NBA Trade Deadline: Will The Philadelphia 76ers Make Any Moves?

The NBA trade deadline is a month away but rumors are constantly swirling about players being dealt. The question now is will the Philadelphia 76ers make any moves like they have the past two seasons?

A few days ago, Inquisitr reported that rumors were swirling that Sixers’ rookie center Jahlil Okafor might be on the trading block. The story stated that Philadelphia would look to trade Okafor if Joel Embiid is healthy next year.

Trading Okafor seems absolutely ridiculous and intertwining him with Embiid’s availability for next year is about as insane as it can get.

Okafor was a steal as the No. 3 overall pick by the Sixers in this past year’s draft and is just 20-years old. He has some very high upside and while he has some deficiencies in his game, he can score well and his rebounding has come along. The former National Freshman of the Year is averaging 17.4 points and 7.7 rebounds along with 1.1 blocks a game, while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. Okafor has registered nine double-doubles and has posted 15 20-point games in their first 37 games, becoming the first rookie to accomplish the feat since Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal did so in 1992-93 according to Basketball-Reference.

Okafor’s offensive rating and defensive rating’s numbers have improved dramatically in January. Okafor has a minus-9.0 on/off court rating, which isn’t good but that has something to do with how bad the Sixers are. In addition, it is too early to definitely say whether Okafor and Nerlens Noel can play together or not.

Noel is averaging 10.1 points and 8.1 caroms along with 1.5 blocks a game. The 6-foot-11, 21-year old is shooting 50.3 percent from the floor.

Hoops Habit has suggested that the Sixers may target a few wing players, like Portland’s C.J. McCollum or Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker. Both McCollum and Parker would be intriguing for the Sixers since Philadelphia needs someone with the ability to score. However, these trades are long shots at best.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie will – as has been the case during his tenure – explore trade possibilities but there is no guarantee a deal will occur.

“We will continue to look for opportunities if there are things that we can do to add players for now and the future,” Hinkie said Monday. “We will look, but I’m not sure it will happen.”

Hinkie has made a name for himself, whether it is good or bad, for his deadline deals the past two seasons. Hinkie has traded away three starters – Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Michael Carter-Williams – as well as an athletic youngster, K.J. McDaniels, in exchange for expiring contracts as well as a few first round and second round selections.

The Sixers could have as many as four first round selections in 2016 plus have Embiid as well as draft and stash prospect Dario Saric. Saric, who was selected with the No. 12 pick overall in 2014, is averaging 106. Points along with 5.5 rebounds in 13 Euroleague games for Anadolu Efes this year. Philadelphia also owns the rights to 6-foot-5 guard Vasilije Micic and 6-foot-9 Chukwudiebere Maduabum though they are unlikely ever to play in the NBA.

Philadelphia has already made several roster moves this year adding Jerry Colengelo to the basketball operations department as the chairman to basketball and Mike D’Antoni as associate head coach. The Sixers also traded for point guard Ish Smith and signed veteran Elton Brand as free agent. The 76ers also released Tony Wroten, Christian Wood and Paul Pressey.

Philadelphia owns the NBA’s worst record at 5-38 though the Sixers are 3-7 in their last 10 games after falling to the New York Knicks 119-113 in double overtime on Monday afternoon. The 76ers are playing better recently but have failed to closeout a few games. Ish Smith led six players in double figures for the Sixers against the Knicks with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Noel added 18 points and 13 rebounds while Okafor chipped in with 20 points and seven caroms.

The Sixers will have some decisions to make next season though Smith and Brand are the team’s only unrestricted free agents. Isaiah Canaan will be a restricted free agent. Smith, along with rookies Richaun Holmes and TJ McConnell, have been pleasant surprises. Jerami Grant has shown flashes as has Robert Covington.

[Photo by Seth Wenig/Associated Press]

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