The 76ers are interested in competing for the NBA championship next season.
They are exploring a trade involving Danny Green and the No. 23 pick in the June 23 NBA draft, according to sources. ring was the first to report the news.
And, for what it’s worth, the move makes sense.
The 76ers’ best bet is to see what veteran players they can get with this pick. They need someone who can help right away. That’s not the case for Green at the moment, who will miss most, if not all, of next season after tearing the ACL and LCL in his left knee in May.
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So, in addition to a backup center who can help immediately, the Sixers will be in the market for a proven two-way wing to replace Green. With a lineup that lacks physicality, the Sixers also expect these players to bring immediate toughness.
The Sixers could find a team in rebuild mode and willing to trade a good player for the 23rd pick. They can then agree on a pre-draft trade and select a prospect on behalf of the team. In this case, the 76ers could trade the rookie with Green, whose salary of $10 million next season is not guaranteed. His salary will be used to help arrange deals and match salaries. To free up cap space, another team could turn around and waive Green before his salary is fully guaranteed on July 1.
That situation fits with what The Inquirer has heard from sources who say the Sixers are looking for ways to get rid of Green’s salary while gaining value. With Green unavailable, his salary is nothing more than dead money on the salary cap.
Trading Green and the rookie would also be a good fit for the 76ers, as a player selected with the 23rd pick won’t help their championship run.
Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams, LSU forward Tarry Eason, Ohio State forward EJ Liddell, Notre Dame guard Blake Wesley and NBA G League Ignite guard Marjon Beauchamp and Jaden Hardy is likely to stay at No. 23 with the Sixers. pick.
But at this point, Eason may be the only one who could be a solid rotation player. Neither of them will make a significant contribution to a championship team. It’s not a knock, it’s just reality.
Two prime examples are Golden State rookies Jonathan Cuminga and Moses Moody.
Cuminga was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft, while Moody was selected with the 14th overall pick. Both lottery picks, though, were basically spectators in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Cuminga was a solid rotation player during the regular season, but his role has dwindled as the Warriors advanced through the playoffs. Meanwhile, Moody has seen a lot of sweeping responsibility in an uneven game. They’re lottery picks and could be starters for a rebuilding team. So what should the 76ers expect at No. 23?
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The Sixers have one last option, and that’s the draft and storage method. If they can keep the pick, they can choose Nikola Jović, a forward for Serbian basketball team Mega Mozzart.
Jovic, who turns 19 on Thursday, reportedly hopes to play in the NBA next season. However, it will be interesting to see if the Sixers can convince him to spend another season overseas.
Like Williams, Liddell, Wesley, Hardy, Eason and Beauchamp, Jovic won’t help in next season’s title race. Eisen, Beauchamp and Wesley could be drafted before the 23rd pick.
That’s why the Sixers’ best bet is to buy draft picks and see what veteran players they can get.