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1 move Sixers still must make after first weekend of 2022 NBA free agency

Sixers, Sixers free agency, Eric Gordon, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, Blazers

While they may not be making major headlines, the Philadelphia 76ers have had a solid offseason thus far. Highlighted by the draft-night trade for De’Anthony Melton and the free-agent addition of PJ Tucker, Daryl Morey has done an excellent job improving the Sixers bench unit. The lack of talent in the second unit has been a major issue with this Sixers team for several years. While the team is moving in the right direction, the offseason work is not over yet.

One rumor that continues to linger is the Sixers’ connection to Eric Gordon. Daryl Morey has already brought in two former Rockets to play alongside James Harden this offseason. Both PJ Tucker and Danuel House are set to be impactful role players and Gordon would be another player who fits well alongside the team’s stars. The Sixers bench is not quite complete yet and flipping a few players to round out the roster could make the difference. With the Rockets and Trail Blazers also still active on the trade market, here is the move that could provide each team with their desired players.

1 move Sixers still must make after first weekend of 2022 NBA free agency

Sixers Get: Eric Gordon, Josh Hart

Rockets Get: Eric Bledsoe, Trail Blazers 2024 1st round pick, Sixers 2023 2nd round pick

Trail Blazers Get: Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle

The Rockets have been looking to trade Eric Gordon for quite some time. He is seemingly out of place on their youthful roster. The 33-year-old is set to make $19.5 million next season and still does his job at a high level. He is the only member of the Rockets with a cap hit over $10 million next season. While the addition of Eric Bledsoe likely won’t move the meter, he is in the final year of his contract and thus this would be a move to open salary. The Rockets could either add Bledsoe to the youthful backcourt for a season and then take the cap space or even work toward a buyout if they desire. This money will be necessary to prepare for the more lucrative contract of their young stars that are right around the corner. Houston would also receive the first-round pick they have hoped for Gordon as well as a Sixers’ second-rounder to smooth things over.

The Portland Trail Blazers are also attempting to elevate their roster in the hopes of building a winner around Dame Lillard. Tobias Harris would be a major upgrade over Eric Bledsoe and Josh Hart and could be a key piece of the supporting cast. Matisse Thybulle would also make an impact defensively which is an area of weakness for Portland. The team has been looking to get off of Bledsoe’s contract and sacrificing a first-round pick and Josh Hart in favor of the two Sixers players would be an overall upgrade.

For the Sixers, Josh Hart and Eric Gordon would be the missing pieces to their roster. PJ Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, Eric Gordon, Josh Hart, and Danuel House are all upgraded complementary pieces. Having a complete roster of players who fit well alongside James Harden and Joel Embiid is a huge upgrade. While Harris deserves a ton of credit for adjusting his role and playstyle throughout his tenure in Philadelphia, he is not the best-fitting piece alongside Embiid. The two tend to operate in the same space on the floor at times. Joel Embiid’s post dominance and efficient mid-range game are better suited alongside long-range shooters who space the floor. This is exactly what the Sixers have been in search of and Eric Gordon would be a terrific floor spacing addition.

Many teams around the NBA are making the mistake of sacrificing fit for talent. Daryl Morey has done an excellent job targeting players who are set to bring out the most in James Harden and Joel Embiid. Completing this trade would ensure this is the most talented and useful bench unit the Sixers have had in years. The overreactions to the Sixers’ postseason exit have been severe, but there is reason for optimism in Philly. With Joel Embiid returning to full health, James Harden seemingly dedicated to getting in shape, and a better-fitting supporting cast- it is an exciting upcoming season for the Philadelphia 76ers.