76ers Reportedly 'Monitoring' Available Big Men
As of late, the Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to a ton of available prospects who are currently on the NBA trade block. However, a majority of the names they have been associated with mostly have one thing in common -- they are shooters.
A few weeks back, an ESPN report mentioned the Sixers are looking all over the place for somebody who can help give them a boost when it comes to perimeter shooting. Shortly after, Philly was linked to a handful of veteran shooting guards, who fill that role.
By the looks of it now, though, the Sixers won't look strictly for three-point shooters. While that is by far the most significant need for Philly, other reports indicate they will look for upgrades in other areas too, if necessary.
Just the other night, a report surfaced regarding the Sixers' interest in the veteran point guard, Derrick Rose. While Rose hasn't been a sharpshooter from three this season, he's still a better option to play point guard off the bench over Philadelphia's current guards, Trey Burke and Raul Neto.
As the Sixers look to upgrade their talent at the guard positions, it sure sounds like they are working on potentially adding depth to their backcourt as well. In an Eastern Conference trade primer, Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith outlined the buyers and the sellers of the East.
Of course, the 76ers appear to be buyers as they look to add improvements while they can ahead of the second half of the season. While it is already known the Sixers are in the market for a shooter, a recent injury also might've forced the Sixers to scour the market for big men, too. "[The Sixers] are still looking for shooting and playmaking off the bench," Smith writes. "And Joel Embiid's injury has Philly monitoring available big men."
Lately, the 76ers' big man depth has thinned a bit. With Joel Embiid recovering from hand surgery without a timetable in place, the team has been forced to play Al Horford at center, while relying on unproven depth in Norvel Pelle, Kyle O'Quinn and Jonah Bolden to back up the former Celtic at the five spot.
Though Kyle O'Quinn is considered a seasoned veteran, he hasn't really won over Sixers' head coach, Brett Brown. Two-way contract signee Norvel Pelle has earned his fair share of minutes as of late, but after Wednesday he's back to the G-League for good. As for Jonah Bolden, he just simply doesn't look ready. The Sixers attempted to give the 24-year-old a shot in Monday's game, and the experiment was doomed from the start.
The Sixers have hope that Embiid won't be out too much longer, but the big man's injury history could make it very difficult to trust the All-Star's availability. Over the last two seasons, Embiid has had a number of issues come playoff time. Whether it was a facial injury, knee injury, or simply a sickness, Embiid has dealt with his unfortunate share of setbacks.
And while Horford is paid the big bucks to be Embiid's insurance, the 33-year-old cannot be relied on entirely as he has missed his fair share of games over the last few seasons as well. It's unclear who the Sixers could be eyeing up. But according to Keith Smith, if Philly doesn't add anyone via trade, "look for [them] to be very active on the buyout market."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_