The Sixers Have To Do Something At The Trade Deadline
Daryl, you can't do nothing today.
Can't do nothing. Joel's being re-evaluated in four weeks (one of our least favorite songs), but the door to him returning before the playoffs is so wide open it's letting bugs in. Maxey took The Leap Part 4. You got role players who can shoot and defend -- when they're not all incredibly injured simultaneously -- around them. As imperfect as the situation is, you gotta go for it.
Joel was having the best season of his career, Tobey Maguire Spidermanning the bus from whizzing off the cliff, and they owe it to him to try. Could it be fruitless? Sure, it almost always is. But you have one of the 1-4 best players in the league, a first ballot Hall of Famer, a franchise icon, the reigning MVP, who has never advanced past the second round of the playoffs, and you owe it to him to not waste a year even when he's not at his optimum health. Maybe there's no such thing as his optimum health. But selling off expiring parts and punting the season to maybe get an extra 1st rounder to play with this offseason isn't worth it to me. He's about to turn 30. We're not gonna have many more chances at this thing. You fucking go for it.
The deadline is hours away, and Daryl & Elton's task is incredibly clear: survive the 45ish days without Joel, and then assuming he comes back looking something like he always has, survive the 8-12 minutes a game he sits in the playoffs. To do that, they'll need to acquire 1) somebody to take some of the creation load off Maxey so he can be better weaponized as the excellent off-ball shooter that he is; and 2) somebody who can make the defense pay from deep when they double Maxey or Embiid. Maybe you think Dejounte Murray is a guy who can do both. I mostly don't. Maybe Anfernee Simons is the hail mary I've speculated. Probably not. Jerami Grant? Doesn't feel like a Daryl guy. Lauri Markkanen? Over Danny Ainge's rotting corpse's terrible breath. It's more likely to take two guys to fortify things. So whether that's:
- Cam Johnson & Alex Caruso, or
- Bruce Brown & Bogdan Bogdanovic, or
- Delon Wright & Buddy Hield, or
- Luke Kennard & DeMar DeRozan, or
- Collin Sexton & Kelly Olynyk, or
- Spencer Dinwiddie & Dorian Finney-Smith, or
- Bojan Bogdanovic & (mike guy) Marcus Sasser
None of this is gonna be perfect. But you give Nick Nurse a versatile 9-man rotation, you take some of the load off Maxey, and you give Joel a shot. They're never gonna win one until they do.
Daryl & Elton shouldn't do nothing. And they won't. Talk to you in a few hours.