The Philadelphia 76ers should be feeling the pressure. Reigning MVP Joel Embiid is at the peak of his powers, but the Sixers have not advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. They navigated the James Harden drama and remained in contention. Now, Philly must use their assets to maximize their roster before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
The Sixers have options. They could create max cap space in the offseason, but it would mean holding at the deadline. Philadelphia is third in the Eastern Conference, but firmly behind Boston and Milwaukee in the pecking order. They have three first-round picks to trade and should not waste a year of Embiid’s prime.
Multiple stars are projected to be available before Feb. 8, and the Sixers have several moveable contracts. Here are six all-in trades Philadelphia can make before the final buzzer.
5. 76ers narrowly avoid all-in to land Pascal Siakam
Siakam is firmly on the block. The two-time All-Star is on an expiring contract, and the Raptors already traded OG Anunoby. There are plenty of rumors, including Marc Stein noting the 76ers were not expected to pursue the 6’8 forward (subscription required).
Do not believe everything that is out there this time of year. Daryl Morey is known to chase top-end talent, and Siakam figures to be one of the best players available. He would have to be willing to re-sign with the 76ers in the offseason, but the team should know that before making the trade. His expiring contract likely prevents Philly from going completely all-in.
This is still a significant price. The Raptors need a big man in return with Jakob Poeltl injured, so they take a chance on Paul Reed, who has shown promise behind Joel Embiid. Toronto gets two first-round picks, but Philadelphia saves one to further upgrade their roster down the line.
If the 76ers decide against Pascal Siakam, they will have several other star options to trade for before the Feb. 8 deadline, but the rest will force them to go all-in.