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June 22, 2017

What the Spurs, Porzingis and latest NBA Draft trade rumors mean for the Sixers

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The 2017 NBA Draft is finally upon us, and with all of the crazy action we have already seen this offseason, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of trade rumors floating around that involve teams and prospects at the top of the lottery. And in other NBA news, the Knicks apparently want to trade the only good thing they have (Kristaps Porzingis) and the Spurs are trying to open up some cap space potentially for Chris Paul.

Here is how all of those trade rumors could affect the Sixers.

Moving on up?

NBA.com’s David Aldridge is reporting that the Sixers are interested in trading a couple of their second-round picks to move back up into the back end of the first round:

How it affects the Sixers: Bryan Colangelo mentioned the possibility of consolidating their second-round picks at Monday’s press conference. With a limited number of spots on the Sixers roster, it would make some sense if the front office has a draft target that they covet at the end of the first round.

That said, a bunch of teams in the second round are rumored to want to move up. In terms of Sixers news at the draft, the Markelle Fultz pick seems pretty set. What Colangelo ends up doing with all of those second-round picks is the only unknown for Sixers fans.

Spurs clearing space?

Via Philadelphia’s own Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio Spurs are looking to clear some cap space. That means Danny Green and potentially LaMarcus Aldridge are available via trade:

How it affects the Sixers: After Aldridge’s subpar play last season, it seems like wishful thinking on the Spurs’ part if they believe that he can bring back a top-10 pick. But San Antonio has been linked to Chris Paul in plenty of free agency rumors, and if they want to clear space for the Point God, they need to shed some salary.

If the asking price isn’t all that much, landing Green would make a ton of sense for the Sixers. He’s not the same shooter that made a million threes against Miami in the NBA Finals a few years ago, but he’s still an above-average three-point shooter and defender who doesn’t need the basketball. Just as important, Green only has one more season and $10 million on his contract before he will likely opt out. Green would be a nice fit with the Sixers roster and he wouldn’t cost long-term money.

Oh yeah, Brett Brown also knows him pretty well from his time in San Antonio. There haven’t been any trade rumors linking Green and the Sixers, but the fit would make a lot of sense.

Oh, Knicks…

What are you doing, Phil Jackson?

Per ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have discussed a Kristaps Porzingis trade with every team in the top five of the 2017 NBA Draft. That would obviously include the Sixers, who had their representative chime in on the Porzingis trade rumors:

Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that the Knicks had talks with each team positioned in the top five in the lottery, trying to acquire both a pick and a young player with star potential in exchange for Porzingis. In particular, members of the Knicks have had recent conversations with the Phoenix Suns about a trade involving the No. 4 pick in Thursday night's draft, and New York has had substantive talks with at least two other teams who have called about Porzingis, sources said.

How it affects the Sixers: I can’t imagine the Sixers would make a trade that meets the Knicks’ demands for Porzingis. They traded up to No. 1 to draft Markelle Fultz, who fits their other core players (Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid) better than Porzingis while offering a similar if more uncertain upside. Despite Embiid chiming on the subject, it’s telling that the Sixers aren’t linked to Porzingis in rumors in the what that Boston and Phoenix have been.

And make no mistake, the Celtics should be all over trying to land Porzingis in a trade:

The price very well could be ridiculous. From the outside, this feels mostly like Phil Jackson is trying some motivational tactics (“tough love”) on his best young player after he skipped a fairly meaningless exit meeting. Bold strategy there, Cotton.

Bad times for Knicks fans:

Quick hitters

•    The Sixers made the Fultz trade because they liked him better than their options at 3, but Kansas forward Josh Jackson seems to be drawing quite a bit of interest:


•    In terms of the Gordon Hayward free agency rumors, I am going to say this speculation isn’t great news for the Utah Jazz. Boston seems like the other most sensible landing spot for the talented swingman:


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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