Philadelphia 76ers Trade Deadline Strategy Blueprint

Brandon K. SmithContributor IIIFebruary 12, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 23:  Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 23, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the NBA trade deadline looming, questions on every fans mind tend to drift to what moves their team may make.  For Philadelphia fans, it appeared until recently as if the team would stand pat and see what sort of chemistry this squad would have upon Andrew Bynum's debut.

This was true until several days ago, when ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Sixers were open to trading Evan Turner in an effort to open up the offense for Jrue Holiday a little bit more.

Turner has continued to improve this year, his solid all-around game could make him a great fit for many teams and he has a very friendly contract considering his production rate.  He could find himself with an organization in need of a rebounding presence from the wing or on a roster that is short on ball handlers.

The Sixers will likely look to get help on the wing by shopping Turner for a player with three-point shooting abilities who can also get to the line at a high clip.  Neither of those attributes are exactly synonymous with Turner's play, and will be even more valuable to Philly with Jason Richardson out for the rest of the season.

It would also not be surprising if the Sixers look to get bigger with a trade involving Turner, as it has been speculated that the Utah Jazz may be in the market of moving Al Jefferson and/or Paul Millsap.  This would give them a rebounding edge against most teams in the East—upon Bynum's return, of course—and is not a lofty trade possibility, considering both Jefferson and Millsap will be free agents this offseason.  

Moving Turner would likely be in the team's best interest; he has proven to be a player that is more suited to having the ball in his hands. Jrue Holiday solidifying himself as a legitimate All-Star-caliber point guard this season makes Turner much more expendable, as they would likely prefer seeing Holiday take more control of their offense.  This can't be done as easily with Turner on the floor, given he is a player who needs to ball in his hands to excel.

I agree that it would be wise for the Sixers to shop Turner, simply because his time in Philadelphia has not exactly lived up to his very high billing after being selected second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft.  Further, he and Holiday do not make a ton of sense together on the court, given each player needs the ball to be successful.

It also does not help that neither get to the line very much, and teams generally don't want to have two backcourt starters that are inefficient at getting to the charity stripe.  This is especially true when one of them—Turner—can't exactly shoot the lights out from the field.

But it's difficult to tell what the Sixers would be able to get for Turner.  If they do strike up a deal with the Jazz, they very well may get nothing in return after this season, as either Jefferson or Millsap could leave.  With the same being true for Andrew Bynum, do the Sixers really want to potentially be left without any big men and giving up Turner for what would essentially be a rental?  It seems unlikely.

Another option outside of the Jazz big men that has not been brought up yet has been swapping Turner and some cash for New Orleans center Robin Lopez and rookie guard Austin Rivers.  Rivers was a lottery pick last year but has really struggled to establish himself so far, and the unexpected play of Greivis Vasquez has made Doc's son expendable.

Philadelphia could take him and put him back to his more natural position, shooting guard, and hopefully mature him into a reliable deep threat coming off of the bench.  The only problem with Rivers is that, much like Turner, he works best with the ball in his hands.  It's become clear, though, that for Rivers to get more of a run in this league, he needs to develop a spot up shooting game.  The addition of Lopez would provide some nice depth and size off of the bench.  

I believe the Sixers could also potentially trade Turner and some cash for the Hornets' Ryan Anderson, a sharpshooting big man.  This would really help Philadelphia stretch defenses while also getting bigger.  New Orleans could really use another ball handler to help facilitate their offense and give size to a smaller group of guards.  This trade is more of a long shot, however, because the Hornets love Anderson's game and seem to be committed to the 24-year-old long term.

Whatever the Sixers end up doing with Turner will likely be an improvement, though they do need to be wary about what they get in return.  Turner hasn't solidified a true position in the pros, which will hurt his overall trade value.  But if he is able to find the right team that needs another ball handler, he could become a very productive professional for a long time.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that team will the Sixers, at least not as long as Jrue Holiday is in town.