When looking at the Philadelphia 76ers early this year, nothing was certain. Who is going to stay/go? Will there be any major/minor trades? With first-year Coach Brett Brown on board, Philadelphia knew there’d be some changes.
Adjustments have been made starting with the release of Kwame Brown prior to the Sixers’ game against the Toronto Raptors. He lasted a little over a season with the Sixers.
“We wish him well,” Brett Brown said of Kwame Brown. “I’m convinced if he can find a career-best fitness level, he still has value.” That could be true, but the release of Brown was most likely due to his underachievement has a Sixer. He provided little value while here. The former No. 1 overall pick appeared in just 22 games for the Sixers last season, averaging 1.9 points and 3.4 rebounds.
The Sixers also released backup point guard Darius Morris. Morris was signed by the team this past offseason. The recent performances from Tony Wroten hurt the chances for Morris.
To replace Morris and Brown, the Sixers signed two guards, Elliot Williams and Lorenzo Brown. Brown, who stands 6-foot-5, 186 pounds, was the 52nd overall pick in last year’s draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He spent time in the D-League for the Springfield Armor prior to signing with the Sixers.
Williams, who is 6-5, 190 pounds, was a first round pick for the Portland Trailblazers in 2010. He missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury, but rebounded to appear in 24 games for Portland in the 2011-2012 season. He played six games for the Cleveland Cavaliers this preseason before being released.
Speaking of Cleveland, there may still be trade opportunities that interest both the Cavs and the Sixers. The Cavaliers are losing and desperate to win. Anthony Bennett has been struggling hard this year and Cleveland fans are letting him know. This is why the Sixers should call immediately. It may sound crazy, but Cleveland has to make the playoffs if they want any chance in Lebron James returning.
Bennett is averaging just 1.3 ppg this season, and because Cleveland was trying to trade the No. 1 overall pick prior to the draft, you have to wonder how committed they are to him. This is where Philadelphia could step in.
The Sixers could offer the Cavaliers a package of Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner in exchange for Bennett, Anderson Varejao, and Tristen Thompson. While there has been no indication the Cavaliers are willing to move Bennett, they are willing to move Varejao and Thompson.
For the Sixers, they would get two young players in Bennett and Thompson to pair with their already young core of promising players. Thompson is having another solid season, averaging 12 points and 9.4 rebounds, and would instantly be their best true big man. Although Bennett has been disappointing thus far, the Sixers were reportedly willing to do the same exact deal they did for Nerlens Noel with the New Orleans Pelicans had Bennett slipped to No. 6. The interest must still be there.
The issue for the Sixers would be that they would be moving all of their trading chips this season in on one deal, and wouldn’t come out with another draft pick. The trade is by far a long shot, but with Cleveland on desperate measures, it wouldn’t hurt to make the call.
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