Two Western teams emerge as Thybulle trade partners: report


Matisse Thybulle's name has been mentioned in numerous prospective (and rumored) trade talks for over a year now, and after another season of offensive stagnation he seems more moveable than ever.

So will the Sixers' young star defender be on the move this week as NBA free agency approaches and the team looks to reshape its roster into a win-now contender?

If he is, it sounds like there are two teams who have emerged as the main contenders for Thybulle's services.

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Bleacher Report insider Jake Fischer reported Wednesday morning that the Sixers are "still exploring various trade options" to free up money ahead of free agency, which begins Thursday evening at 6 p.m.

Here's what Fischer has heard about the Sixers' front office's latest maneuverings:

"Philadelphia continues to be mentioned as the leader to land Tucker on a widely-discussed deal that could reach as high as three years and $30 million. In addition to James Harden sacrificing some annual dollars, it's believed the Sixers are still exploring various trade options to free financial flexibility, as well as upgrade their roster with premium veteran talent. The two teams most often mentioned as Matisse Thybulle suitors have been Portland and Dallas."

Interesting! The Blazers have been strongly tied to Thybulle as a possible trade destination for more than a week now - the Inquirer's Keith Pompey reported around the NBA Draft that the Blazers were willing to do a straight-up swap for Thybulle, while the Sixers wanted a third team involved - but I believe this is the first time we've seen Dallas tied to Thybulle. (If I'm wrong, please let me know!)

It's important to note that while the Sixers are indeed looking to free up cap space, it doesn't sound like Morey is willing to simply toss off Thybulle for nothing in the interest of saving dollars. He only counts for $4.3 million against the cap this year, and as a 25-year-old defensive virtuoso with crazy length and athleticism he's also still a valuable asset.

Here's Liberty Ballers' Paul Hudrick on the matter, from before the Draft - but I'd imagine the sentiment is the same now:

"While there does appear to be legitimate smoke with Tucker, this isn’t a Tucker-or-bust situation for the Sixers. There are still several scenarios the team is exploring to improve its rotation and depth ahead of the draft and the start of free agency. And pieces like Thybulle, Green and pick 23 could still be in play. But don’t expect the team to dump any of those assets without gaining anything in return."

So what might the Sixers look to get in return from these teams?

To be honest, I don't see a ton of enticing options on Portland's roster. If Morey can't find any exciting returns and is really in the market of just opening up money to sign P.J. Tucker, the Blazers make perfect sense because of the trade exception they created in this past winter's Robert Covington deal with the Clippers. The Sixers could just send Thybulle to the Blazers, free up all that money, and be done.

With Dallas, I like the idea of adding a Reggie Bullock: a reliable three-point shooter whose on/off defensive numbers have been perfectly acceptable the last few years. He's 31 years old and the team would have him under contract for two years, counting $10 million against the cap this year and $10.4 million against the cap next year.

READ: So did the Sixers actually have Kyrie Irving interest after all?

Maybe this gets that deal done:

PHI receives: R. Bullock

DAL receives: M. Thybulle, F. Korkmaz

Maybe! It's a wild part of the NBA calendar: teams' plans are changing constantly, they have 100 irons in the fire, and basically nothing is certain.

We'll see what happens!

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