The trade deadline is a few days away and it’s been pretty quiet on the Sixers’ front.
It makes sense in that general manager Elton Brand will likely only be looking to add complementary players with his three stars in place.
So, as Brand looks around for a veteran a player or two that could help his team reach their goals, what do the Sixers have to offer?
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Let’s look at a few of their assets.
The Miami Heat’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick
This pick is intriguing because 2021 seems kind of far away, but it’s already been moved multiple times. Placing value on it is difficult because of the weird spot the Heat are in.
They have some really horrendous contracts. By 2021, Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson will be off their books, but, unless they make a move with a trade or buyout, they’ll still be saddled with James Johnson ($16,047,100), Kelly Olynyk ($13,598,244), Justise Winslow ($13 million) and Dion Waiters ($12,650,000). At least three of those contracts already look bad in 2019.
But they’ll have enough space for one max deal and they do have Josh Richardson, who is signed to one of the most team-friendly contracts in the NBA. If Pat Riley, who is now 73, is still running things, he’s unlikely to tank.
The report that high school players still won’t be eligible for the draft by 2021 also hurts the Sixers. This pick certainly has value. How much may be in the eye of the beholder.
This isn’t me saying they will or they should trade Fultz. In fact, quite the opposite.
There seems to be two camps of Sixers fans: The ones who still look at Fultz’s value as the No. 1 pick and the ones who just want the team to part ways with the 20-year-old. There is a whole mess of gray area in between.
Fultz’s value will likely never be lower than it is at this moment. He hasn’t played since Nov. 19, when he was still struggling with his shot and was replaced by T.J. McConnell. That’s not to say he has no value at all.
The Sixers are likely better off hanging onto Fultz. Even if the team’s desire is to eventually move on, they’re much better off letting him get healthy and back on the court to establish more value.
His $9,745,200 cap hit next season will be tough to swallow if he isn’t contributing, but better than giving him away for next to nothing only for him to realize his potential elsewhere.
The young players
The Sixers have a few young players that could interest teams. Zhaire Smith, Justin Patton and Landey Shamet were all first-round picks and are under the age of 22.
Smith is a player the Sixers traded for and obviously coveted. It would probably take a trade for a major piece for them to think about moving Smith, which seems unlikely. Same for Shamet, who’s played a pivotal role on the Sixers’ bench and has improved all season long.
Patton could be a different story. He’s the forgotten man of the Jimmy Butler trade and obviously wasn’t drafted by the Sixers, so it’s hard to assess how they value him. He has potential as an athletic, rim-running big, something a lot of teams could value. With Jonah Bolden playing well as the team's backup center, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Patton used in a deal as a sweetener or for salary matching purposes.
ALL the second-round picks
The Sixers still have a ton of second-round picks outside of their own:
2019 from Chicago
2019 from Milwaukee or Sacramento (more favorable)
2020 from Brooklyn or New York (more favorable)
2020 from Dallas
2021 from Denver
2021 from Detroit
2021 from New York
2023 from Detroit
Long live Sam Hinkie.
These picks don’t have a ton of value, but they’re something. Especially for a trade involving a veteran player on an expiring deal for a bad team. Teams will be happy to recoup something as opposed to just letting a player walk in free agency.
*The contract figures mentioned are per Spotrac.
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