Philadelphia 76ers Rumors: Robert Covington emerges as a trade target, Zhaire Smith likely to exit and more
Despite losing Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick in free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers entered the 2019-20 season among the favorites to advance from the Eastern Conference after bringing in Al Horford and Josh Richardson, while also signing Tobias Harris to a new long-term deal. However, despite flashes of brilliance, Brett Brown's team has been among the NBA's most underwhelming teams, and a poor run of form has seen the Sixers fall to sixth place in the East standings.
In comparison, the Milwaukee Bucks have been dominant while the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Indiana Pacers have performed better than expected. Due to this, the Sixers' front office may be active in the trade market as they look to get back in contention, and here we will take a look at all the latest Philadelphia rumors you need to know.
#1 Robert Covington is a trade target but the Sixers face competition
The Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be out of the playoff race after making a slow start to the season, and Robert Covington is among the players that have been linked with an exit. Covington previously played for the Sixers between 2014 and 2018, and while The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor is reporting that Philadelphia is interested in bringing the veteran back - they will face intense competition from rival teams:
Most interestingly, sources say the Sixers inquired about Robert Covington, whom they dealt to the Timberwolves in 2018 in the Butler trade... But Minnesota could have so many bidders for Covington that the price will be too high for Philadelphia to make a reunion a reality.
Covington has made 38 appearances for the Timberwolves this season, averaging 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.7 steals per contest.
#2 Jeff Green could be a free agent target
Jeff Green only joined the Utah Jazz as a free agent last summer, although the veteran was waived in late-December after making 30 appearances. Nevertheless, Green stands out in a free agent market that is lacking talent, and Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the Sixers could bring in the 33-year-old if they fail to complete a trade for a reliable shooter:
One source confirmed that (Jeff) Green worked out for the Sixers in Miami while the team was there to face the Heat a couple of weeks ago. The Sixers are looking to add shooting prior to the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6 or the buyout market.
During his brief time with the Jazz, Green averaged 7.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per contest. Before heading to Utah, Green spent the 2018-19 season with the Washington Wizards, averaging 12.3 points on 47.5 percent shooting from the field
#3 Zhaire Smith is likely to be included in any trade talks
Zhaire Smith was selected with the sixteenth overall pick by the Phoenix Suns back in the 2018 NBA draft, although the Sixers quickly moved to complete a trade for the young shooting guard by giving up Mikal Bridges.
Nevertheless, while Bridges has found a regular spot in Phoenix's rotation, Smith has played just six times for the Sixers, and the 20-year-old has yet to make his season debut.
Smith is currently playing in the G-League with the Deleware Blue Coats, and The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the Sixers will look to include the second-year guard in trade talks:
League sources believe any Sixers trade will almost certainly include the team’s parting ways with second-year guard Zhaire Smith.
In 15 games with the Blue Coats, Smith has averaged 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He has also connected with more than 50 percent of his 10.5 field goal attempts per contest.