Sixers: Pros and cons of pursuing 3 trade targets

John Collins, Sixers trade targets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
John Collins, Sixers trade targets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers have stumbled out of the gates this season. At 12-12, they currently occupy the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, far removed from the heavy-hitters up top. There’s still plenty of time to turn things around, but it’s starting to feel like Daryl Morey might need to explore the trade market ahead of February trade deadline.

While the Sixers’ lack of draft capital hamstrings their ability to swing for the proverbial fences, there are plenty of interesting trade-worthy pieces on the roster: most notably Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, both of whom are already involved in rumors.

We recently passed judgement on four mock trades from around the web. In this article, we will focus more intently on three potential trade targets — deciding what makes them worth considering and what might incite hesitance.

Should the Sixers trade for Lonzo Ball?


  • Lonzo Ball shot 42.3 percent on 7.4 attempts per game from 3-point range last season. He’s an elite spot-up shooter with deep range and a quick trigger, with enough size to play next to James Harden and Tyrese Maxey.
  • On the defensive end, Ball would provide Philadelphia with elite off-ball instincts and another dosage of active hands — either off the bench or in the starting five. He’s great at erasing passing lanes and swatting shots from the weak side. With De’Anthony Melton and P.J. Tucker handling the tough individual assignments and Joel Embiid protecting the paint, Ball would be well positioned to play free safety and make things happen.
  • A high-level connective playmaker, Ball would just make the offense run smoother. He’s not your traditional ball-dominant point guard, despite his reputation coming out of UCLA. He’s well-suited to playing off of other ball-dominant guards (a la Harden), constantly cutting to the rim, moving into open space, and making precise passes within the flow of the offense. He’s a basketball genius who doesn’t need to dominate touches to profoundly influence the game. Philly needs more high-I.Q., unselfish players in the supporting cast.
  • He’s only 25 years old. If the Sixers can snag him, Ball would profile as both an immediate contributor and potentially a bridge to the future beyond Harden.


  • The most obvious concern is Lonzo’s knee injury. He only played 35 games last season and there’s no clear target date for his return this season. Things sound pretty dire right now. It’s fair to wonder if Ball will ever be healthy enough to consistently contribute to championship pursuits.
  • While Ball’s basketball genius and connective playmaking all sounds great on paper, can the Sixers actually get the most out of him? The Sixers run through two very iso-heavy players and ball movement is not as common as the fandom would like. Ball can get by as a floor-spacer and cutter, but he can’t fully unlock the offense if the ball never swings his way.