Ben Simmons’ jump shot (or, rather, his lack of one) and the possibility that he could be traded this summer continue to dominate hoops headlines. However, the Philadelphia 76ers have a slew of other roster situations to consider as they look to remedy the causes for their early playoff exit.
Clearly, Sixers president Daryl Morey has less work to do than most in bridging the gap between his club and the small group of teams that can call themselves legitimate title contenders going forward. Philly was the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed heading into postseason play for a reason, after all.
However, there are a handful of holes on the roster that Morey will likely aim to fill regardless of what happens with Simmons. To that end, one outlet has floated a familiar name and multi-time NBA All-Star as the player who should be Philly’s top target.
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Kyle Lowry Namechecked as a Sixers Target Once Again
For his latest NBA offseason feature, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz analyzed every team in the Association and attempted to identify a top offseason target for each. As relates to the Sixers, he went with a player who generated a significant amount of press in Philly and the hoops world at large before the league’s last trade deadline.
Specifically, Toronto Raptors floor general and six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry.
Long before Simmons’ shooting woes were thrust back into the forefront of Sixers-centric discussion, the lack of another backcourt playmaker was singled out as the team’s biggest weakness. So, Lowry made a ton of sense as a trade target. In the end, though, no deal with the Raptors came to fruition despite reports that one was close.
Swartz sees Philly picking its rumored pursuit of Lowry back up this summer, though.
“Lowry would be the perfect point guard for the Sixers,” he wrote. “He’s a leader with championship experience, and he can still set the table for others and score for himself at a high rate.”
Unfortunately, bringing him in could prove challenging for the Sixers. Despite being long in years at 35, Lowry will likely command a sizable payday as an unrestricted free agent. And with only the taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal, Philly doesn’t have a great ability to sign him outright.
Instead, the Sixers would be looking at sign-and-trade scenarios to acquire the North Philly native and 2019 NBA champion. However, engaging in such a maneuver would likely necessitate adding Simmons or Tobias Harris to the deal for salary matching, according to Swartz, which definitely complicates the issue.
Lowry put up 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per contest last season.
B/R Floats Danny Green for the New Orleans Pelicans
Elsewhere on the list, Green was floated as a possible target of the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Like the Timberwolves, the New Orleans Pelicans should be desperate to end their rebuild and secure a spot in the West playoffs. Adding a veteran like Danny Green who can shoot, defend and bring some leadership to the team could help.”
Assuming he holds up physically — Green is 34 and his playoff run ended prematurely with a right calf injury — it’s reasonable to assume he would provide the Pels with all of the things he was always brought to the table. The team’s first priority, though, will be retaining Lonzo Ball or getting something useful back for him in a sign-and-trade.
Meanwhile, Philly could be motivated to keep Green on the roster after he averaged 9.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for the team last season. He also played strong defense throughout the campaign and knocked down 40.5% of his triples.
- Western Conference Team ‘Badly’ Wants Trade for Ben Simmons
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- Could the San Antonio Spurs Make a Play for Simmons?
- Danny Green Speaks Out on Simmons’ Playoff Struggles