24 hours prior to the NBA’s Trade Deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves smack dab in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Currently sitting in the 8th and final playoff spot, the Sixers are just a game over the .500 mark (26-25) and are a mere half game ahead of the hard-charging Detroit Pistons (26-26). With the Pistons already making a splash by acquiring Blake Griffin, the Philly front office has to make their own splash to push this young team to the postseason.
The 76ers have been linked to multiple names heading into Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline, most notably Chester, Pa. native Tyreke Evans. The uber-athletic swingman is in the midst of a career year in Memphis (20 ppg, 5 apg, and 5 rpg) and has been sitting since Jan. 31st as the Grizzlies wait out the strongest offer. Boston, Denver, and a mystery team have also been rumored to be in on Evans making things that much more interesting.
Evans is a virtual perfect fit for the 76ers as currently contstructed. They are sorely missing a playmaker off of the bench capable of creating offense, specifically a slasher with the ability to attack the rim. His athleticism will allow him to fit in with Simmons and his improved outside shooting means Brett Brown can play him with any unit and expect results. Not to mention the upgrade he provides on the defensive end over Bayless. Enter the fact that Evans grew up down the street, literally, and you cannot find a better suited match for this group.
The asking price from Memphis is said to be a First-Round pick, and an expiring contract. Philly has the assets (1st Rounder, Jerryd Bayless) to make this happen and certainly cannot afford to watch a division rival, and possible playoff opponent snatch him up instead.
Going into the season everyone in the Sixers organization claimed that the first step in moving “The Process” forward was to make the postseason. If Bryan Colangelo and company are serious about making that happen, they absolutely must pull the trigger on a deal for Evans.