The Sixers acquired Buddy Hield from the Pacers on Thursday, which helps them with shooting and scoring, but Philadelphia needs to focus on getting back some toughness and defense on the buyout market, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Some of that toughness was lost when the team traded Patrick Beverley to the Bucks, according to Pompey, but the Sixers made that move with the confidence they’d be able to land guard depth via free agency.
All signs point to Hornets point guard Kyle Lowry landing in Philadelphia. Lowry, who is expected to be bought out after the Heat traded him in exchange for Terry Rozier earlier in the season, previously played for Nick Nurse on Toronto’s 2019 title team and is a Philadelphia native. While the Lakers are another potential destination, the Sixers feel good about bringing him in, according to Pompey.
Philadelphia has three open roster spots after the deadline and adding another center to the mix should be another priority, Pompey writes. With Joel Embiid out due to a long-term injury, Paul Reed and Mohamed Bamba are holding down the fort at the center position. Not many pure centers are on the buyout market yet, but Robin Lopez and Danilo Gallinari are among big men who were recently bought out. Bismack Biyombo is another option on the free agency market.
We have more notes on the Sixers:
- The Sixers are enthusiastic about the acquisition of Hield, whom general manager Daryl Morey believes is the best player among those traded on Thursday, according to Pompey. “I felt like he gave us exactly what we were looking for, which is that he’s one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history,” Morey said. “We really like what he adds to the team and we feel like our healthy group, our playoff rotation, with Buddy Hield is right there with everyone in the entire league.” Morey also pointed out that not many bigs were traded, and the reason the Sixers didn’t address that position via trade was due to a lack of options.
- Morey is hopeful Embiid will be back this season after suffering a meniscus injury that is expected to keep him out of action for one or two months, according to PHLY Sports’ Derek Bodner (Twitter link). “We’re hopeful,” Morey said. “Feedback has been more good than bad…so we’re hopeful, and we’re building the team to make it better this year. We’re hopeful he can get back to that [MVP level]. We feel we got a real shot.“
- Philadelphia surprised some by trading away 21-year-old guard Jaden Springer, who seemed to just be coming into his own, for a second-round pick. Morey explained the decision by saying the Sixers felt Springer may not be ready to contribute in the playoffs by the end of his rookie contract, while the second-round pick they got for him could potentially be used to trade for a veteran next season, according to Bodner (Twitter link). “We want things that can help us out on the court now with Joel,” Morey said (Twitter link via PHLY Sports’ Kyle Neubeck). “... For me, the Jaden thing was successful.“