The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching. Whether or not the Sixers will make any trades ahead of or as the deadline clock strikes, remains to be seen. Nick Nurse and the Philadelphia 76ers sit at 28-13 and are winners of 5 straight. Before the trade deadline on February 8th, there are 3 key questions for us to consider.
Question 1: What are the 76ers most important games ahead of the NBA trade deadline?
The Philadelphia 76ers have just 9 games remaining before the trade deadline on February 8th. Could their play over these 9 games determine just how active they will be at the deadline? That is certainly possible. Within that 9-game stretch, there is a 5-game road trip. The two most important games for the Sixers before the deadline are their matchups with the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets, both on the road.
The Indiana Pacers sit at 24-18 and just acquired Pascal Siakam. Tyrese Haliburton is turning into an NBA Superstar and is back in the lineup after an injury. The Pacers are a ton of fun to watch, leading the NBA in points per game on the season. It is possible that the Sixers would match up with the Pacers at some point in the playoffs, how will they fare on the road in Indiana?
When Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokić are both on the floor together, it becomes a must-watch game. In Philadelphia, Embiid scored 41 points in a 126-121 win over the reigning NBA champions. Philadelphia will visit the Denver Nuggets on January 27th, just 11 days after their previous matchup.
Matchups with reigning champions and potential playoff matchups can tell you a lot about how good a team is. The 76ers’ performance over the next 9 games may have a direct impact on their activity at the trade deadline. The matchups with the Pacers and Nuggets are key games to watch as we inch closer to the trade deadline.
Question 2: Are the Sixers seeking to add a star player before the deadline?
That’s a fair question. When the Sixers agreed to send James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers, they got several role players in return. Many were left feeling as if the Sixers were not done yet and would look to use their assets and acquire a star player to team up with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.
As the Sixers sit at 28-13, the chatter in this manner has taken a step back. The Sixers are playing good basketball as is, adding someone new to the mix could mess with the chemistry that this team has established.
Additionally, two of the notable names that have been linked to the Sixers including OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, have already found new homes. Anunoby is now a New York Knick, Siakam now an Indiana Pacer. Trade rumors surrounding Zach LaVine and the 76ers have quieted down in recent weeks. Things can change in a hurry in this league, but at this moment it does not appear that the Sixers will be looking to add a star at the deadline.
Question 3: Are the Sixers seeking to add role players before the deadline?
This 2023-24 76ers team has some invaluable depth. Through 41 games they have had 15 players see action in 24 games or more. While just about every playoff contender will be on the phone looking to add bench pieces to their roster, it remains unclear just how much the Sixers will pursue this. After all, if everyone on the current team is healthy, it is difficult for Nurse to find enough minutes for everyone. If they were to pursue a trade, who would they trade away? What role players may already be untouchable?
To name a few, Nurse and his staff have to be happy with the play of Kelly Oubre Jr., De’Anthony Melton, Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, and Patrick Beverley this season.
With that said, if there is a player made available that the Sixers feel can help their team, expect a move to be made, even if it seems like a “small” one.