The offseason is officially here in the NBA and now is the time for teams to begin making moves to prepare for the next season. After falling in Round 2 for the fourth time in five seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers want to get themselves in a better position led by Joel Embiid and James Harden.
There are some needs the Sixers have at the moment and they mostly deal with the bench unit. Philadelphia needs some depth at both the wing position and at the backup center spot. While young Charles Bassey and Paul Reed are there to back up Embiid, the Sixers would prefer a veteran option who is ready to win now.
A new mock trade from The Rights to Ricky Sanchez has the Sixers filling both needs as they have Philadelphia calling up the Detroit Pistons to get Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk:
The fake trade proposal
Pistons get: Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Jaden Springer, No. 23 overall pick, rights to swap first round picks in 2026
Sixers get: Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk
The Rights to Ricky Sanchez on why the Sixers do this deal
With this deal, the Sixers accomplish two very important goals. They sure up their lack of physicality, defense, and rebounding on the wing with Grant, and also acquire a playable back up center in Olynyk.
After his excellent performance throughout the playoffs, I’m not nearly as hungry to get off of Tobias Harris’ contract, but the improvement in defense and physicality has to come at the cost of something. While there are questions about just how willing Grant is to buy into a supporting cast role at this stage in his career, I do trust him to play hard and defend at a high level. It also wouldn’t hurt to have Grant provide some of the shot creation ability that he has tapped into in Detroit.
In the case of Olynyk, he provides the type of power forward – center fluidity that the likes of Ersan Ilyasova provided during his time here. He can share the floor with Embiid for stretches, but can also be relied upon to play heavy minutes at center. His ability to stretch the floor would be an enormous acquisition for James Harden.
Analyzing the deal from a Sixers standpoint
Olynyk had a bit of a down year in the 2021-22 season as he played only 40 games due to injury and he shot only 33.6% from deep, but he is a legitimate shooter at the big man spot. His ability to pop out on screens playing with Harden would do wonders for the offense and he averaged 9.1 points per game as well.
As for Grant, he also suffered injuries as he played only 47 games in the 2021-22 season, but he also averaged 19.2 points and he shot 35.8% from deep on 5.4 attempts per game. He has taken leaps and bounds forward as an offensive player and he can also take on the opposition’s best scorer on the other end and bother him with his length and size. It would be interesting to see his fit next to Embiid and Harden on the roster.