The Philadelphia 76ers are trying to put the right pieces around Joel Embiid and James Harden as they continue to compete in the Eastern Conference. They have taken steps to strengthen their bank, but they also need to strengthen their overall talent.
They definitely need another shooter besides Harden and Embiid to properly divide the floor and one man they have their eyes are on Houston Rockets security guard Eric Gordon†
The 14-year veteran averaged 13.4 points and shot 41.2% from deep during the 2021-22 season, and he did many good things for the Rockets that he can bring to a contending team like the Sixers. However, Houston appreciates the veteran and they didn’t like Philadelphia’s trade offer to him.
Rockets GM Rafael Stone would like a draft pick for Gordon in any deal that is not late in the draft order. However, because of the NBAs Stepien ruleThe Sixers will not be allowed to trade a first-round pick until 2029. Therefore, making a trade involving only the two of these teams would be a tough challenge.
The greatest asset the Sixers can offer a young team like the Rockets is Matisse Thybulle. The 3-year-old Washington winger is one of the league’s elite defenders, but he has yet to contribute consistently on the attacking side of the floor. He also doesn’t have the salary that Gordon has, so Philadelphia would have to give up more to meet Gordon’s salary.
Rockets Wire on how a transaction can fail
So the most reasonable path seems to be a three-team scenario. In this hypothetical situation, the Sixers could get Gordon if a third team sends a respectable draft asset to Houston in exchange for Thybulle and perhaps other Philadelphia players (for salary adjustment). That future draft asset could give Stone significantly more options than what he would have with Thybulle, whose value would diminish if he struggled to find minutes.
With that in mind, the challenge is whether the Sixers and Rockets can find a third-team facilitator willing to give up that kind of asset for Thybulle. It clearly hasn’t happened yet. But it’s a long off-season, and both Philadelphia and Houston have plenty of incentive to try and come up with something considering Gordon’s age — which seems to be a better fit for a team like the 76ers looking to win in the short term.
Looking at possible third teams
When it comes to Thybulle, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks are two teams that have an interest in Thybulle. Those are the two teams right now that could potentially make a three-team deal work to send Gordon to Philadelphia. Right now, he looks like the player President Daryl Morey is trying to add to his current roster.
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