76ers trade rumors: Matisse Thybulle drawing interest

Matisse Thybulle, 76ers rumors Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Matisse Thybulle, 76ers rumors Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sixers will no doubt look to improve the roster at the trade deadline. There are also financial considerations at play, which should make it fascinating to see which course Daryl Morey charts over the next week.

Philadelphia recently topped the NBA power rankings on multiple platforms. Say what you will about the team’s past, it’s clear that — so long as Joel Embiid and James Harden are healthy — this team has the ability to win it all. A trade could boost their title odds, but there’s just as much downside risk if the Sixers decide to remove important depth pieces in favor of cap flexibility.

And thus, we arrive at Matisse Thybulle. After spending last season in the starting lineup, Matisse Thybulle has seen his minutes cut in half due to the arrival of P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton. In the last year of his rookie contract, it’s time for the Sixers to make a decision: commit long term, or trade him.

The Sixers could find suitors for Matisse Thybulle ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline

According to Marc Stein, the Sacramento Kings will monitor Thybulle’s availability ahead of the trade deadline. There would no doubt be other suitors for Thybulle as well if the Sixers do ultimately decide to shop the 25-year-old two-time All-Defensive team nominee.

For Sacramento, there’s an obvious urgency to bolster the backcourt defensively given the struggles of offensive-minded Malik Monk off the bench. Thybulle’s 3-point shooting has improved incrementally this season and there are few, if any more disruptive perimeter defenders in the NBA. He’s hitting 33.3 percent of his 4.0 attempts per 36 minutes from deep, and averaging 2.7 steals to boot.

The Sixers have always struggled to cover for Thybulle’s weakness as a shooter because of the onus on creating space in the middle of the court for Joel Embiid. The Kings have more shooting than Philly, while Domantas Sabonis’ particular brand of big man playmaking could accentuate Thybulle’s best offensive trait — his athleticism as a cutter.

Whether it’s Sacramento or another team, expect the Sixers to at least listen to calls on Thybulle. They may even be actively making the calls themselves. With most of their draft capital tied up in the James Harden trade, the Sixers will need to entice a potential trade partner with young, financially-friendly players. Thybulle is barely in the rotation despite clear improvement and one has to imagine the Sixers are hesitant to offer him a substantial extension.

Philadelphia shouldn’t give Thybulle away for nothing, but if the right battle-tested veteran comes along, it shouldn’t surprise fans if the Sixers pull the trigger on a Thybulle trade.