NBA trade deadline: What Andre Drummond trade talks could mean for Sixers

NBA trade deadline: What Andre Drummond trade talks could mean for Sixers

With the report that the Pistons are having discussions on big man Andre Drummond, it appears that Detroit may be open for business.

The Sixers need some bench help and GM Elton Brand said at his media availability on Christmas that he’ll “always look at opportunities to improve the team.”

With that in mind, we take a look at a few Pistons that could realistically interest the Sixers.

Luke Kennard 

Kennard could be one of the players Detroit would like to hold on to, but it’s certainly worth a phone call. The 2017 lottery pick can offer the one thing the Sixers desperately need: Shooting. The 23-year-old is hitting just a tick under 40 percent on 6.5 attempts from three a game this season. He also offers a little bit off the bounce and isn’t a bad passer (4.1 assists a game). If he can play passable defense, he’d be a great get and an obvious upgrade. He's in just the third year of his rookie deal so it could be tough to pry him away.

Langston Galloway

Galloway is taking 5.1 catch-and-shoot threes per game, and he’s making 40.7 percent of them. The St. Joe’s product, who’s in the final season of a three-year, $21 million deal with Detroit, would boost the Sixers’ shooting and scoring off the bench. He has much more of an NBA track record than Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton. 

Derrick Rose 

In 2016, Rose and two friends were found not guilty of sexual battery, battery and trespassing in a civil trial. The allegations, what Rose had to say in his deposition, and the fact that smiling jurors posed with Rose after the trial are all worth noting. 

As far as basketball is concerned, the 31-year-old Rose is a player the Sixers might consider because of his shot creation abilities. Rose, the MVP for the 2010-11 season, is averaging 16.7 points and 5.9 assists.

Markieff Morris 

A Philadelphia native, Morris is having a career-best season from three-point range (41.1 percent on 4.2 attempts per game). The 6-foot-8 forward has a $3.2 million salary this season and a $3.36 million player option for 2020-21. Morris was a teammate of Mike Scott with the Wizards and would bring a similar skill set and no-nonsense disposition. He'd be an upgrade over Scott. 

Allen Crabbe 

No, Crabbe does not currently play for the Pistons, but his contract could be used by the Hawks in a deal to match Drummond’s money. If that does happen, Crabbe would be a decent buyout candidate. The 27-year-old has had his struggles over the past couple seasons but was a standout for Portland when he first broke into the league. He’s a 38.9 percent career shooter from three. On a minimum deal for the rest of the season, he could be worth a flyer.

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NBA trade deadline: 6 trade targets for the Sixers

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USA Today Images/AP Images

NBA trade deadline: 6 trade targets for the Sixers

We've reached Dec. 15, a significant date in the NBA calendar. It's the first day that most players who signed this summer are eligible to be traded

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick and Noah Levick look at six players who might make sense for the Sixers to target. The trade deadline is Feb. 6. 

Josh Hart, G/F

Most basketball fans in Philadelphia will be familiar with the name. Hart had an impressive career at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to a national championship. After starting his career with the Lakers, he was part of the Anthony Davis trade and wound up in New Orleans. With a Brandon Ingram extension likely, it would be a cost-cutting move for the Pelicans

Hart can do a little bit of everything. He’s athletic, has a decent handle, is a strong rebounder at 6-foot-5 (7.8 per 36 minutes) and is shooting the ball decently (36.5 percent on 6.1 attempts). He’s still just 24 so it’s reasonable to suggest he could get better — especially if he’s surrounded by players like the Sixers’. His defensive versatility and ability to hit shots are likely the most attractive qualities he has.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, G

The 2014 first-round pick is playing some of the best basketball of his young career over the last few weeks. He can create off the dribble and navigate pick-and-rolls well as a ball handler and is even better moving off the ball. While the jumper will stand out (38.6 percent on 6.9 attempts a game), he’s also an excellent passer, averaging 3.9 assists a night.

The defensive end is where you worry about Bogdanovic, but there are signs he may be improving in that regard. He has good length at 6-foot-6 and decent feet. With the Sixers’ defensive prowess, it could help mitigate those concerns. 

So, why could such a useful player be available? Money and fit. Multiple players on the Kings have gotten paid and De’Aaron Fox is up next. With Fox and Buddy Hield, it's hard to see his long-term fit.

Alec Burks, G/F

As a low-risk/high-reward signing, Burks was expected to add a scoring punch to the Warriors’ bench as they looked to cost effectively retool their roster. Instead, Golden State has been crushed by injuries and finds itself with the worst record in the NBA. Burks has been solid in stepping up into a larger role. He looks recovered from the injuries that plagued him over the last several seasons.

Still just 28, Burks can flat out score. He hasn’t been the most efficient player (43.2 percent from the floor, 35.7 from three), but just has a knack for creating and scoring — not skills prevalent on the Sixers’ roster. Though it’s not the sexiest skillset in today’s NBA, Burks excels in the midrange and is an excellent free throw shooter (89.7 percent). Like Bogdanovic, Burks isn’t the best defender, but offers good size and length.

Davis Bertans, F

Bertans was involved in a complicated situation during free agency in which he was dealt from the Spurs to the Wizards with the understanding that San Antonio would then sign Marcus Morris. At the last minute, Morris reneged on his agreement and decided to sign with the Knicks. 

“That was an unfortunate situation that was handled unprofessionally on a couple of different levels,” Gregg Popovich told reporters in September. “We made that move to make the signing that we did and got blindsided. Davis was a special player, as we all know. He’s young and getting better and better. We hated losing him.”

In his fourth NBA season, the Latvian forward is having an elite shooting year. He’s averaging 15.7 points per game, is ninth in three-point percentage among players with at least 45 attempts (45.6 percent) and is 12th in three-point shots taken per game (8.5).

