Sixers Could Be Fit for Bulls All-Star, Writer Says

Getty The Philadelphia 76ers take on the Chicago Bulls.

If the Chicago Bulls make Zach LaVine available, the Philadelphia 76ers could be a fit for the former UCLA star, according to Elias Schuster of Bleacher Nation.

“Not only could (LaVine) provide the MVP with some secondary scoring assistance, but he’d give Philly a powerful perimeter scoring game to pair with (Joel) Embiid’s interior dominance,” Schuster wrote in a June 6 opinion piece. “It’s not hard to see a world where these two lead one of the more efficient and explosive offenses in the NBA.”

Schuster’s piece hinged on whether Chicago would undergo a full-on teardown of its roster this offseason after two years of underperforming with the team’s Big Three — LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevich. In May, The Athletic wrote that the Bulls “have to start making trades” even after the team’s vice president of basketball operations, Artūras Karnišovas, said that blowing up the roster is “not on our minds,” according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Still, if a teardown were on the table, LaVine’s $40 million salary would fit in a one-for-one swap involving Tobias Harris’ expiring $39 million contract. In such a scenario, Philadelphia would likely need to send several picks to Chicago.

Unlikely Sixers Pursue a DeMar DeRozan Trade

While calling LaVine a possibility for the Sixers, Schuster downplayed the Sixers’ likelihood of chasing Bulls co-star DeMar DeRozan.

“Now, the idea of the 76ers targeting DeRozan is far more difficult to envision,” Schuster wrote. “His mid-range-heavy game wouldn’t pair as seamlessly with Embiid, who needs to do the large majority of his work inside. Now, Embiid can stretch the floor effectively, but I’m still not sure Philly would view DeRozan as the kind of wing talent needed to continue competing with the league elites.”

If the Sixers were to pursue LaVine or DeRozan, Tyrese Maxey would be the primary trade piece, according to Schuster.

“Thanks to a completely depleted draft arsenal, any conversation between these two teams would likely have to start with Tyrese Maxey,” Schuster wrote. “And that wouldn’t be an easy conversation for Philly.”

Tyrese Maxey Payday Could Be Expensive For Sixers

If the Sixers decide not to deal away Maxey, the 20-point-per-game scorer’s next contract could be lucrative, according to HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan.

“The floor for Maxey in negotiations will likely start with recent extensions for RJ Barrett, Tyler Herro and Jordan Poole” Gozlan wrote. “Of those three, Poole got the most guaranteed money at four years, $123 million, an annual average salary of just under $31 million. Maxey is arguably a cut above that group, but might not quite be a maximum player, projected at five years, $194.3 million. A slightly below maximum contract in the $175-185 million range could make sense.”

Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin feels that payday is one the Sixers must give Maxey in the event Harden leaves in free agency.

“If Harden does leave in free agency, which is a strong chance, Maxey has to be extended to keep him in Philadelphia next to Joel Embiid,” Carlin wrote. “He would also have to quickly take on more responsibility as the clear-cut No. 2 scorer next to Embid to keep the Sixers in contention in the East.”

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