76ers’ updated starting lineup, depth chart after trade deadline

James Harden, Jalen McDaniels, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Harden, Jalen McDaniels, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers made a splash at the trade deadline, although many fans will argue it wasn’t a big enough splash. Daryl Morey pulled out a three-team deal with Portland and Charlotte, sending Matisse Thybulle to the Blazers and receiving Jalen McDaniels in return.

The purpose of the move was twofold: get a two-way wing who’s easier to keep on the floor in the playoffs, and duck the tax. McDaniels is cheaper than Thybulle (for now), but the Sixers will potentially have to contend with other suitors when he hits unrestricted free agency in the summer.

McDaniels does figure to factor into Doc Rivers’ rotation in a significant way. Here’s how the starting lineup and depth chart should look post-trade deadline.

76ers’ depth chart with Jalen McDaniels entering the fold

While there’s a non-zero chance McDaniels could out-perform P.J. Tucker and enter the starting five conversation, one has to imagine Rivers will stick with Tucker in the beginning. Say what you will about Tucker’s season to date, but he has a long track record of impactful postseason basketball and he’s clearly a leadership force on this team.


Guard: James Harden (35-40 MPG)

Wing: De’Anthony Melton (25-35 MPG)

Wing: Tobias Harris (30-40 MPG)

Wing: P.J. Tucker (20-30 MPG)

Big: Joel Embiid (35-40 MPG)

The second unit is where McDaniels figures to make the biggest dent for now. At 6-foot-9, he provides remarkable versatility on the defensive end. He’s also a strong rebounder for his position, averaging 6.8 rebounds per 36 minutes for his career. The Sixers need size and rebounding, so McDaniels fits hand-in-glove.

McDaniels should immediately absorb the 10-15 minutes per game that Thybulle was receiving prior to the trade deadline. That probably won’t be the full extent of McDaniels’ playing time, though. Due to his value on defense (combined with respectable, if not great 3-point shooting), we could see McDaniels start to take minutes from Georges Niang and Shake Milton.


Guard/Sixth Man: Tyrese Maxey (25-35 MPG)

Wing: Jalen McDaniels (15-25 MPG)

Wing: Georges Niang (15-25 MPG)

Guard: Shake Milton (15-25 MPG)

Big: Montrezl Harrell (10-15 MPG)

Now, Paul Reed should get the backup center minutes, but right now it’s clear that Harrell has the undying trust of Doc Rivers for reasons only Doc can understand. Until the Sixers poach another center from the buyout market, which feels imminent, one has to imagine Harrell will continue to be Embiid’s unrivaled backup.

McDaniels was a fan favorite in Charlotte, and his two-way skill set fits the exact mold Philadelphia has lacked for years in the second unit. His 3-point percentage is down this season, but he shoots a clean ball and the indicators are positive short and long-term. The backup center conundrum aside, Philly has to feel really good about this second unit — with Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House Jr., and Paul Reed all waiting in the wings should injuries crop up.