Over the past several years, the Philadelphia 76ers have worked hard to build a competitive team. However, they went through a few different iterations of the team before they got to where they are now. Heading into next season, they look as ready as ever.
James Harden re-signed with the team at a discount this summer to help them add more quality players to the roster. This allowed them to sign PJ Tucker and bring in Montrezl Harrell as well. But as they prepare for the season, they may not be ready yet.
There aren’t too many more steps to take right now, but by the time the trading deadline closes, they might try to close a deal. According to Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin, one player they could potentially target is San Antonio Spurs winger and former 76er Josh Richardson.
Richardson played one season for Philadelphia but was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Seth Curry. He has since signed with the Boston Celtics and been traded to the Spurs. Now he’s a solid veteran stuck in a rebuilding San Antonio roster that will likely be looking for tanks.
He shot the ball very well from long range last season and was always a solid defender. Using him as an extra chord would be a great idea for the Sixers, especially since he’s on an expiring contract.
Carlin cited his defensive versatility and three-point shooting as key reasons the Sixers should consider trading for him.
With Harden and Joel Embiid acting as the main double strike against the Sixers, the main skills to kill will be defense and shooting. Richardson would provide them with both.
“The San Antonio Spurs will certainly be in the running for the No. 1 draft Victor Wembanyama, so Richardson and his expiring $12.2 million contract will eventually be delayed,” Carlin wrote. “The Tennessee veteran played for the Sixers back in the 2019-20 season with mixed results, but he wouldn’t ask much for this Sixers team. He plays and defends multiple positions and shot 41.5% from deep in the 2021/22 season.”
Richardson played a total of 65 games for the Celtics and Spurs last season. He averaged 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 43.8% shots from the field and 41.5% shots from behind the three-point line.
Creating a trade for Richardson is no small feat, but there are definitely avenues Philadelphia could take to close a deal.
To act for Richardson, they would need to raise a salary in excess of $12 million. Without traders like Tucker or De’Anthony Melton, that could prove a difficult task.
One option the Sixers have is to trade Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House, Jaden Springer and Shake Milton for Richardson. Yes, it’s a big trade, but Richardson’s role in the rotation would be more important than anything the four players traded do. San Antonio could then forgo players or buy them out.
The other, livelier option would be to trade Tobias Harris to the Spurs for Richardson, Doug McDermott and (maybe) Jakob Poeltl, along with draft picks to lure them in. Perhaps a rebuilding Spurs team could buy Harris next offseason.
Regardless, there are definitely opportunities for the Sixers to acquire Richardson and he would be a solid addition to the team.