The Sixers need depth. Everywhere. Their starting five — Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, J.J. Redick, Wilson Chandler — is very good, but they lack the depth and versatility behind that group to compete in the playoffs with Boston or Toronto. Or probably Milwaukee. Philly needs more shooting, good defenders, and some athleticism.
Philadelphia GM Elton Brand is tearing up the phone lines in advance of the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
One rumored name out there: Dewayne Dedmon of Atlanta, reports Tim Bontempts of ESPN. Dedmon would be the best backup big man Sixers would have by a longshot. The problem is the price may be too steep for the Sixers.
Atlanta Hawks big man Dewayne Dedmon has drawn the 76ers’ interest, sources tell ESPN. He would bring athleticism and defense, along with shooting.
But to get him, the 76ers would likely have to do something they have so far been resistant to, per sources: trading 2017 No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz.
Can the Sixers stomach trading their former No. 1 pick for a backup center?
Philadelphia will need to consider moving Fultz in any deal that brings back real talent because most of the reserves on their roster — the Furkan Korkmazs and Mike Muscalas of the world — are not going to interest other teams.
Fultz still away from the team being treated for thoracic outlet syndrome and nobody is sure when he will return to the court, or what he will look like when he does. That doesn’t exactly help a player’s trade value — already the Sixers couldn’t recoup a first-round pick for him. Fultz is a former consensus No. 1 that a lot of teams loved coming out of college, there are teams interested in seeing if they can help coax that player out of him, but considering his salary ($8.3 million this season, $9.7 million next season fully guaranteed) there’s not a high trade value for Fultz right now.
Do the Sixers want to play Fultz at some point and get his value back up? Or do they just accept their fate and trade him? What can they get back for him? A blown No. 1 pick is painful, so what is ownership’s pain tolerance?
It may not be Dedmon, but don’t be shocked if Fultz is moved for someone at the deadline. The Sixers need to ask if Dedmon is enough (or if there is a bigger deal with other players in Atlanta).