Will the Philadelphia 76ers trade their expendable players to save money on their luxury tax bill, or will they use them to acquire possible upgrades? Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice revealed that while the Sixers are interested in getting under the luxury tax, their priority is getting some upgrades to improve their roster.
“As has been reported elsewhere, if the Sixers can get under the luxury tax threshold prior to the deadline, there’s certainly interest in doing that, though it would not come as a priority over upgrading the roster. ‘Cheaper and better’ would be the ideal outcome for any team in a cap league, not just the Sixers,” Neubeck said.
It is feasible that the Sixers could acquire players that would improve them as a team overall while also managing to save money at the same time. It would have to depend on what their trade partners want back to help them achieve both goals.
If they don’t get any upgrades, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports explained why the Sixers are motivated to shed some salary at the deadline this season and who in particular could be jettisoned.
“There is also a financial aspect that may underscore the Sixers’ trade deadline efforts if the right upgrades don’t materialize,” Fischer said. “This season currently marks Philadelphia’s third straight year as a taxpayer, which would subject the Sixers to pay repeater tax rates on every dollar over the 2023-24 tax threshold. The Sixers are hovering just above this year’s tax line at present, which could put players like Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, and Jaden Springer in the trade conversation.”
Andre Drummond Reunion Floated as a Possibility
Because of the shortcomings that Montrezl Harell and Paul Reed have as Joel Embiid’s primary backups at the center spot, Neubeck explained why the Sixers could look into possibly reuniting with Andre Drummond.
“With Montrezl Harrell’s defensive issues and Paul Reed not yet earning the coaching staff’s trust, sources say the Sixers would be open to bringing in another big even if they don’t move one of Embiid’s current backups,” Neubeck said. “It’s the easy place for your mind to drift, but former Sixers big Andre Drummond is an example, if a high-end example, of the sort of player we could be talking about, a big-bodied player and strong rebounder in the more traditional school of bigs.”
A Drummond-Sixers reunion isn’t too farfetched either, as Marc Stein reported that Drummond is a likely trade candidate due to his falling out of favor with the Chicago Bulls.
“Do not be surprised, league sources say, if the Bulls move former All-Star center Andre Drummond before the Feb. 9 trade. Drummond has been allotted fewer than 15 minutes in each of Chicago’s past 12 games,” Stein said.
Shake Milton Called ‘Sweetener’ in Potential Trade
Neubeck explained why Shake Milton could be traded despite his bounce-back performance this season.
“An under-the-radar name to keep an eye on: Shake Milton, an unrestricted free agent after this season. Milton has had a big bounce-back year, pairs well with basically any of their guards, and is on a dirt-cheap contract. But those are all reasons he would have some value at the deadline, combined with their desire to beef up defensive options off of the bench and the fact that Maxey has taken over the sixth-man role. It’d be hard to make a trade of significance with just Milton, but he’s an interesting sweetener for teams in need of bench help.”