NBA Rumors: Rockets Have Interest in Sixers' Matisse Thybulle

Could Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle move the needle in a trade for Houston Rockets star, James Harden?
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As James Harden continues to make it painfully obvious he wants the Houston Rockets to trade him; the Philadelphia 76ers are once again linked to the superstar guard. 

On Tuesday night, following Houston's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden went on record to make it clear that nothing has changed since he requested a trade a couple of months ago.

"I love this city," Harden said during a virtual postgame press conference on Tuesday night. "I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It's something that I don't think can be fixed."

On Wednesday, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported the Rockets are currently "sifting through offers on a potential James Harden deal." The two teams at the top of the list for a possible deal are the Sixers and the Brooklyn Nets.

By now, it's apparent that the Rockets want Sixers two-time All-Star Ben Simmons in a package if they do move Harden to Philly. However, a Simmons-Harden swap seemingly isn't enough. 

The Sixers will likely have to offer Simmons and several first-round picks. However, Charania also reports that the Rockets are interested in Sixers' second-year guard, Matisse Thybulle. 

"One player whom the Rockets and 76ers have discussed in potential packages is 2019 first-round pick Matisse Thybulle, with Houston having interest in the defensive-minded forward, sources said. The Rockets have had a steep asking price from all interested teams, and the threshold for Philadelphia — and other contenders — to give up one or multiple first-round picks with young assets is unclear."

Thybulle, who the Sixers drafted in the first round during the 2019 NBA Draft, has been off to a slow start this season. Although he was a defensive standout during his rookie year, Thybulle struggled to crack the Sixers' rotation at the start of the season due to his limitations on the offensive side of the ball.

Through nine games this year, Thybulle has seen the court for an average of 12 minutes. During that time, he shot just 31-percent from the field and 21-percent from three while averaging two points-per-game. While there's been a lack of offensive improvement in his game, Thybulle is still an intriguing young prospect as he still holds value defensively.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @Grasso_