Sixers Linked to Former Top-10 Pick as Trade Target

Terrence Ross Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Terrence Ross #31 of the Orlando Magic.

The Philadelphia 76ers will welcome no fewer than four new faces to training camp at the end of the month.

At the dawn of free agency, the team made quick work signing PJ Tucker and Danuel House, two players with a history of sharing the court with James Harden. Philadelphia also completed a draft-night trade for De’Anthony Melton, a versatile bench piece that will contribute defensively.

As things stand, the Sixers don’t have much cap space left to wheel and deal. But that didn’t stop Sixers boss Daryl Morey at the beginning of the summer and it likely won’t be an impediment to him scouring the market once more.

According to Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire, the Sixers should be on the hunt for some added depth to the rotation. And one player that Carlin tabbed to potentially be headed to the City of Brotherly Love is Orlando Magic wing Terrence Ross.

Ross’ name might not top any “All-Time Greats” lists like Joel Embiid or James Harden, but, as Carlin points out, he could add a nice scoring option from the bench. He’s also on an expiring contract, meaning the team wouldn’t be on the hook long-term. Instead, they could add him to the rotation during the team’s playoff push.

The Sixers Could Use Ross’ Microwave Scoring

Last season, the Sixers’ bench finished 27th in assists and 28th in scoring, a key reason why the team made moves to strengthen the unit this summer. Ross fits that billing as well: he’s known to erupt off the bench from time to time, blitzing opposing teams’ second units with bundles of points.

“The Orlando Magic are in the middle of focusing on younger players in order to accelerate their rebuilding efforts. Ross, as helpful as he is, would be better served on a contending team as a microwave player off the bench. He averages 11.2 points per game in his career and he shoots 36.1% from deep as well during his 10 seasons in the league thus far. This would be a nice addition to the bench unit during the season,” Carlin wrote.

But there is a downside. While Ross’ shooting numbers over his career aren’t awful, he certainly had a down year in 2021-22. His 30% from three last season put him among the league’s worst at his position, as did his 47.3% effective field goal rate.

The Sixers can’t have that level of unreliability off the bench. Last season, they suffered the same up-and-down play from guys like Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton. Ross might look good on paper, but there’s a risk the Sixers simply bring in more of the same problems that haunted them last year.

But perhaps Daryl Morey sees something in Ross that doesn’t appear on paper. If so, Philadelphia’s front office is going to have to engage in some Simone Biles-levels of cap gymnastics to make a deal work.

Next season, Ross is owed $11.5 million. The only way to make a deal happen is for Philadelphia to match salaries — the Sixers literally cannot afford to take back any money. That could mean shipping some combination of Korkmaz, Milton, Georges Niang, and Matisse Thybulle for Ross.

But if all of those players are included, it’s worth asking whether Ross’ individual value exceeds the collective contributions of the rest, like say, Josh Richardson for the same bunch. It’s unlikely that’s the case. Perhaps a straight up trade for Ross isn’t in the offing, but rather he’s one of several pieces on the move in a hypothetical mega-trade later this season.

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