3 low-cost 76ers trades to finally get Joel Embiid some frontcourt help

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

76ers trade for Hornets’ Mason Plumlee and P.J. Washington

A slightly more expansive framework, just in case Daryl Morey wants to branch out and kill two birds with one stone, proverbially speaking. The Sixers get Mason Plumlee, a certified starting caliber center who would immediate sure up any lingering doubts about the backup five minutes in the regular season and the postseason. They also get P.J. Washington, who would step immediately into a critical role with the second unit.

The Sixers have to give something to get something, of course. Charlotte’s putrid defense gets a boost in the form of Matisse Thybulle, who can hassle opposing ball-handlers and take pressure off of LaMelo Ball. Furkan Korkmaz is salary filler (with some potential as a floor-spacer), and Georges Niang is an expiring contract with immediate utility as a shooter and veteran leader.

The first-round pick is what makes Charlotte consider this trade, of course. The Hornets are actively tanking and might not frown at the idea of getting worse and stocking up on future picks. Washington is in the final year of his rookie contract, on the verge of restricted free agency — just like Thybulle. I have to imagine the Sixers would be more comfortable paying Washington. Meanwhile, the Hornets might have the financial flexibility and general patience to invest in Thybulle’s development over the course of his second contract.

This trade would improve the Sixers in the short-term. Plumlee is genuinely very good — a highly underrated defensive anchor who’s light on his feet and who supplies ample play-finishing and play-connecting skills on offense. Washington can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and maybe even swallow some small-ball minutes next to Tucker in the playoffs. He’s not quite the shooter Niang is, but 35.6 percent on 5.6 attempts per game from deep is enough to keep defenses honest.