The Philadelphia 76ers could solidify their frontcourt depth by shipping a struggling big man to the Minnesota Timberwolves, an insider speculates.
With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, many close to the Sixers believe the team will seek to bolster the depth behind MVP candidate Joel Embiid. Andy Quach of Philly Sports Network believes the Sixers could aim high, seeking to trade for the player he called one of the “best backup big men in the entire league.”
Sixers Ship Montrezl Harrell in Proposed Deadline Deal
Quach suggested that the Sixers could seek to land Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, the 23-year-old who has averaged 10.3 points and a career-best 4.8 rebounds in 18 minutes per game this season. The insider suggested the Sixers could land Reid by with a package that includes struggling veteran Montrezl Harrell and guard Shake Meldon along with a 2023 2nd-Round Pick (from the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets or Brooklyn Nets) and Philly’s own 2027 2nd-Round Pick.
He believed the trade could benefit both sides, giving some “much-needed firepower” to Minnesota’s bench and opening more minutes for Karl-Anthony Towns to play the stretch-five once he returns from injury.
“In return, the Philadelphia 76ers receive one of the best backup big men in the entire league in Naz Reid,” he wrote. “His two-way abilities will be a massive boon for the Sixers bench unit. His talent speaks for itself, as Reid likely wouldn’t even be available if the Wolves weren’t already handing out over $72 million per year to KAT and [Rudy] Gobert.”
Reid could be in high demand at the trade deadline, especially with the Timberwolves hovering around the edge of the playoff picture and potentially looking to sell off some assets. The Boston Celtics have also been pegged as a potential trade suitor for Reid.
Sixers Could Hold Off on Big Trade Moves
There have also been some suggestions that it could be a quiet trade deadline in Philadelphia, with the Sixers making only peripheral or cost-cutting moves. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers also said he would be confident going into the playoffs with Harrell and Paul Reed as frontcourt depth if the team doesn’t end up making a trade to improve the depth behind Embiid.
“Doc Rivers, asked if he feels like he has bigs behind Joel Embiid that he can trust in the playoffs, says that he does trust Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed in the playoffs and that they’ll push each other,” reporter Austin Krell tweeted. “Adds that PJ Tucker will get a look at the backup center spot, as well.”
But both Harrell and Reed have shown to be liabilities at times, including Sunday’s loss to the New York Knicks that saw the Sixers blow a 21-point lead. Though he had given the unit a vote of confidence just days before, this time Rivers pointed to the bench as the weak point in the loss.
“I thought our second unit came in and struggled,” Rivers said, via The Associated Press. “This is the second time that has happened. The same thing happened in Orlando. Both times, we were scoring too easy. The second group comes in and thinks this is an offensive game and they didn’t see the reason the first group got the lead was because of defense.”