Philadelphia 76ers: Which Non-Starter Has Most Trade Value?
The upcoming offseason could be quite interesting for the Philadelphia 76ers. While the 2019-2020 NBA season hasn't concluded just yet, it is assumed the Sixers are going to have to make some harsh changes considering they were one of the league's most disappointing squads this season.
Some of the popular potential offseason moves being discussed include trades involving the $109 million man Al Horford, Jimmy Butler's replacement Josh Richardson, and the entirely unrealistic Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons trade scenarios.
Of those few hypotheticals, the most realistic seems to be moving Al Horford. But considering his contract is quite hefty, and the veteran big man isn't getting any younger, the Sixers would have to potentially move one of their young prospects in order to find an upgrade for the team. If that's the case, which non-starter has the most value on the 76ers?
Throughout the season, the 76ers were rumored to have a couple of players on the trade block. One of them happened to be a 2018 first-round pick, Zhaire Smith. After dealing with multiple setbacks during his rookie season, Smith missed nearly a season's worth of development, which affected his progress in year two.
While the Sixers picked up Smith's option to remain on the team beyond 2019-2020, Philly reportedly looked for a trade partner to take him off their hands before the deadline back in February. To no surprise, there wasn't a market for Smith, as he's spent a majority of the season down in the G League, where he's had some ups and downs.
That leads us to two former G League standouts in Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz. Both players have had their struggles leading up to this season -- and both Korkmaz and Milton had explosive stints throughout the year as well.
Before the NBA suspended operations back in March, Milton was averaging nearly 20 PPG, shooting over 50 percent from three. Meanwhile, Korkmaz was consistently playing well all season long, draining 39 percent from three and averaging just under 10 PPG. Both players could garner some interest in the future trade market, but they still don't seem to carry the same value as Sixers' rookie, Matisse Thybulle.
"The only player who other teams would likely value [from the Sixers] is Matisse Thybulle," said former NBA Executive, John Hollinger. Although Thybulle had some growing pains throughout the season -- especially on the offensive side of the ball -- his defensive value is through the roof. The rookie led all other rookies in steals during his first NBA season.
For a while now, it's been apparent that teams likely value Thybulle over any other young non-starter on the Sixers. However, it's highly unlikely the 76ers move the rookie guard unless another team makes an offer they cannot refuse.
Philly has made it clear Thybulle is their guy after trading up for him in the first round of last year's draft after guaranteeing the Washington prospect they would select him. Don't be surprised to see the Sixers try to get aggressive in the trade market during the offseason, but don't expect Thybulle to be in the conversations.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_