76ers Trade Rumors: PHI Receiving Calls on Matisse Thybulle Ahead of Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle plays during an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly "received calls" on young wing Matisse Thybulle ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.   

Per that report, "Some general managers across the league believe the inclusion of Thybulle in a trade offer could swing the bidding for [Toronto Raptors star Kyle] Lowry's services, but the 76ers are reluctant to part with him."

Thybulle, 24, has emerged as one of the most impactful perimeter defenders in the NBA during his two years in the league. He's averaging 3.8 points, 1.0 blocks and 1.5 steals this season, and the last mark is an impressive number given he plays just 18.8 minutes per game. 

To put that in perspective, Thybulle is tied for eighth in steals per game, and the top seven players all average 25 or more minutes per game. Of that group, only T.J. McConnell (1.8 SPG) and LaMelo Ball (1.6 SPG) average fewer than 30 minutes per contest. 

Thybulle has emerged as a real defensive weapon for the Sixers, giving them another switchable stopper on the perimeter to go along with Defensive Player of the Year candidate Ben Simmons. How many rotational perimeter defenders average a block per game, after all?

The knock on Thybulle is that he hasn't quite worked out the "three" part of the three-and-D archetype that has become so valuable in the modern NBA. He's shooting 41.7 percent from the field and just 32.1 percent from three. Were he at about 38 percent from beyond the arc, he'd be a viable starting option for the Sixers going forward. 

As it stands, his defense off the bench remains highly valuable this season, making it hard to imagine the team would willingly deal him unless it was getting a star-level player in return. With plenty of buzz that the Sixers remain hot on the trail of Lowry, per Scotto, Thybulle's future in Philly isn't guaranteed.