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Sixers Linked to Eastern Conference Rival as James Harden Support

In a January 19 The Ringer article, Michael Pina previewed every single NBA team’s needs from the draft and free agency. Because the Philadelphia 76ers don’t have their first-round pick this year, Pina did not delve into what they needed from the draft but instead detailed who the Sixers may target in free agency this coming offseason, singling out specifically getting a P.J. Tucker-type player.

“Aside from ‘don’t lose James Harden’ as an overriding offseason goal, the Sixers should look for a younger, more offensively assertive version of P.J. Tucker and re-sign Georges Niang, whose 3-point shooting has been a boon for lineups that feature Joel Embiid and Harden,” Pina said.

Pina then delved deeper into what that kind of player is and named examples, including Joe Ingles of the Milwaukee Bucks.

“The Sixers don’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft, but, assuming they hang on to Harden this summer, they should go after another veteran with playoff experience who won’t get played off the court in a playoff series. Think Otto Porter Jr., Joe Ingles, or Torrey Craig.”

In 13 games this season, Ingles is averaging 6.8 points, four assists, and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three.

The Sixers may very well target said Tucker replacement, but they don’t have their first-round pick this year since they traded it to the Brooklyn Nets in the James Harden trade.

ESPN Sources: The Brooklyn Nets are deferring acquisition of the Philadelphia 76ers 2022 first-round pick at No. 23 to the 2023 NBA Draft. The option on pushing back pick comes out of the James Harden-Ben Simmons trade. Nets had to inform the league office of decision today.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2022

Proposed Trade Reunites Sixers With Former Big

As part of his trade deadline preview for the NBA Trade Deadline, ESPN’s Bobby Marks proposed a trade for every team, including the Sixers. Marks’ proposed trade would not only reunite the Sixers with a familiar face but also saves them money.

“Furkan Korkmaz, 2029 second and cash considerations to Houston for Boban Marjanovic. The trade would put the 76ers below the luxury tax threshold,” Marks proposed.

Marjanovic played for the Sixers during the 2018-19 season after being included in the Tobias Harris trade. Marjanovic then signed with the Dallas Mavericks, where he played for three seasons before being traded to the Houston Rockets last offseason.

According to Marc Stein, the Sixers are looking to trade players like Korkmaz in hopes of saving money.

“There is a rising expectation that Philadelphia will look to move either Jaden Springer or Furkan Korkmaz before the Feb. 9 trade deadline in hopes of shedding luxury-tax dollars,” Stein said on his Substack.

Sixers Could Trade ‘Next to Nothing’ to Re-Acquire Big

On a January 14 episode of “Pullin’ Up With Keith Smith and Adam Taylor,” Smith brought up which backup centers the Sixers may look into acquiring. One option that Smith brought up was Andre Drummond, who played for the team last season.

“I wouldn’t be shocked fully if it turned into a, ‘You know what, let’s get Andre Drummond back,’” Smith said. “So he is a guy whose contract has expired, and he signed with the Bulls. If the Bulls say, ‘Yeah, backup center is a luxury for us because we’re not very good,’ Philly could go trade for Drummond for next to nothing. And that could be, you know, this was because he played really well for Philadelphia a year ago.”

The Sixers potentially trading for Drummond depends on the mindset the Bulls will have at the trade deadline. At 21-24, the Bulls’ season has not gone the way they would have liked, but they are the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference standings, so they could compete in the playoffs if they so chose.

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