Sixers Trade Rumors: Zhaire Smith, Mike Scott Drawing Minimal Interest

Justin Grasso

Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers were quite active in the trade market far before the deadline even came close. This season, their General Manager Elton Brand has spent a lot of time working the phones, but he hasn't made an in-season deal just yet.

Soon, the Sixers will have to figure something out because the deadline is approaching fast. On Thursday afternoon, all deals around the NBA will have to be finalized. And even though the Sixers are pretty much a lock to make the playoffs, they aren' quite where they want to be just yet.

Before the season began, Sixers' head coach Brett Brown made it seem like his team was going to be gunning for the first seed. By Christmas day, it was made apparent the Sixers won't keep up with Milwaukee in the standings.

However, their Xmas day blowout against the Bucks made it seem like the Sixers are legitimate championship contenders. Lately, though, that feeling is lost. It's obvious that Philly needs a change, and it starts with an upgrade in three-point shooting.

Therefore, a trade before the deadline seems inevitable. However, it's not going to be all that easy. What Philly is offering on the market doesn't seem to be all that appealing to potential sellers, which shouldn't come as a surprise.

According to Sports Illustrated's own, Chris Mannix, the only two players that are for sale from Philly happens to be second-year guard Zhaire Smith and veteran forward, Mike Scott. "The Sixers want shooting," Mannix wrote in his latest deadline summary. "But interest in some combination of Zhaire Smith and Mike Scott has been minimal."

Smith, who is only 20-years-old, hasn't seemed to have taken the next step in year two. While he was dealt a bad hand last season with two serious setbacks, the Sixers elected to focus more on developing Matisse Thybulle, rather than fast-tracking Smith's development ahead of his sophomore season.

The 31-year-old Mike Scott obviously holds more value than Smith considering his experience, but he doesn't move the needle in any trade much further. This year, Scott's numbers are down. Known for being a three-point shooter off the bench, Scott has only managed to drain 34-percent of his deep shots.

While the Sixers have some second-rounders to add in the mix with Smith and Scott, it seems their trade targets are drawing some first-round interest. The Sixers need shooting, but it's tough to call them desperate, so they definitely won't be overpaying for a bench piece. There's still a couple of days left for things to change, but so far, it sounds like the Sixers aren't finding much luck.

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

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