascinating small-ball center candidate.
Tucker is the easiest acquisition from a salary cap standpoint and an on-court fit standpoint. When it’s that simple, you go get the guy.
George Hill has long been a great hypothetical Sixer, and with him riding with the rebuilding OKC Thunder, it’s never been easier to imagine than it is now.
At a $9.5 million salary, he can be acquired fairly easily -- the Sixers can send OKC any two of Mike Scott, Tony Bradley and Terrance Ferguson to make the money work. Add a pick or two to that package and call it a day.
Hill can be a significant contributor if he is healthy, and if things didn’t work out for some reason, the Sixers would be in an easily maneuverable situation: Hill is set to make just over $10 million next season, but only $1.27 million of that is guaranteed.
I firmly believe Hill would be good enough to warrant keeping around at that $10 million number. But let’s say for a second that he ends up being disappointing: the Sixers don’t need to cut him. They can just as easily hang onto Hill and down the line next season use his salary as filler in a bigger trade.
On the court and in potential transactions, adding George Hill would give the Sixers a massive amount of optionality. And we’re all about optionality over here.