Sixers: Ranking the team’s Trade Assets

The Sixers offseason is expected to feature major roster changes, with the front office poised to surround Embiid and Simmons with a high-level supporting cast at any cost. The prevailing thought is that they’ll need to make a few trades to pull off anything substantial, however, unlike in years past, the Sixers stockpile of assets to pull off such moves has dwindled down to next to nothing.

While that puts the franchise in a fairly compromised position moving forward, here’s a full ranking of the assets the team does have to work with.

The bottom of the barrel assets:

  • #14 Al Horford
  • #13 2020 2nd RD pick (36 overall)
  • #12 2020 2nd RD pick (34 overall)
  • #11 Furkan Korkmaz
  • #10 2021 2nd RD pick (NYK)

Despite the contract, Horford isn’t just a salary dump. He’s still a top-10 center in the league and is well-suited for the small-ball era—some team out there will be willing to swallow the cost for his services. While he won’t fetch much beyond an expiring contract, a late second rounder, and maybe another low-value asset; it’d be incorrect to say Horford doesn’t have trade value.

Next is the group of second rounders—not all seconds have value, but the 34th and 36th overall picks do. The reason the 2021 pick is ranked higher is because a) next year’s draft class is far deeper than this one, and b) a future pick always has some re-sale value as a trade asset over the course of the year.

Korkmaz is also in this range. All 29 other teams had the chance to add Furk for the minimum last offseason and none pulled the trigger. His 2019 campaign was respectable, but most teams would rather have an early second rounder to take a chance on than Kork—nonetheless, the fact that he’s a shooter gives him some value.

Not as devalued as you might expect:

  • #9 Zhaire Smith
  • #8 Tobias Harris

Zhaire is only 20 years old and still a freak athlete. The potential that he was drafted with is still mostly there, and teams won’t be afraid to ask for him to be included in any trades the Sixers try to make this offseason.

Tobias’ case is a little more complicated. In my trade piece I discussed how some teams will absolutely be interested in Harris as a distressed asset, and I identified a handful of teams who are likely to be in the mix to add him over the offseason, and why. If you’re interested in that full argument you can find it here. Tobias is still a high-level player, he’s just not a max-player or a closer. His bad contract will be baked into the price, but the idea that he’s anything near a salary dump is baseless.

Modest value:

  • #7 2021 1st RD pick
  • #6 2022 1st RD pick
  • #5 2023 1st RD pick

You can really rank these in any order you want, I just figure the later the pick the higher the chance the Sixers are no long a playoff team—while they expect to be one, a lot can change by 2023. Again, these picks will be assumed to be later in the draft, so they don’t have a ton of value, but probably more-so than Harris or Zhaire at this moment in time.

Good value:

#4 2020 1st RD pick (21 overall)

It’s not a great pick, but 21 overall could be higher than the next few years of picks, and it’s an asset that can help teams out in both the short-term and long. This pick has better value than the Sixers future first rounders, but not by much.

#3 Shake Milton

I wouldn’t disagree if you rank Milton higher on this list, but for now Shake’s track record is too small to justify being valued above J-Rich and ‘Tisse. Milton proved in 2020 that he can be a deadeye catch-and-shoot threat, and while I understand the instinct to say Sixers fans overrate Milton, we absolutely don’t. Shooters have value, and Milton is a proven shot with the physical traits to become a plus-defender—don’t overthink this, Shake has real value.

#2 Josh Richardson

Richardson’s somewhat poor fit in Philly shouldn’t hurt his trade value. In the right system he’s a young two-guard capable of handling heavy minutes and taking on brutal defensive matchups. His ability as a slasher was really undercut with the Sixers, but teams in need of POA defense and with a handful of touches to spare will surely be in the mix for Richardson. Not only do prospective teams have the option to rebuild with him moving forward, he’ll also have trade value if you need to flip him at the deadline.

#1 Matisse Thybulle

You can’t teach instincts, length, and quick-twitch, and that’s exactly what allowed Thybulle to be the menace he was on defense as a rookie. What you can teach is a jump shot, and if Thybulle is able to add a consistent stroke then the sky is the limit for him. He already flashed some ability to put the ball on the floor and attack a closeout, and his ability to flash in transition is obvious. If the offensive package continues to develop around his already elite defense—and that’s not hyperbole—then Thybulle will be one of the best young pieces in the game. Teams will line up to speak with Elton if they make it known that ‘Tisse is available, and he’s easily the most valuable trade chip we have at the moment.

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