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4 Philadelphia 76ers trades to fix early-season struggles

Reign Amurao
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Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

To start the 2022-23 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers have struggled to play like rival contenders in the Eastern Conference. Through nine games, Philly only has four wins despite a very talented roster. 

The Sixers had a record of 7-2 to start their 2021-22. A major difference in what they have done to start the 22-23 campaign. Of course, we should consider that their All-Star center, Joel Embiid, has only played six games so far due to a non-COVID illness which forced head coach Doc Rivers to put PJ Tucker in the center position.

The short-handed Philly squad suffered another blow Thursday with reports of James Harden potentially missing a month due to a foot injury broke out.

The Sixers aren’t in a positive situation right now. That’s why general manager Daryl Morey should start looking into trading some guys to help strengthen their depth. Here are a few trade scenarios that would help the Philadelphia 76 get back to winning sooner than later.

Philadelphia 76ers target better interior defense

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The Sixers do not have a reliable rim protector outside Embiid. I know they have Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell coming off the bench. But neither of those guys is an interior defender. Their prime focus is making offensive plays.

Acquiring Naz Reid from the Minnesota Timberwolves would help their star center relax a bit. It’s also a plus that Reid can knock down shots from long-range too. With the Timberwolves, he’s averaging almost a block and a steal while only having 11 minutes of playing time. He’s playing fewer minutes this season, but his numbers haven’t dropped significantly.

Reid is averaging 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks while shooting 40% from three. Trading for Reid won’t hurt the team; it’s just a matter of utilizing him well.

76ers trade Matisse Thybulle for veteran guard

It’s high time that the Sixers move on from Matisse Thybulle. During his first two seasons in the NBA, Thybulle was hyped by everyone, especially on defense. However, after their moves in the offseason, the Australian swingman lost his starting role.

Thybulle is a better defender, but the team needs Tucker’s ability to be physical against some of the best offensive stars. So far, the fourth-year guard from the University of Washington is having a down year with his numbers.

Trading him would be the best option for both sides, and Pistons guard Cory Joseph should be their target. Joseph could help the Sixers’ need for a facilitator currently. With Harden expected to miss a month, Joseph’s experience could give the team assurance from the backcourt.

Philadelphia targets disgruntled impact player Jae Crowder

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Thybulle’s role in the Sixers’ offense has decreased this season. He’s been playing 10 minutes a game, far from his 25 minutes the season prior. In this scenario, Thybulle isn’t alone. Furknan Korkmaz is also a valuable trade piece, and teams could use his services.

Although last season was a down year for Korkmaz, being in a new environment could help him return to his old self.

In exchange, Philadelphia could get disgruntled Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder. Even though Crowder hasn’t played a game this season, his value hasn’t dipped. He’s similar to Tucker, although a bit bigger. Crowder can add defense to an offense-driven roster. His threes are a bonus, and adding another floor stretcher is valuable to the team.

Philly swaps Tobias Harris for Gordon Hayward

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Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers have been desperately trying to trade away their veteran forward, Tobias Harris, for quite some time now because he hasn’t panned out the way Philly thought he would. During his time with the team, he’s had a steady decline in production, and it has caused the team to look for other options.

Trading him for another aging forward isn’t sharp, but it’s the only viable option. Charlotte Hornets’ forward Gordon Hayward may be aging, but he could fit well into the Sixers’ system. Additionally, the Sixers could also get a veteran big to help their interior defense in Mason Plumlee. This potential trade could please both sides. 

The 76ers need a change in a few areas. Injuries have also been a colossal factor in their early-season struggles. Hopefully, they’ll figure things out before it’s too late.