In a March 11 Bleacher Report story, Zach Buckley proposed a trade involving two former Philadelphia 76ers teammates – Robert Covington of the Los Angeles Clippers and Landry Shamet of the Phoenix Suns – being traded for each other.
Buckley explained why the Suns could pull the trigger on a deal like that, though he does not explain why the Clippers would.
“The Suns might have to use players instead of picks to get anything done, but maybe they’d see Shamet as expendable since they have other shot-makers like Damion Lee and Terrence Ross on the second team.
“Phoenix could see more value in adding a versatile, defense-first player like Covington over a sniping specialist like Shamet. The Suns have searched for the best three-and-D wings to put around their stars, and Covington could join that conversation. He’s a career 36.0 percent three-point shooter and, according to Dunks & Threes, an 89th percentile player in defensive estimated plus-minus.”
Covington and Shamet started out as teammates with the Sixers during the 2018-19 season. That was until Covington was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a package deal for Jimmy Butler. Shamet, too, was traded to the Clippers at the 2019 trade deadline in a package deal for Tobias Harris.
Proposed Trade Sends Sixers Royce O’Neale
Buckley also proposed a trade between the Sixers and the Brooklyn Nets in which the following would happen.
76ers get: Royce O’Neale
Nets get: Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House, three second-round picks
Buckley explained why O’Neale is the best the Sixers could hope for, given their lack of trade assets.
“The Sixers don’t have many resources to throw around, but they’d really help themselves by finding another two-way wing. Given the budget constraints, O’Neale might be as good as Philly can get.
“He’s a defense-first swingman who keeps increasing his perimeter volume without sacrificing his effectiveness. His 5.5 three-point attempts are a career-high, and so is his 39.1 percent splash rate. He’s even unlocking new layers of his game, manifested in the 3.8 assists he’s tossing out per night.”
Buckley added why the Nets might agree to that swap.
“The Nets, who are in this strange spot where they need to think about the future but wouldn’t gain much by bottoming out, might deem O’Neale as expendable since they have one of the best three-and-D collections going. If they are fans of Korkmaz or believers in a House bounce-back, they might gladly welcome the pair if they’re attached to a trio of second-round picks.”
Matisse Thybulle Reflects on Sixers Following Trade
While talking with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Thybulle delved into how difficult it was to play for the Sixers compared to his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers.
“It’s hard when you are on such a talented team and a team that has so much demand to win now,” Thybulle said. “And for whatever reason, I fell out of favor in the lineup or whatever you want to call it. And I didn’t really feel like there was an opportunity to really showcase it.
“Now, it feels like I have all the opportunity in the world. The opportunity is there, and it’s going to continue to be there. I’m only receiving encouragement to take advantage of it.”
Thybulle admitted that playing with fear impacted his performance with the Sixers, which has helped his time with the Trail Blazers be a change of pace.
“Any player that’s playing out of a place of fear is going to struggle,” he said. “Like there’s going to just be friction in everything you try to do. But when you play for a place of just discipline and receptiveness to what the game’s giving and what you are reading from it. I think there’s a lot more opportunity.
“And for me, specifically, I feel like there was a lot more fear-based play in Philadelphia as opposed to what I’m doing here in Portland.”