Sixers Have Expressed Interest in Beasley, Bertans, Covington
The Philadelphia 76ers are 24-14 and they sit in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. That is 8.5 games back of the first-place Bucks. Prior to the season, many believed that the Sixers and Bucks would be neck-and-neck for the top seed in the conference, but that has not been the case. Milwaukee has done a good job building their team around Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Sixers are still somewhat struggling in constructing a roster around their two young stars -- Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
While there was a lot of criticism about his defense during his time here, a player like JJ Redick allowed the Sixers to have space both in transition and the halfcourt. With Redick and iso-shot creator Jimmy Butler no longer in the picture, the Sixers are still trying to find their way and their space with Josh Richardson and Al Horford. Needless to say, the fits are still a bit clunky and the Sixers are having a tough time finding much consistency with their offense.
All that being said, it's no surprise that Elton Brand will be looking for ways to improve his teams' chances of going deeper in the playoffs. He wasn't afraid to pull the trigger on the Butler and Tobias Harris deals last season and it remains to be seen how large or small scale his acquisitions end up being this year. The trade deadline is less than a month away on February 6 and the Sixers are already inquiring about some players around the league.
According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, the Sixers have expressed interest in a variety of wing players, including Malik Beasley (Nuggets), Glenn Robinson III (Warriors), Davis Bertans (Wizards), E’Twaun Moore (Pelicans), and Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies). O'Connor also mentions that Philadelphia has reached out to Minnesota about a potential Robert Covington trade.
Unlike the Process days in Philadelphia, the assets held by the Sixers are slim. Bench forward Mike Scott would likely have to be included in any deal. In addition, Zhaire Smith is the youngest talent they'd be willing to deal. O'Connor notes that the Sixers would be reluctant to include Matisse Thybulle in trades, which isn't a shock.
As far as draft capital, the Sixers don't have their 2020 first-rounder, but own all of their firsts from 2021 forward. They'll also get two pretty high second-round picks from the Knicks and Hawks in 2020. If the Oklahoma City Thunder's pick falls outside the top-20, the Sixers would receive that pick.
Covington, 29, is under contract through the 2021-22 season after signing an extension with the Sixers prior to being dealt. RoCo is shooting just 0.1 percent better from three (.349) than Mike Scott, but would be a clear defensive upgrade. Covington is averaging 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game
Beasley, 23, is under contract for $2.7 million this season. He's averaging 7.1 points while shooting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc in just over 16 minutes per game. Sixers Adam notes that heading into the 2018 draft, the Nuggets loved Zhaire Smith and that they were going to take him at No. 14 before Michael Porter Jr. fell to them.
Robinson III, 26, appeared in 10 games for the Sixers back in 2014-15. This season in Golden State, he's posting career-highs in multiple categories due to the injuries to Warriors stars. In 31.9 minutes per game, Robinson is averaging 12.1 points on 45.4 percent shooting with a 39.8 percent mark from beyond.
Bertans, 27, has been on the minds of Sixers fans for a while now. The Latvian forward is averaging 15.4 points while shooting 43.4 percent from three-point land. Bertans is making $7 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
Moore, 30, is averaging 10 points per game and shooting just under 40 percent from beyond the arc. The nine-year vet is making $8.66 million this season.
Iguodala, 35, has not played a game yet this season and is most known for his defense. Last season in the playoffs for the Warriors, he averaged 9.8 points on 49.4 percent shooting over 21 games, 15 of which he started.
As the trade deadline moves closer, it is worth noting that while the Sixers do need some more shooting, they need a perimeter shot creator even more. A 3-and-D type player may not be the best fit, but at this point, any type of shooting and spacing might help.
Brandon Apter is a Sixers contributor to 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.