With a new Head Coach and a new Head of Basketball Operations in place, the Philadelphia 76ers look set to make another challenge at the top of the Eastern Conference. NBA trade rumors have recently linked the Philadelphia 76ers with Houston Rockets guard James Harden, but these seem unsubstantiated as the Rockets are unlikely to trade away their biggest superstar.
Moreover, in order to pull off the trade, the Philadelphia 76ers would inevitably have to include either Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons in the deal. This doesn't mean that the 76ers can afford to not make high-profile moves this offseason, though.
If the Philadelphia 76ers intend on mounting a serious Championship run this season, they will have to trade away the contracts that Tobias Harris and Al Horford are currently on. They will have to bring in a perimeter shooting guard who can also run the floor, such as Harden.
NBA Trade Rumors: 5 guards the Philadelphia 76ers should target
Here are 5 guards that the Philadelphia 76ers should target instead of James Harden.
#1 Gordon Hayward
There is no doubt that Gordon Hayward remains an elite player in the league despite not rising to the same level that saw him move from Utah to Boston on a max contract in 2017.
And although Hayward is among the best in his position, he is once again on the hunt for a new team as a free agent, and NBA trade rumors have suggested that he wants out of Boston.
Hayward is an elite shooter, and averages 50% from the field and 38% from beyond the arc. Moving from a balanced team like the Boston Celtics to the Philadelphia 76ers could give him more breathing space to express himself and return to the form that saw him average 22 points in the 2016-17 season.
#2 Bogdan Bogdanović
One player who has gathered a lot of attention this offseason has been Bogdan Bogdanović. The Serbian shooting guard is a restricted free agent, and despite being offered a lucrative max contract by the Sacramento Kings, he is yet to sign in the hope that a better offer comes along.
Coming into his 4th season in the league, Bogdanović offers positional versatility and efficient shooting percentages that the Philadelphia 76ers could benefit massively from. He averaged 44% from the field and 37% from downtown, and has also made some big-time plays down the stretch.
Bogdanović is certainly one shooter in the league that Ben Simmons' prowess of kicking the ball to the three-point line would suit perfectly.
#3 Victor Oladipo
Another player that could offer the Philadelphia 76ers excellent positional coverage and bring in an injection of excitement to their play is Victor Oladipo. Deployed as both a shooting guard and a point guard with the Indiana Pacers, he has been one of the most enthralling players in the league to watch.
Oladipo is only 27 years old, but it feels like has been in the league for a much longer time. He will definitely feel like his best years are yet to come, as the guard's injuries have hampered his ability to return to the form that saw him average 23 points in his first season with the Pacers.
If he joins Simmons and Embiid, Oladipo could be deployed as a floor general, and could help take the pressure off the Philadelphia 76ers' young talent.
#4 Jrue Holiday
The New Orleans Pelicans have a player in his prime in Jrue Holiday, but lack the the cap space to spend during the free agency period without moving the shooting guard on.
Holiday has been part of the Pelicans roster for 7 years, but it appears that the time may have come for him to move on. According to NBA trade rumors, he has piqued the interest of several teams across the league.
If the Philadelphia 76ers were to trade for Holiday, he would be a solid addition to their roster, since he is someone who can spread the floor and shoot efficiently from deep. He could pair up perfectly with Tobias Harris on the wings (coincidentally, both players averaged 19 points last season).
#5 Chris Paul
The final player on our list is probably the least likely to move to the Philadelphia 76ers, but could have the most to offer to the team. Veteran Chris Paul carried the Oklahoma City Thunder to 5th in the West last season with a relatively young roster and could provide the same assistance in Philly.
After having had arguably one of the best seasons of his career at 35 years of age, Paul is one of the most professional athletes in the league. His domination at point guard would enable Philadelphia 76ers stars Simmons and Embiid to express themselves.
Paul averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists in 31 minutes of playing time throughout the season, and he is showing no signs of slowing down.
Published 11 Nov 2020, 12:16 IST