Proposed Trade Sees Sixers Keep Harris, add Depth

Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers

Tobias Harris’ contract continued to be a thorn in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ side, as it limits their ability to rebuild their roster ahead of the new season.

Of course, there is always a way to trade a player, but when you’re aiming to contend, attaching additional assets isn’t always in your best interests. As such, Harris might still be in Philadelphia when the new season begins, however, according to David Murphy of the Inquirer, the Sixers do still have some avenues to explore.

In Murphy’s June 22 article, he proposes a trade that would send Danny Green, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle to the Detroit Pistons, but also improve their rotation by taking back some veteran bench depth, making the deal a winner for both parties.

The trade looks like this:

  • Detroit Pistons get: Danny Green, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle
  • Sixers get: Kelly Olynyk and Cory Joesph 

“If there isn’t a market for Harris, these are the types of moves that the Sixers are going to have to cobble together to build a rotation this offseason. The big unknown is whether we’re overstating or understating Thybulle’s value. The Pistons would essentially be taking on $10 million in dead money in Green, who is expected to miss most of the season while recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the playoffs. But they’d also be parting with $17.9 million in combined salary in the way of a couple of veterans who don’t bring a whole lot of big-picture utility to Detroit’s rebuilding project,” Murphy reasoned.

Sure, it’s not a blockbuster trade, and the Harris conundrum continues to lurk in the background, but Philadelphia needs to revamp their roster and this trade could provide them with some much-needed defense and scoring heading into next season.

The Olynyk Concern

When he was with the Boston Celtics, and then the Miami Heat, Olynyk was a high-level backup big man capable of stretching the floor, providing some rim protection, and offering some tertiary playmaking in a pinch.

Unfortunately, this past season with the Pistons, Olynyk’s powers have begun to fade, or at least, they looked like they’re fading. Part of the issue is that the Gonzaga product missed some time with a knee injury. But, if the six-foot-eleven combo big can regain his fitness, he would be an ideal fit behind Joel Embiid, allowing Doc Rivers to simplify his gameplan when the superstar center catches his breath.

Over his career, Olynyk is a 36.5% three-point shooter, averages 5.1 rebounds per game, and two assists per night, while also dropping 47.6% of his looks from the perimeter.

Detroit is Making Moves

On June 22, news broke that the Detroit Pistons had traded away Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers, generating roughly $56 million in cap space heading into free agency.

It looks like the Pistons are ready to re-design their roster around Cade Cunningham, and that all begins with a potential pursuit of Deandre Ayton, who is a restricted free agent this off-season. So, making a trade with the sixers, for two young, defensive-minded wings, could be the next step in the team’s plan for a more robust roster next season.

Thybulle clearly has some untapped potential on the offensive side of the floor, while Milton is a pesky on-ball defender when given license to push up on his man. Detroit clearly has more pressing issues to attend to, but by moving on from Grant, trade with the Sixers is not beyond the realm of possibility, even if it means eating Danny Green’s salary for next season – after all, they have the cap space to do so, and then some.

Read More