After losing in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers embarked on the darkest period in the history of the franchise. The team suffered a losing record in five consecutive seasons, and during the 15/16 NBA season, the Sixers finished the campaign with a 10-72 record.
Nevertheless, after years of being told to 'trust the process', fans of the Sixers have finally been rewarded. Last season, Philadelphia returned to the playoffs after a six-year absence, and the team is in an even stronger position to compete this year, as both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have a full season of NBA basketball behind them.
During the early stages of the season, the Sixers were also able to add All-Star Jimmy Butler, and at the midway point of the season, Philadelphia sits fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 31-17. Nevertheless, the 76ers may need more additions in order to compete in the postseason against the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors and here are three individuals that could improve the team.
#3 Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr. was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks last season and thanks to an impressive debut season, the young guard was named to the All-Rookie Second Team. Nevertheless, the Mavs have reportedly been left disappointed by the youngster's performances so far this season and the team is seemingly looking to trade away their starting point guard.
There's no doubting that the emergence of Luka Doncic has lessened Smith's impact, although Smith is still just 21, and the young guard has already demonstrated that he can have a positive impact on the outcome of games. Ultimately, Markelle Fultz' time in Philadelphia hasn't worked out, and the addition of Smith would also allow Ben Simmons to return to his favored position.
#2 Nerlens Noel
After leaving the Dallas Mavericks, Nerlens Noel joined the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2018 offseason. The center signed a two-year deal worth just $1.7 million per season, and the move was applauded as one of the biggest steals of the summer.
During his time in Oklahoma City, the former Mavericks man has been tasked with playing backup to Steven Adams and Noel has excelled in this role. The 24-year-old is currently averaging 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds a game, despite only playing 13.1 minutes a night, and Noel has finally given depth to the OKC bench.
Nevertheless, Noel can opt out of his contract at the end of the season, and the Thunder man would represent a major upgrade over the Sixers current backup options. The Thunder are also being linked with a trade for players such as Kevin Love, so if Noel becomes available, Philadelphia shouldn't hesitate to make a move.
#1 Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross impressed during his two years of college basketball for the University of Washington, and during his final season, Ross was selected to the All-Pac-12 team. Due to this, Ross was a highly rated prospect when he entered the 2012 NBA draft, and the player was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the eighth overall pick.
Ross played for five seasons in Toronto, although the 27-year-old struggled to live up to his early potential. Nevertheless, since moving to Orlando back in 2017, Ross has exploded, and so far this season, the shooting guard is averaging 14.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while also shooting .382 from beyond the arc.
The Sixers have been desperate for shooters ever since giving up Robert Covington as part of the trade that bought Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia and a move for Terrence should help give the Sixers some additional firepower from the bench.