Following the James Harden trade, the Philadelphia 76ers have seemingly laid the groundwork to eventually acquire a third fiddle to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. But considering their impressive start to the season, one might argue that a marquee player may not be necessary anymore, at least in this campaign, given how compelling they have looked on the court as a collective.
Rumblings around the league are still harping about how the 76ers should nevertheless remain a key player on the trade market before the deadline, but reasonably speaking, the front office could deem it more apt to improve the roster on the margins instead of making a huge play for a third star. Fortunately, the open market should be furnished with serviceable players on good contracts who could easily slide into meaningful roles on the club.
The Philadelphia 76ers are a perfect match for this popular trade candidate
One of the players often pegged as a prime trade candidate this season is Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso. With his team badly needing a reboot as soon as possible, their front office could soon hold a fire sale. Zach LaVine has been the primary noise-maker so far in this regard, but Caruso is not far off. In fact, there has been some murmurs about him potentially having more buyers than the All-Star.
Named to the All-Defensive Team last season, defense is Caruso’s calling card. The 29-year-old is an analytics darling on the defensive end whose impact as a stopper is pretty obvious as well on the eye test. Meanwhile, his low-usage offense hinged on secondary playmaking and spot-up shooting is also a nice bonus, especially factoring in his efficient shooting splits to begin the season.
Patrick Beverley has remained stable as a backup guard, but he has struggled mightily as a shooter, having canned a putrid 13.6 percent of his three-point attempts so far. In comparison, Caruso has drained 48 percent of his triples on a much higher volume than the former.
De’Anthony Melton’s steady start has macerated Beverley’s wanting play on offense a bit, but adding Caruso into the equation to bolster the perimeter positions would be tremendous. Really, the only perceivable caveat to trading for him would be the minutes he would be sapping from Jaden Springer, who has shown tremendous growth as a defender in Year 3.
It remains to be seen whether the Bulls would gouge Caruso’s price tag, but Philadelphia has the ammunition to take out key players in a potential bidding war for his services. That being said, the 76ers should not be too amenable to overpaying for him unless Beverley fails to get his rhythm back or the team is bit by the injury bug.