NBA Trade Rumors: 1 deadline target that makes the most sense for 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: There’s one trade deadline target that makes the most sense for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Just a few weeks ago, just before the start of the 2023-24 season, there was a growing belief around the league that the Philadelphia 76ers were going to take a significant step back. And that it would or could lead to the eventual departure of Joel Embiid (via a possible trade demand). However, through the first two weeks (and change) of the season, that hasn’t exactly played out.

Instead of taking a big step back, the Sixers are in the conversation for the best team in the Eastern Conference. Tyrese Maxey seems to have taken another step in his progression and Embiid continues to play at an MVP level. Even with James Harden off the team, the Sixers very much look like one of the most dangerous teams in the East.

If the Sixers wanted, they could go all-in on this season and add another potential star at the NBA Trade Deadline. It could be a way to add a final piece to a championship puzzle that didn’t quite pan out with Harden.

Of all the possibilities that could arise at the trade deadline, there’s one potential target that would make the most sense for the Sixers – OG Anunoby. And recent reporting suggests that he could be atop the Sixers’ wishlist both at the trade deadline and during the offseason in free agency.

The Philadelphia 76ers have plenty of assets to acquire a star at the trade deadline

After making the Harden trade, the Sixers have a flurry of assets that they can now use in a deal for another star – either at this year’s NBA Trade Deadline or they can wait until the offseason.

Theoretically, the Sixers can build a trade package with as many as three first-round picks, four second-round picks, and three first-round pick swaps. It’s unlikely that Philadelphia would use all those picks on one player, but if they wanted they could.

Anunonby is an interesting player that would theoretically fit with what the Sixers would be looking for on the open market. He’s an exceptional 3-and-D player who probably deserves a bigger role on the offensive end. He has star potential and is still just 26 years old. Anunoby would be a huge upgrade from what they currently have on the wing and would give the Sixers another player who could take some of the burden off of Embiid and Maxey.

Even with their hot start to the season, the Sixers likely need some legitimizing heading toward the push toward the playoffs. Pursuing a star player like Anunoby would accomplish that. Whether they can pull it off remains to be seen. But even if they can’t, the Sixers could simply wait to pursue Anunoby during the offseason when he’ll likely be an unrestricted free agent.

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After an offseason of uncertainty, the Sixers are sitting in a good place. With the strides that Maxey has clearly made in his game, it seems like the Sixers are going to be able to retool their supporting cast around Embiid fairly quickly. And it could happen as soon as this year’s NBA Trade Deadline.