NBA Rumors: Sixers Eyeing To Bring Robert Covington Back, Zhaire Smith As Potential Trade Chip

Robert Covington #33 of the Minnesota Timberwolves grimaces after he hit his head on the floor during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on December 23, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

With their current performance in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers obviously need to make major upgrades to their roster in order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title. In the past months, the Sixers have been linked to several NBA players who are expected to be available on the trade market before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, one of the potential trade targets for the Sixers is Robert Covington of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Most Sixers’ fans definitely know who Covington is. The 29-year-old small forward spent most of his NBA career in Philadelphia before the Sixers included him in the trade package to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves. As O’Connor revealed in his recent article, the Sixers have recently come up with the possibility of bringing Covington back to the City of Brotherly Love and could use former No. 16 overall pick Zhaire Smith as a trade chip in the potential deal with the Timberwolves.

“Most interestingly, sources say the Sixers inquired about Robert Covington, whom they dealt to the Timberwolves in 2018 in the Butler trade. I reported last month that Covington is available, and that is still the case. But Minnesota could have so many bidders for Covington that the price will be too high for Philadelphia to make a reunion a reality. The Sixers have limited assets to include in any trade. Second-year wing Zhaire Smith is the young player they’re most willing to part with, which should come as no surprise since he is struggling to score efficiently in the G League.”

Despite how things turned out last year, it is easy to understand why the Sixers remain interested in getting Covington’s service again. The potential acquisition of Covington from the Timberwolves would immediately address the Sixers’ problem in the wing. With the years he spent in Philadelphia, Covington would no longer need to make certain adjustments in his game to make himself fit alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Covington has not shown any sign that he is not happy in Minnesota, but most people would definitely love to see him spending his prime years playing for a legitimate title contender than staying on a mediocre team like the Timberwolves.

However, though the Timberwolves would love to add another young prospect to their roster, Smith may not be enough to convince them to send Covington back to Philadelphia. The Timberwolves would prefer to acquire Matisse Thybulle, but as O’Connor noted, the Sixers have been reluctant to move the rookie forward in any deal.