Are the Philadelphia 76ers finished building out the roster for the upcoming 2022-23 season? On one hand, it would make perfect sense if Daryl Morey & Co. are wrapped up, considering they made moves for Danuel House, De’Anthony Melton, and PJ Tucker this summer.
But on the other hand, doubt Morey at your own peril.
Now, with the Utah Jazz fully committed to a rebuild after the Donovan Mitchell-Cavaliers blockbuster, perhaps the Sixers should consider stopping by the Salt Lake City garage sale. Paul Hudrick of Liberty Ballers believes Philadelphia should “absolutely” trade for Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, nicknamed “Flamethrower.”
“While it may be disappointing to some that the Sixers missed out on the grit king in [Patrick] Beverley,” wrote Hudrick for Liberty Ballers on September 2, “this move — along with the blockbuster trades of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell — shows the Jazz are very open for business. And if former Sixth Man of the year Jordan Clarkson becomes available, the Sixers should absolutely pounce — though it could be a bit tricky.”
Clarkson Would Solve Major Scoring Problem
One of the biggest weaknesses that plagued the Sixers last season involved their bench depth or lacktherof.
The Sixers’ bench finished 26th in the league in assists and 27th in scoring. The starters, led by last season’s scoring champ Joel Embiid, pack quite the offensive punch, but the rotation players often struggled to keep up. With last year’s Sixth Man of the Year in Clarkson, however, the Sixers could quite literally flip those figures.
“Clarkson is a walking bucket, as the kids say,” explained Hudrick. “Since 2018-19, he’s averaged 30.9 points per 100 possessions. That kind of microwave scoring is perfectly suited for a sixth-man role. He’s also audacious, putting up 12.8 threes per 100 possessions over that span — hence the nickname. He has the ability to score on all three levels and do so at a high level on any given night.”
That 30.9 per 100 possessions figure would have been the highest last season among Sixers not named Joel Embiid, James Harden, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey. In fact, there aren’t any Sixers in the same zip code as Clarkson’s scoring. And the next closest, Charles Bassey, only played in 23 games last season for Philadelphia.
Hudrick also compared Clarkson’s floor specialties to two former Sixers favorites.
“It’s intriguing to imagine Clarkson pairing with Joel Embiid,” Hudrick wrote, “running a two-man game similar to JJ Redick and Seth Curry. The DHO game could be especially dangerous with Clarkson, who is much more of a threat off the bounce.”
What Would a Deal for Clarkson Cost?
So it makes perfect sense for Philadelphia to bring in Clarkson. But what’s the cost? According to Hudrick, that’s where things could get sticky.
“The actual deal is not cut and dry,” Hudrick added. “In order to make the salaries match and stay below the tax apron, the Sixers would have to move Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and one more lower-end salary to make it work. If they threw in former first-rounder Jaden Springer, who is still only 19 years old, they might be able to entice the Jazz. Thybulle and Springer are both wings that can defend at a high level but are limited offensively. They’re lottery tickets, much like the player they received for Beverley in Horton-Tucker.”
Clarkson is far from the defender that Thybulle has proven to be. But on the other hand, Clarkson could have been available last season while Thybulle was forced to sit out from the Sixers series against Toronto over his vaccination status.
Clarkson doesn’t shy away from the big moments. Bringing his shot and confidence to Philadelphia could be a game-changer in an Eastern Conference that is only getting more talented by the day.