With Daryl Morey in charge as the Sixers’ new president of basketball operations, it’s always safe to assume something might be cooking.
Leading into Wednesday night’s NBA draft, Morey and the Sixers have been linked with stars Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine, according to Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill.
Goodwill notes that, “Neither front office has given any indication either player is available.”
Still, it’s notable to see the Sixers reportedly inquiring about both players. With Beal, some relevant context is that the Wizards and Rockets have discussed a deal involving John Wall and Russell Westbrook, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. That apparent openness to trading one of the team’s main stars — albeit one who hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 26, 2018 due to injuries — could suggest Washington is thinking about shifting directions.
Again, though, Goodwill reports neither the Wizards or Bulls are indicating that Beal or LaVine are on the table. The Athletic’s Fred Katz has also reported the Wizards don’t want to trade Beal. That remains the most important point to highlight, though star names are of course intriguing to consider.
Beal didn’t make the All-Star Game last season, but he posted 30.5 points per game and is one of the league’s best offensive shooting guards. The 25-year-old LaVine also built an All-Star case in his sixth professional season, averaging 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists and converting 38 percent of his 8.1 three-point attempts per contest.
Could the Sixers be persuasive and still pull off something big that involves a pick or picks in this draft? Substantial draft compensation would likely be a key requirement in either theoretical deal. The Sixers have an NBA-high five selections this year (Nos. 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58). Outside of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, there’s a steep drop-off in how attractive other Sixers would be in a trade. Al Horford is still a productive NBA player but his lucrative contract and the three years remaining on it dent his value considerably.
Chicago’s new front office is led by executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and includes GM Marc Eversley, a former Sixers front office member. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Wednesday morning that the Warriors are considering a trade with Chicago that would send Wendell Carter Jr. and the No. 4 pick to Golden State for the No. 2 selection. Perhaps that report hints at Chicago being prepared to make dramatic changes if the right offers materialize.