The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the few teams in the NBA that can actually say they have a bright future ahead without anyone laughing. For the past 2 seasons, name another team who hasn’t made the playoffs but everyone wants to be involved in a trade with? The Celtics were expected to control the trade market on this year’s draft with them having the rights to the Brooklyn Nets first round pick. However, it’s the 76ers who holds all the cards going forward.
The 76ers have the No. 3 pick this year and according to the NBA Rumor Mill, they will likely trade that to the Celtics for the No. 1 pick this year. If Brett Brown and crew have their eyes set on Markelle Fultz then why not go for the trade? However, in doing so, the team will have to mortgage a fraction of their future.
The 76ers currently have the Los Angeles Lakers unprotected 2018 First Round pick and the Sacramento Kings 2019 unprotected First Round pick. I’m not sure how much you follow the Lakers and Kings but neither is expected to make a leap into the playoffs for at least another 2 years. What this means is that the 76ers will be a team to be reckoned with for quite a while.
Let’s say the 76ers can get to 40 wins in 2017. In the East that may be just enough to creep into the playoffs. But if they happen to miss out that would mean another Lottery pick coupled with the Lakers UFR and the 76ers could be looking at a possible No. 1 pick and more. The same goes for the 2019 NBA Draft. The Kings are in no rush to improve but the 76ers own their pick in 2019. How many teams can say they have 4 shots in 2 years to have the No. 1 pick?
This is what Boston did to the Nets and we see how well that has worked ou for them. Now, it seems the Celtics are trying to pull a fast one on the 76ers. A deal for the 2017 No. 1 pick can be made but it cannot involve the Lakers or Kings picks unless there is an All-Star player attached.
Can Fultz be an All-Star? Maybe but we have no idea as of now. But what we do know is that the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls have their respective top players on the market. Is Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George worth an unprotected pick? Butler and PG-13 may be but Anthony is no longer. With that said– the 76ers would be wise to try to swing a deal with either of these teams and get that veteran presence needed to help push these young kids over the top.
The Celtics are poised to make a deal with the 76ers in order to offer the Bulls a package to include Butler. But this is the move the 76ers could offer themselves. Why help your division rival get better when you have all the cards in your hand? Fultz may be good but is he better than Butler or George right now?
The Philadelphia 76ers must keep their unprotected picks and start to think like a franchise who’s expected to win.