The Philadelphia 76ers entered the season hoping to contend for the number one seed in the Western Conference, although Brett Brown's team currently sit 6th in the standings with a 31-18 record. Jimmy Butler's offseason exit has had a greater impact than initially expected, while Joel Embiid's fitness has once again been a concern. Additionally, both Al Horford and Tobias Harris have been somewhat inconsistent and Philadelphia's 9-16 road record is a huge problem.
Nevertheless, despite a less than perfect first half of the season, the Sixers still possess one of the best rosters in the NBA - and Brown's team is just 3.5 games back from the second seed. Recent rumors have also suggested that the front office will be looking to upgrade the roster ahead of the trade deadline, and here we will take a look at all the latest Philadelphia rumors you need to know.
#1 Timberwolves' asking price could impact a potential trade for Robert Covington
Over the past two weeks, reports have emerged suggesting that the Sixers are eager to bring back Robert Covington. However, Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report recently spoke to multiple executives around the league who claimed that the Timberwolves are demanding two-first round picks for the 29-year-old:
The Minnesota Timberwolves, several league executives say, are looking for the lofty price tag of two first-round picks for versatile forward Robert Covington.
Following a brief seven-game spell with the Houston Rockets, Covington signed with the Sixers in 2014 - and was a regular starter over a four-season span. However, the small forward was sent to the Timberwolves in Nov. 2018 as part of the trade for Jimmy Butler. Despite Minnesota's ongoing struggles so far this season, Covington has been a solid performer, averaging 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists over 46 appearances.
#2 Zhaire Smith 'will be included' in any Sixers trade
Over the past few weeks, Zhaire Smith has been backed as the most likely member of the Philadelphia roster to exit ahead of the trade deadline, and the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the 20-year-old will almost certainly be included in any trade ahead of the deadline:
With all the talk about the 76ers needing reserve backcourt upgrades, Smith’s stay in Philadelphia could be in its final days. League sources have said the team is willing to part ways with the second-year player. One source even expects any deal the Sixers have to involve the reserve guard.
Smith was selected 16th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2018 draft but was immediately traded to the Sixers. After undergoing surgery on his fractured foot the following August, Smith suffered an allergic reaction and didn't make his NBA debut until March. He was expected to play a bigger role this season but has featured just three times, averaging 1.3 points in 7.0 minutes.
#3 Sixers have expressed an interest in OKC's Danilo Gallinari
While the Oklahoma City Thunder currently occupy the seventh seed in the Western Conference, the team is in the middle of an ongoing rebuild following the offseason departures of Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
It is widely believed that general manager Sam Presti could be open to letting some of his best players leave ahead of the deadline, and Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer is reporting that the Sixers and Mavericks are interested in signing Danilo Gallinari:
Danilo Gallinari stands out as an option. Multiple playoff teams have expressed interest in the Thunder forward, including the Mavericks and Sixers, according to league sources.
Gallinari joined the Thunder last summer as part of the trade that sent George to the LA Clippers, and the Italian has further established his reputation as one of the NBA's best three-point shooters by connecting with 41 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. The 31-year-old has also averaged 19.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest - although he will become a free agent this summer.Published 02 Feb 2020, 07:34 IST