5. Nicolas Batum
Batum quickly became a key piece of the 76ers after arriving in the James Harden trade. The 6’8 forward has a versatile skill set that fits perfectly in head coach Nick Nurse’s schemes. Batum has helped unlock Joel Embiid and is a key reason why Philadelphia is near the top of the standings.
The Sixers do not want to trade Batum, but his $11.7 million expiring contract could be crucial in matching salary. Daryl Morey is always chasing star talent and those players make hefty salaries. The 76ers will need to trade Tobias Harris or multiple players to match the money in a blockbuster.
Philadelphia would prefer to move Marcus Morris Sr. and Robert Covington, but the other team has some say. Rebuilding teams may not care, but others may insist Batum is involved to make the deal happen. Having a versatile forward capable of being a leader is of interest to several teams.
The Philadelphia 76ers need Nicolas Batum. Finding a wing capable of defending multiple positions, making plays, sinking open shots, and buying into his role is not easy. The 35-year-old will play a key role for however long he is on the team, and Morey will do his best to keep Batum out of any trade the Sixers make before the Feb. 8 deadline.