With the NBA Trade Deadline coming up in a few weeks, the Philadelphia 76ers are running out of time to get some upgrades around their roster. David Early of Liberty Ballers pointed out that President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey built a name for himself through his clever work with the Houston Rockets but had himself a blunder early on in his tenure with the Sixers.
“In Houston, Morey became famous for not just making historic fleecings, like ripping the Thunder off for James Harden in the first place, but also for working the margins, finding guys like Pat Beverley, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela, or Ben McLemore utilizing late picks, and making deft free-agent signings.
“One such player who could have but now will not fit the bill for wins along the margins,” Early said.
The player in mind was Isaiah Joe, a former Sixers’ second-rounder, who was released by the team in October. Joe has found himself with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who Early believes would fit with the current Sixers squad.
“Isaiah Joe was the ideal type of young player on a dirt-cheap salary the Sixers ccould’veused to space the floor for their stars.
“With that in mind, it’s been especially regrettable to see Isaiah JJoe’smini-breakout come in Oklahoma City and not Philadelphia this year.”
How Joe’s Breakout Impacts the Sixers
After the Sixers released Joe, the Thunder signed Joe to a three-year, $6 million deal. This season, Joe is averaging 7.9 points while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 44.7 from three while shooting 4.4 three-point attempts a game. Because of that, Early points out how much of a steal Joe could have been for the Sixers had they kept him.
“The team could have kept Joe on what is shaping up to be a ludicrous Sam Hinkie special-esque contract. The former Razorback sniper was the 49th pick in the 2020 Draft, selecting him was one of Morey’sfirst (and finer?) moves as Team President.”
Because of Joe’s breakout, Early believes his performance will impact how the Sixers approach the deadline.
“The 223-year-old’s white-hot shooting now puts added pressure on key decision-makers in Philadelphia to significantly upgrade this roster at the Feb. 9 deadline.”
Despite Joe’s emergence as a sharpshooter, the Sixers are one of the best shooting teams from distance, shooting 38 percent from three on the season, good for fourth overall in the league. However, they are tied for the 13th-most attempted threes a game, averaging 13.3.
Sixers Potentially Linked to Kyle Kuzma
On the January 14 episode of “Postin’ Up With Keith Smith & Adam Taylor,” Smith explained Morey’s thought process when approaching the trade deadline, and why he thinks Kyle Kuzma is gettable for the Sixers.
“He’s gonna do stuff around the edges of his roster, and he’s got some movable pieces there that you’re gonna see he’s going to do something to flesh that team out a little bit more,” Smith said. “And that’s where a guy like Kyle Kuzma, who makes $13 million, could be in play for them. Because it’s a very gettable contract, you don’t have to do much to match the salary.”