Outside shooting hasn’t been a significant problem for the Sixers, at least in terms of efficiency — they’re hitting 37 percent from three. Bertans, though, would provide some of the off-ball movement, respect from opposing defenses and ability to hit tightly contested jumpers that the Sixers lost in JJ Redick. 

Bertans’ salary for this year is $7 million, and he’ll be a free agent after the season.

Jordan Clarkson, G

According to SI.com’s Sam Amcico, the Sixers are “supposedly among those with interest” in Clarkson.

The 27-year-old Clarkson is averaging 14.3 points and 2.5 assists in 22.6 minutes per game for the 6-20 Cavs. He’d be able to give the Sixers scoring and shot creation off the bench.

However, it seems like it would be difficult for Elton Brand to acquire Clarkson for an appropriate price because the 6-foot-4 guard has a salary of close to $13.5 million for 2019-20.

Langston Galloway, G

Galloway, the No. 2 scorer in St. Joe’s history, could be a decent fit with the Sixers.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reported during the preseason that the Pistons were “very open” to trading Galloway

Through the Pistons’ first 26 games, Galloway, who’s in the final season of a three-year, $21 million contract, has boosted his value a bit. He's averaging career highs in points (11.9), field goal percentage (44.8) and three-point percentage (42.9). 

“Langston is a pro," Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said, per The Athletic's James L. Edwards III. "He’s a security blanket. He’s always doing the right thing, whether he makes a shot or misses a shot. He’s always making the right play. The other side of Langston (is) his defensive ability. If you notice, we put him on the hot players because he’s a tough guy, he’s consistent and persistent. His shooting is the ultimate crown on top.”

Sounds like someone who could help a contender.

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What's the Sixers' ideal rotation for 2019-20 season?

What's the Sixers' ideal rotation for 2019-20 season?

With training camp beginning Tuesday, there are plenty of topics to discuss involving the 2019-20 Sixers. Running the Give and Go are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick and Noah Levick.

In this edition, we ask: What's the Sixers' ideal rotation for this season? 

Hudrick 

Brett Brown has been criticized for his “rotation” for years and I’ve always thought that was silly. If your players aren’t good and your bench isn’t deep, your rotation isn’t going to be great.

This season, Brown may have the most talented and deepest roster he’s ever had. He has a starting five that should play big minutes and his reserves are a mix of useful veterans and intriguing young players.

Given the chemistry they’ve developed and their talents, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are likely to have all their minutes together — something Brown did more of at the end of the regular season when Embiid was available. The trio of Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Josh Richardson will likely stick together, allowing Horford to slide to the five, Harris to the four and Richardson to a wing spot defensively.

Mike Scott and James Ennis are clearly your first two off the bench. They’re seasoned and offer defensive versatility that meshes well with the members of the starting unit. After that, there are jobs to be won.

I like Trey Burke a little more than Raul Neto but either player should slot in nicely as Simmons’ backup and both can play alongside the 6-foot-10 point guard. Brown also mentioned the possibility of Richardson taking over some point guard duties. Kyle O’Quinn will be a more effective version of Amir Johnson, a veteran big that will be ready at a moment’s notice, whether because of load management or injury.

Then it’ll be the battle of the young guys. Matisse Thybulle, Zhaire Smith, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz and Jonah Bolden will all be fighting for minutes. Ideally a battle between first-rounders in Thybulle and Smith for wing minutes makes the most sense. Both are immensely talented on defense and a little raw on offense.

Brown mentioned at his luncheon Wednesday that nothing is set in stone — especially during the first third of the season. The top seven seem like they are. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Burke be No. 8 and either Thybulle or Smith be No. 9.

Levick 

As far as personnel, I think Mike Scott, James Ennis, Zhaire Smith and a backup point guard — Raul Neto in some spots, Trey Burke in others — should be regular bench players during the regular season. Big man Kyle O’Quinn should also be part of the mix, especially on load management nights for Joel Embiid, and it would be nice to see rookie Matisse Thybulle get some opportunities, too. For me, Jonah Bolden, Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton would be the odd men out on most nights.

Brett Brown acknowledged at a luncheon with members of the media Wednesday that “there’s probably five, six guys, you know, seven guys that are gonna have to fight for stuff."

"Always, at the end of the day, the gym tells me," he said. "They will show me, they will tell me, and somebody’s going to put their hand up and grab a spot."

There are a lot of pieces to juggle, and Brown will likely need to trim things down a bit before the playoffs. He’ll have chances to experiment, though, and with that in mind, here are three lineups I think have intriguing potential:

Simmons
Richardson
Harris
Scott
Horford

All starters minus Embiid, with Horford sliding to center and Scott at power forward. I’d expect this group to play together a good amount when Embiid sits, and I like the idea of giving Horford the chance to anchor the defense. You could also put a more conventional wing like Ennis at the three and use Harris at the four if you think Harris could be exploited defensively against a particular opposing small forward. 

Simmons
Smith
Ennis
Horford
Embiid

This group is, like many the Sixers will employ this season, a strong defensive unit. The pairing between Simmons and Horford is one I think could thrive. They’re two 6-foot-10 guys who can run, handle the ball and pass it very well. There are some exciting possibilities between the two with dribble handoffs early in the shot clock and pick-and-rolls with Simmons both as the ball handler and as the roller.

Richardson
Smith
Harris
Scott 
O’Quinn 

Since he’ll likely be a complementary player on offense with the starters, how about allowing Richardson to run the show a bit in these sort of lineups? And with Harris at the wing, you have a strong pick-and-roll player who can initiate, freeing Richardson to move around some off the ball, as well. 

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