The Philadelphia 76ers fancy themselves as one of the top contenders to unseat the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors this season.
Philadelphia finds itself at 32-17 on the season and in the midst of a strong run following the return of James Harden from injury. In fact, Philly is 20-5 since starting the campaign with a mere 12-12 record.
Out west, the Warriors are also looking to overcome some early-season struggles. Despite boasting an average 26-24 record, there’s signs of life for the defending champs. Primarily, Klay Thompson returning to pre-injury form while Stephen Curry continues to look like an all-time great.
Typically, teams in championship contention wouldn’t get together for an in-season trade. These two might end up bucking that trend ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.
According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Golden State is interested in acquiring two-time All-NBA Defensive Team performer Matisse Thybulle from Philadephia. The idea would be for Steve Kerr’s squad to get a defensive stopper late in game and off the bench. The report also indicates that a surprising Sacramento Kings team is in on this 25-year-old former first-round pick.
A deal makes sense from the Philadelphia 76ers’ perspective in that Thybulle’s inability to do anything on offense has kept him out of the rotation this season. The former Washington standout is averaging a mere 2.7 points on 44% shooting in 12.1 minutes of action this season.
In no way does this mean Thybulle can’t be a valuable contributor to another team. He earned All-Defensive Team honors each of the past two seasons and is seen as one of the best perimeter defenders in the game.
Scoring has not been an issue for the Warriors this season. They rank second in the league in scoring at 118.1 per game. Defense has been another ball game with opposing teams also averaging 118 points against this squad.
How a Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors trade would work
Philadelphia doesn’t necessarily need to get a rotational piece in return for Thybulle. Though, the team is said to be looking for another big in what would be a minor trade. At this point, front office head Daryl Morey isn’t looking to do much more than that ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.
This would still likely require getting a third team involved. This is to say, a non-contender that wouldn’t mind adding a couple draft picks to the mix from Golden State in return for a veteran player.
Someone like Nerlens Noel of the Detroit Pistons or Chicago Bulls big man Andre Drummond could be of interest to Philadelphia. Noel began his career with the 76ers while Drummond saw action in 49 games in Philadelphia last season. Both would fit well with Joel Embiid inside.
In return, either the Pistons or Bulls pick up a second-round pick and change from Golden State in order for this to work. Philadelphia gets its big man, the Warriors acquire a defensive stopper and that third team adds draft assets to the mix for a veteran.