NBA Rumors: Sixers Could Trade Zhaire Smith And Mike Scott For Trevor Ariza, Per ‘Bleacher Report’

Trevor Ariza #1 of the Houston Rockets dribbles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 11, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Despite failing to bring Jimmy Butler back, the Philadelphia 76ers still managed to remain competitive by acquiring Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade deal with the Miami Heat and signing Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency. Adding Richardson and Horford to the core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris is expected to give the Sixers a better chance of fully dominating the Kawhi Leonard-less Eastern Conference in the 2019-20 NBA season.

However, if they are serious about winning the NBA championship title, the Sixers should continue to find ways in addressing some of the issues on their roster. With the departure of Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick in the 2019 NBA offseason, the Sixers have lost shooting, defensive malleability, and veteran leadership. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Sixers could restore all those three by engaging in a trade deal with the Sacramento Kings before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.

In his recent article, Buckley suggested one trade every title contender in the league should make to strengthen their chance of contending for the NBA championship title. For the Sixers, Buckley proposed that they could trade Zhaire Smith and Mike Scott to the Kings in exchange for Trevor Ariza. The Sixers and the Kings will be needing to wait until mid-December to make the deal since Ariza just signed a new contract. However, if the deal becomes a reality, it will help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.

Though he’s already 34, Trevor Ariza would still be an incredible addition to the Sixers, giving them a defensive-minded veteran wingman who has plenty of playoff and championship experience. As Buckley noted, the potential acquisition of Ariza would boost the Sixers’ performance on both ends of the floor in the 2019-20 NBA season.

“Over the past six seasons, he’s averaged 2.3 triples per game on an above-average 36.1 percent shooting from deep. In 2017-18, when he shared the floor with gravitational forces James Harden and Chris Paul, he hit a blistering 39.9 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples. At the opposite end, Ariza could make a potentially elite defense even more daunting. While the Sixers finished a middling 14th in defensive efficiency last season, expectations should be sky-high with Al Horford and Josh Richardson joining Simmons and Embiid. That quartet has switch-almost-everything ability, and Ariza would only increase its versatility.”

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Meanwhile, in exchange for Trevor Ariza, the Kings would be acquiring another young and promising player to join their talented core of DeAaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III. Zhaire Smith, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, may have failed to make a huge impact in his rookie season but being on a team that could give him enough playing time could help him unleash his full potential.