Major ‘Sticking Point’ Revealed in Sixers-Raptors Trade

Tyrese Maxey

Getty Sixers rookie Tyrese Maxey talking with Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle.

The Philadelphia 76ers are rolling right now. Mark them down for three straight wins following Tuesday night’s 108-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors, all without Joel Embiid in the lineup.

More impressively, the Sixers have now won nine of their last 10 games dating back to March 1. Tobias Harris has been putting the league on notice nightly while proving why he deserved to be an All-Star. He had a game-high 25 points on Tuesday and hit the go-ahead jumper with 3:44 left in the fourth quarter. He’s on a mission.

And so are his teammates despite all the talk of the Sixers making a deal at the trade deadline on March 25. The most talked about name has been Philly native Kyle Lowry, although a few lower-priced shooters (George Hill, Lonzo Ball, Norman Powell) have been mentioned as well. Doc Rivers addressed the trade rumors twice this week.

“As a group, we’ve won nine out of 10 games, the guys are playing good basketball. No need to talk about it,” Rivers told reporters on Tuesday. ““I like our team. If we make a move, great, if we don’t, we love our team.”

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Raptors Reveal Asking Price for Lowry

The Miami Heat are looking more and more like the front-runners to land Lowry in a deadline deal. The Sixers remain in the mix but are considered a long shot to land the Toronto Raptors guard, per NBA Insider Jason Dumas. There are a few reasons for their hesitance to pull the trigger on a Lowry trade. For starters, the six-time All-Star wants a new contract hammered out before he agrees to anything and the price tag is in the neighborhood of two years at $50 million for a player who turns 35 years old on March 25.

Secondly, the asking price for Lowry is thought to be high. One reported package would include Tyrese Maxey, Mike Scott, Danny Green plus a draft pick or two (via CBS Sports). Maxey, of course, was the 21st overall pick in the 2020 draft and a guy who projects as the long-term backup point guard behind Ben Simmons.

And Green’s leadership has proven irreplaceable so far this season. Meanwhile, Scott would be an easy player to part ways with (no offense to the bee hive!) since he’s a little-used reserve — 16.6 minutes per game — thanks to the emergence of Tony Bradley.

Thybulle Remains ‘Sticking Point’ in Any Trade

The main “sticking point” in any deal, especially one for Lowry, would be the inclusion of Thybulle. The 2019 first-rounder has been one of the best defenders on the court while continuing to improve his long-range shooting. And Thybulle has been taking full advantage of extra minutes with Seth Curry out.

“Overall, he’s been great — and then defensively he continues to get better,” All-Star Ben Simmons said of Thybulle. “I feel like if he had the same amount of minutes as me, he would be defensive player of the year. Easily. He’s great and he’s getting better.”

So it’s easy to understand why the Sixers don’t want to trade him. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Sixers are “reluctant” to move Thybulle and rightfully so. Maxey, on the other hand, would be available in a potential deal for Lowry.

Philadelphia has also received calls on standout defender Matisse Thybulle from several teams around the league, sources told HoopsHype. Some general managers across the league believe the inclusion of Thybulle in a trade offer could swing the bidding for Lowry’s services, but the 76ers are reluctant to part with him.

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