Their brutal loss to the Mavericks Saturday was more proof that the Sixers need to trade for a shooter — or two.
They shot a season-worst 37.8 from the field and 9 of 37 from three. On the season, the Sixers are 13th in the league percentage wise but just 23rd when it comes to makes. Brett Brown has said he’d like his team to attempt more, but simply may not have enough capable shooters.
The pieces are there for the Sixers to be a defensive bully, but they need to score points in order to win games.
GM Elton Brand is likely working the phones in earnest with the Feb. 6 trade deadline rapidly approaching. The report that the Sixers have interest in the Pistons’ Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway should come as no surprise. Both players would fill that need and be great fits.
We’ll start with Kennard because he’s the more attractive piece. The 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Duke, the 23-year-old has improved in each of his NBA seasons. He’s a sharpshooter, hitting 39.9 percent on 6.5 attempts from three this season and shooting over 40 percent for his career from beyond the arc. Kennard also has decent ability off the bounce, averaging 4.1 assists a game and excelling in the pick-and-roll. Defense is going to be a concern, but he’d instantly become the Sixers’ best offensive threat off the bench.
There are issues in attempting to acquire Kennard. The biggest is that he’s missed the last 10 games with tendinitis in both knees. It’s an issue he’s been dealing with since the summer and the team recently decided to shut him down. He also wouldn’t be cheap to acquire. He’s in the third year of his rookie deal and the Pistons may be inclined to keep him. Without knowing his medical condition, it’s tough to say the Sixers should give up some of their better trade chips.
While Galloway wouldn’t be on the level of landing Kennard, the Saint Joseph’s product would be the safer bet. He’s also having a damn good season, shooting 39.6 percent from deep while being on pace to take the most threes of his career. He’s a combo guard that’s more of small two (6-foot-1), but he’s built solidly and has a bulldog mentality defensively. The 28-year-old is on the final year of his deal at $7.3 million. The price to land him shouldn’t be exorbitant.
The better idea may be to try and get both. The Sixers are trying to win a title and it looks like they’re a bench piece or two away. It would be extra beneficial if the players they acquired could shoot. The combo of Kennard and Galloway would be a decent get and at the very least would give Brown more options.
There will be other options and plenty of other names they’ll be linked to, but the Sixers could do much worse than landing Kennard or Galloway … or both.
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