Over the past few years, the Sixers have proved to their fans that they are always willing to mix things up and trade key players or picks. Here are three extreme trades no one would see coming, yet plausible with Sam Hinkie.
Thunder Get: Sixers’ 2015 first round pick, Lakers’ 2015 first round pick (top five protected) which belongs to the Sixers, and Nerlens Noel.
Sixers Get: Russell Westbrook
Commentary: In this trade, the Sixers get their superstar player with Russell Westbrook. In just one night, the Sixers go from a tanking team to an NBA championship contender. The Thunder have been disappointing for the past 5 years. Each one, fans have entered the season expecting a potential championship. Instead, they have underperformed each year. Maybe it is time to move on? Wesbrook could be the Sixers’ go-to scorer and would go well with another potential superstar and defensive stopper, Joel Embiid. Keep in mind, Brett Brown’s squad would still have the Heat’s 2015 pick (top 10 protected) and the Thunders 2016 first round pick (top 15 protected) to help find other potential stars to help the present players. This would stack the Sixers with players. Finally, Noel was fantastic this season, but do they really need him when they have Embiid? In addition, I think trading for Westbrook is more significant than keeping Noel, when you have suitable people to replace him.
Kings Get: Sixers’ 2015 first round pick, Nerlens Noel, New Orleans’ 2015 second round pick (47) which belongs to Sixers.
Sixers Get: DeMarcus Cousins
Commentary: The Kings have had solid teams for years now. And each one has been centered around big man, Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins. But they have never been able to win (zero playoffs appearances since Cousins joined the team), and the Kentucky graduate has been the center of much criticism about his attitude. However, there is no denying the fact that Boogie can play. He has been more than effective, averaging 24.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, and a box plus/minus of 4.7. However, with new head coach George Karl, it is unsure if the Kings want to build their team around Cousins. There is speculation that they might want to start fresh. I think it is very possible they do, therefore I think this trade is plausible. In the deal, the Sixers do not mortgage their future, because they gain a player who is young and has time to grow. I don’t even think he has peaked yet. Cousins would replace Noel, and the Sixers would have one of the best frontcourts ever (with Embiid), and a new go-to scorer. If they could find a way to fix his attitude and corral players that could better complement his game, unlike in Sacramento, they would become an instant playoff contender. It might be risk worth taking, when you factor in his potential and age.
Whoever Gets the First Pick Gets: Joel Embiid
Sixers Get: First overall pick
Commentary: Joel Embiid could be a superstar, but who knows? Practically the Sixers here are trading Embiid for Kentucky center, Karl Towns. The current college freshman is more than healthy enough to play, and the Sixers have made mistakes before,by picking injured big men (i.e. Jeff Ruland and Andrew Bynum), which makes me step back on the Embiid choosing. Why don’t they take a different path, and take one without nagging injuries and just as much potential? In addition, the Sixers need a future go-to scorer. Towns is a potential scoring machine that could be the centerpiece of the franchise. Embiid is more of a defensive stopper and he is super raw. It likely won’t be less than 4 years until he can match the potential that has been tagged to him, and that’s without injury setbacks. Although Towns is also raw, I think he will develop faster into the player they expect him to be. In addition, without a doubt, he will be able score consistently from day one, because of his size, shot, efficiency, and exponential growth at Kentucky. I think Embiid and Towns both have similarly high ceilings, but I think Towns will be more ready to play now, fill a piece they need in the future (scoring), and be less likely to get injured. I could see the Sixers doing this, especially if they know something discouraging about Embiid’s injury that we don’t.
First picture courtesy of www.sportsworldnews.com
Second picture courtesy of www.warriorsworld.net