Philadelphia 76ers' third-year wing Matisse Thybulle ended his 2021-2022 campaign on a relatively low note. After being ruled ineligible to play in road games against the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs due to his vaccination status, the defensive standout became a part-time player.
During that time, Thybulle lost confidence and struggled in the games he did play in when the Sixers and the Raptors faced off in Philly. Thybulle's struggles didn't just go away when the Sixers entered their second-round series against the Miami Heat.
While the young defensive standout started re-growing confidence on the defensive side of the ball against the Heat once again, his struggles on offense oftentimes made him unplayable.
Back in February, the Sixers were extremely hesitant to include Thybulle in any trade packages to land the team a star to replace Ben Simmons. According to a report, the Brooklyn Nets wanted Thybulle, but the Sixers' unwillingness to move on from him held up the deal.
When the Sixers eventually landed James Harden without parting ways with Thybulle, 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey spoke as if Thybulle is a borderline untouchable prospect on their roster. Fast forward to the offseason, and that's not really the case, according to Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice.
"All of this has added up to Thybulle being in a handful of trade rumors to start the offseason, most prominently in connection to the Chicago Bulls. Marc Eversley, a former Sixers exec who is one of the pillars in Chicago's front office, was instrumental in Philadelphia's acquisition of Thybulle on draft night 2019, so there's been a notable level of buzz regarding their interest in him.
"One bit of record-correcting — Thybulle is certainly not untouchable, and the Sixers would entertain moving him, but the idea that they would dump him strictly for salary reasons (as has been reported elsewhere) doesn't carry any weight."
Thybulle definitely has significant drawbacks on the Sixers as his offensive growth has been nearly non-existent. But as the young wing remains a premier perimeter defender on a team that lacks strong defenders, he still holds value in that department -- especially with Danny Green out to start the 2022-2023 season.
Per Neubeck, a move shipping Thybulle out would have to be a "legitimate attempt to improve the team" and not a salary-dump situation. It's unclear how high Thybulle's trade value is at this point, but it's apparent that the Sixers are no longer hesitant to discuss packages including the former first-rounder.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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