Sixers ‘At the Front’ for Acquiring Major Piece before NBA Trade Deadline

Robert Covington

Getty Robert Covington will likely be dealt to either the Sixers or Rockets before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6.

Less than four days away from the trade deadline and one name keeps coming up in Philadelphia. It’s a familiar name, one the Sixers are “at the front” of the line to acquire.

Robert Covington spent five of his first six NBA seasons in Philadelphia and earned a reputation as a dominant “three-and-D” wing player. The 29-year-old was jettisoned to Minnesota last year in the mid-season blockbuster deal that netted the Sixers Jimmy Butler.

The All-Star guard turned out to be a one-year rental player but now the Sixers are spinning the tires on bringing Covington back. Per the New York Times’ Marc Stein, Philadelphia and Houston are “at the front of the RoCo line.” RoCo, of course, is Covington’s popular acronym.

Covington was sometimes frustrating to watch during his first stint in Philadelphia. He was a lock-down defender on the wing and a member of the Sixers’ starting five for a long time. However, his hot and cold outside shooting drove fans crazy.

He was a 37.4-percent three shooter in his first year with the Sixers and then watched that average dip down to 33.3-percent in 2016. For his career, Covington has averaged 12.7 points per game while shooting 35.9-percent from three.

Asking Price for Covington May Be Too High

The Timberwolves are reportedly seeking two first-round draft picks in exchange for Robert Covington. The Sixers would have to be creative to make a deal work. Their biggest tradeable assets right now are Mike Scott and Zhaire Smith, along with a slew of second-round picks.

It’s highly unlikely the Sixers would want to part with any of their first-round picks — although they could dangle a protected first-rounder in 2021 or 2022 — but they may be running out of time.

Philadelphia has dropped their last two games and find themselves buried in the Eastern Conference standings at No. 6. Covington would give them another shooter off the bench, plus they could keep him long-term considering his desireable contract situation. He is due $11.3 million this year and $12.1 million in 2020-21.

Not for nothing, Covington was an original part of “The Process” and may welcome a family reunion with his former team. He has repeatedly talked about his refusal to fear failure.

“Everything you go through is not bad. Everything you do, every lesson, every mistake that you make, there’s something to be learned from it,” Covington told The Undefeated in 2018. “When things don’t go the way I’d like it? I’ll figure it out.”