The Philadelphia 76ers have not looked to be the complete team and legitimate title contender it was hoped coming into the season. While the injury woes are notable, they sit at 8-8 and in 8th place in the Eastern Conference through the opening 16 games of the season. Many insiders have stated they expect the Sixers to be active ahead of the trade deadline in order to complete the team and increase their chances of securing the elusive championship. Two players who have especially heard their names mentioned in these discussions are Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle.
Heavy Sports Sean Deveney spoke with an anonymous Eastern Conference General Manager to get a better idea of what Thybulle’s trade market looks like. The two-time All-NBA Defensive standout is an interesting player due to his niche abilities, but the offensive development has not occurred in the way it was hoped.
The GM acknowledged this and stated, “There has been a lot of conversation about him, there has been interest in (Furkan) Korkmaz as well. The problem they have is the value of both of those guys is pretty low and if anyone is going to try to get either one, it is a something-for-nothing situation. No one is going to give up a first-round pick for Thybulle, not with the way he has shot it. Same with Korkmaz. They haven’t been offered anything that is going to make them a better team, not yet at least, so why make a move?”
Thybulle’s Play This Season
There was a growing hype heading into the season surrounding Thybulle’s reworked jump shot. The 25-year-old spent time working with Zach LaVine and Dame Lillard this offseason as well as famed shooting coach Phil Beckner. Thybulle’s focus was on improving as a ball handler as well as cutting out unnecessary motion in his jump shot.
Unfortunately, this work has not translated into on-court production. Thybulle is playing a career-low 11.9 minutes per game and was held out of the Sixers’ initial rotation to start the season. During the time he has been on the court, he connected on just three of his 17 three-point attempts which is a career-low 17.6%. The defensive ace is also shooting a career-worst 28.6% from the field overall.
The Washington product will always be known for his defensive impact but must provide something on the offensive end in order to benefit the team. In past years teams have ignored Thybulle on the offensive end which has clogged up the Sixers’ offense. It is a difficult balance as the team needs his defensive impact, but the offensive deficiencies make it difficult to give him extended time.
In addition to the Sixers’ need to improve their roster, Thybulle’s contract makes a potential trade more pressing. He is in the final year of his rookie deal and will be a free agent following this season. The Sixers and Thybulle entered into brief negotiations this summer but did not pick up any traction. It also is worth noting he will be a restricted free agent following the season which means the Sixers will have the opportunity to match any offer.
His current contract holds a cap hit of roughly $4.4 million which is notable when considering trade options. Per the NBA trade rules, teams may not exceed 125% of the outgoing salary with the incoming value of the new players. It also should be noted that the Sixers are hard-capped this season which means they cannot exceed $156,983,000 in total salaries at any point during the year. As things currently stand, the Sixers have $151,445,847 in salary with an open roster spot still available.https://twitter.com/NBA_University/status/1594834928625389570?s=20&t=dc4d19q7e1dNbVWBoJwwXA
This is not the first time Thybulle has been in trade talks during his Sixers tenure. His name will be one to monitor as the trade deadline approaches and December 15th is a date circled on General Managers’ calendars as newly signed players are now eligible to be traded. Philadelphia has put a focus on adding more two-way players to increase their postseason chances. Thybulle does not fall into this category which points toward him being moved. The Sixers will need his production as they battle through notable injuries, but don’t be shocked if he is not on the team at the conclusion of the season.