Approaching the midseason point, the Philadelphia 76ers have promptly established themselves as one of the teams to beat for the Larry O”Brien trophy. Joel Embiid has managed to outdo himself so far, leading the MVP race and ensuring that the 76ers have staying power in the title discussion even beyond this season.
When healthy, Philly has shown consistent two-way zest that has blown away many who expected a steep drop-off from the team. Embiid and Tyrese Maxey have given the franchise new life, but their solid supporting cast of battle-tested veterans have also given them more than sufficient ammo to be confident in their title chances come playoff time.
The 76ers are a potential landing spot for DeMar DeRozan should he hit the trading block
That being said, championship windows tend to waver. Sustaining them is even harder. Thus, with parity in the NBA at levels rarely seen before, the 76ers should go all-in this season should the opportunity to add talent at a relatively low cost show itself.
One situation they should monitor is DeMar DeRozan’s future in Chicago. The Bulls have been revitalized as of late following a measly start, but no one’s giving them a fighter’s chance to make playoff noise. Thus, their front office should reasonably explore the possibility of being sellers before the trade deadline.
DeRozan is 34 years old and will eventually slow down. In fact, he’s turning in his least efficient season yet since his final season in Toronto. That being said, he’s still an adept scorer and playmaker who has shown a vaster offensive repertoire since his San Antonio days. And in account of his expiring deal, he could be a pendulum-swining floor-raiser as a rental this season.
Merge that with the fact that the 76ers have the assets to afford a lucrative rental, and you’ve got for yourself a potential late-season pairing that could work wonders. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley pitched Philadelphia as a team on the lookout for DeRozan, and it’s not difficult to see why a trade for him could pay off.
Philly has been a lethal offensive team this season, but their scoring attack beyond Embiid and Maxey has been a revolving door of which player has the hot hand for the night. There’s minimal pecking order beneath those two, and clutch scoring in that design is pretty exploitable come playoff time.
DeRozan’s newfound attribute as a willing scorer on the tertiary should be attractive for Philly as long as the price is right. He touts more reliable self-creation and table-setting than Tobias Harris, and his low-volume 34.4 percent three-point shooting should be enough cover-up. His defense is tolerable when he’s engaged, and even the prospect of him leading bench units in staggered configurations would help boost the league’s lowest-scoring second unit.
The Bulls’ potential asking price for DeMar DeRozan remains to be seen, but if it ever appears cheap on their radar, the Philadelphia 76ers should not hesitate to get the ball rolling and make a play for the three-time All-NBA scorer.
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