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January 08, 2024

NBA trade deadline: 5 Sixers who could be traded

Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is known for making creative moves. Will he pull off another one in the next month?

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Tobias Harris 1.6.24 Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

As the trade deadline nears, rumors surrounding Sixers forward Tobias Harris will continue swirling.

The NBA trade deadline is exactly one month away, and Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and his staff have some difficult decisions to make. The team's desire to add talent to what currently exists in Philadelphia is obvious -- but in the NBA, in order to get, one must give.

So, which Sixers are most likely to be moved in the next month?

Marcus Morris Sr.

Morris Sr. has given the Sixers decent minutes since arriving in Philadelphia, but as his production continues to decline in the aftermath of a hot shooting streak, the Sixers will be monitoring the market for players who make around the same amount of money as Morris, who is on an expiring contract worth north of $17 million.

Even if Morris is the best version of himself, he is not nearly good enough to override the fact that the Sixers can use his expiring deal to bring in a much more noteworthy, reliable rotation piece -- perhaps even a new starter. The opportunity cost of keeping Morris around is simply too great to ignore. 

Morris is not the worst nor the least valuable player on the Sixers' roster right now. But he should be the first player Morey attempts to move because of the kind of return he may be able to receive due to Morris' large expiring contract.

KJ Martin

Martin has had a peculiar third year in the NBA. After two years of consistent playing time and somewhat impressive results, he has spent year three glued to the bench for two different teams -- first the Los Angeles Clippers and now the Sixers. His shooting limitations and the current logjam on the Sixers' roster has rendered him not particularly valuable for them, but he is absolutely a player who could intrigue other teams. 

Watch for Martin to be used as a sweetener of some sort in a bigger deal -- the kind of piece who can be used to help flip Morris for a better player or to bypass the Sixers' shortage of future draft picks they are capable of trading.

Martin is not going to be worth a valuable first-round pick, but he has shown enough ability in the NBA to be worth something, and that in itself makes him more valuable to the Sixers as a trade asset than as a basketball player.

Furkan Korkmaz and Danuel House Jr.

Korkmaz is in what feels like his 100th straight trade rumor season as someone expected to be moved. House Jr. is on the fringes of the rotation, constantly being subbed in and pulled out. Neither player will command any value on the trade market, but when combined, the two make nearly $10 million while both are on expiring contracts. The Sixers could use the pair of wings as salary filler in a deal, sprinkle in a sweetener like Martin, Jaden Springer or draft compensation, and find a modest upgrade.

Tobias Harris

The name you came here for. Harris is in the final year of his now-infamous five-year, $180 million contract. Harris is a fine player -- the issue is that the Sixers have now spent half a decade paying him like a superstar. 

Trading your third-leading scorer in the middle of a season in which you are championship contenders is not a normal move. But with Harris making $39.2 million (19th-most in the NBA), his expiring deal would enable the Sixers to match salaries for someone who is actually suited to be the third-best player on a championship contender. Or, the Sixers could flip Harris for multiple valuable role players who can, in the aggregate, give the Sixers more value than they are getting right now from the 13-year veteran.

For example, Harris makes about the same as Raptors star forward Pascal Siakam, who is rumored to be available. The Sixers could try to flip him for the kind of bonafide star player he never became. Or, they could trade him to a team like the Detroit Pistons for Bojan Bogdanovic and another strong role player -- Monte Morris or Alec Burks, perhaps -- and add depth to their at-times shaky bench rotation.

The Sixers do not absolutely need to move Harris no matter what. But with someone as creative as Morey at the helm, the smart money should be on the Sixers being able to find some sort of return that increases their championship odds.