Ex-Villanova Star Linked to Sixers as a Potential Free-Agent Target

Sixers president Daryl Morey

Getty Sixers president Daryl Morey

The Philadelphia 76ers have officially locked up the fourth seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday. The team will take on the Toronto Raptors starting on Saturday night at 6 pm.

While the team is about to embark on their playoff push, it’s no secret that the Sixers have some issues. For one the team still hasn’t figured out how to survive when superstar Joel Embiid goes to the bench. The Sixers also don’t have much depth.

With those issues in mind, the Sixers brass is brainstorming ideas on how they can improve the roster after the season. It looks like one possibility for the team could be to bring a former Villanova star back to Philadelphia.

Possible Homecoming

Sacramento Kings insider James Ham said on a recent episode of the Kings Beat podcast that guard Donte DiVincenzo is unhappy with the Kings. That could pave the way to the Sixers either signing him or getting him in a sign-and-trade deal.

“DiVincenzo and his group, his team, are not at all happy with the Kings,” he said. “They believe that the Kings very specifically did not start him down the stretch of the season to limit his value in free agency.

“His team believes he’ll be able to get [a mid-level exception] from somebody, and the Kings are probably hoping that he won’t and they’ll be able to go a little bit lower. We could see where DiVincenzo makes it widely known that he doesn’t want to return to the Sacramento Kings.”

DiVincenzo is already a star in Philadelphia because of his time at Villanova. He was a part of the Wildcats’ national championship team in 2016 and helped lead them to the national championship in 2018 when he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Following that season DiVincenzo was the 17th pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA draft. During his NBA career, DiVincenzo has averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He was a member of the Bucks championship team in 2021 but went down with an ankle injury in the first round of the playoffs that caused him to miss the rest of the playoffs.

DiVincenzo was then traded to the Kings in February. In Sacramento, he’s averaged 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.5 steals in 25 games.

Early in his career, DiVincenzo has already shown that he can contribute to a championship-caliber team. It’s hard to see if the Sixers will explore trying to sign him, but he would be worth a look to help the team’s bench.

Playoff Time

The Sixers’ lack of depth could be a problem early in the postseason. Philadelphia will be without wing Matisse Thybulle for games three and four in Toronto because he’s unvaccinated.

The lack of depth will make the matchup even tougher for the Sixers. The Raptors have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA as they closed the season 8-2 over the last ten games. That stretch included a 119-114 win over the Sixers on April 7 and the Raptors also won the season series 3-1.

The Sixers definitely got a tough draw for the opening round of the playoffs. The fact that they will be shorthanded in some games will make things even tougher.

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