2019 Trade Deadline/Buyout Targets for the Sixers
Here's a look at some potential targets that the Sixers could look to add prior to the trade or buyout deadlines. The NBA's trade deadline this year is Thursday, February 7, while the buyout deadline (for a player to be eligible to compete in postseason play) is March 1.
1. Nikola Mirotic, New Orleans Pelicans: In the wake of Anthony Davis' trade request, the New Orleans Pelicans are open to moving more of their current pieces in a potential roster restructuring, according to a recent report from the Sporting News.
One attractive asset that the Pelicans have to offer is veteran forward Nikola Mirotic, who is an ideal fit for many teams in today's NBA – including the Sixers - as he can serve as a power forward that is able to stretch the floor with his long-distance shooting. The Sixers are very interested in acquiring Mirotic from the Pelicans, as are several Western Conference contenders.
Mirotic would be a great fit with the Sixers, as he could slide into the starting four spot and bump Wilson Chandler back to the bench, thereby bolstering the team’s overall depth.
The Pelicans are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Mirotic; a price that the Sixers could afford to pay. Mirotic is on the last year of his current contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, so acquiring him for the remainder of the season isn’t a move that could somehow handicap the team moving forward. On the year, he is averaging 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on 44 percent shooting from the field (36 percent from long range) in 28.9 minutes per game for the Pelicans.
2. Wesley Matthews, New York Knicks: According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Knicks are exploring the trade market for Matthews just days after acquiring him as part of the return package in the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
While Matthews is expected to receive a good deal of interest leading up to the deadline, there are also several suitors that are hoping that Matthews ultimately ends up on the buyout market, per Stein. Those teams include the Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Golden State Warriors. Clearly, teams vying for the 2019 NBA title feel like Matthews could provide a big boost as a dedicated defender and floor-spacer.
In Philly, Matthews would be a great fit in Brett Brown’s system as a guy that could contribute legitmate minutes on both ends of the floor.
3. Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks: Dedmon has drawn the interest of the Sixers as a possible deadline target, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, and his addition would certainly make some sense. He is familiar with the organization and Brett Brown, as he played for the team during the early ‘Process’ days back in 2014. He showed flashes then, and has improved immensely since.
Plus, the Sixers need a reliable backup big behind Joel Embiid, as Amir Johnson just doesn’t cut it at this point in his career, and though he has shown growth recently, Jonah Bolden is still a rookie without ample experience. Depending on the price, acquiring Dedmon could be a nice move for the Sixers to make in order to fortify their frontcourt for the playoff push.
Dedmon will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so his addition wouldn’t have any lasting impact on the team’s salary situation.
4. Ryan Anderson, Phoenix Suns: Anderson has been buried on the bench in Phoenix this season, which is saying something considering the fact that the Suns have the second-worst record in the entire league. But, Anderson’s skill set is proven: he can shoot, and the Sixers could certainly use his floor-spacing off of the bench.
But, Anderson also has a heftier contract than the Sixers would be interested in taking on. So, the only way that an Anderson addition could come to fruition for the Sixers is if he were bought out by the Suns. At that point, the Sixers would be potentially interested in his services, according to a team source.
Other names to keep an eye on: Robin Lopez, Chicago Bulls; Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks; Noah Vonleh, New York Knicks.
Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.