The dust from the 2022 NBA trade deadline has settled, but teams still find themselves with an opportunity to upgrade their rosters before the postseason. Now is the point in the season where contenders are heavily monitoring the buyout market. One team that is sure to be active when it comes to the buyout market is the Philadelphia 76ers.
The trajectory of the season changed greatly Thursday when the Sixers acquired James Harden in a trade centered around Ben Simmons. Following the trade, Philly has an open roster spot and two holes that need filling. That being said, here are two players Daryl Morey should target as buyout additions.
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Sixers buyout candidates
1) Goran Dragic
With Tyrese Maxey likely remaining in the starting lineup once Harden enters the fray, the Sixers can greatly benefit from adding another point guard. It was something Doc Rivers himself even brought up in the days leading up to the deadline. Having a true ball-handling guard off the bench is a much-needed element the Sixers' roster has gone without thus far.
Following a trade to the San Antonio Spurs, Goran Dragic is likely to receive a buyout and hit the open market. The 35-year-old played in five games this season with the Toronto Raptors and averaged 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists before leaving the team to await a trade.
The Sixers' second unit could benefit tremendously from adding a player like Dragic to the mix. Not only can he run the offense from a facilitation perspective, but score the ball when needed as well. Having 56 playoff games under his belt also helps as the Sixers are eyeing a deep run in the postseason.
Adding Dragic will be a tall task as multiple contenders are eyeing his services. That being said, if Morey could pull a signing like this off, it would make the Sixers an even deeper and more dangerous team.
2) Robin Lopez
With Andre Drummond making his way to Brooklyn, the Sixers find themselves with a hole to fill in the frontcourt. Once again, they are in the market for a suitable backup to Joel Embiid.
Robin Lopez is not a flashy name in any sense, but he is a vet who can come in and play within his role. The 33-year-old has appeared in 26 games for the Orlando Magic so far this season and is averaging 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 0.5 blocks.
Similar to Dragic, Lopez also brings postseason experience. Throughout his career, he has appeared in 36 playoff games for multiple teams. Lopez's most recent taste of postseason action came against the Sixers last year when he was a member of the Washington Wizards.
All the Sixers need in a backup center is someone who can fill in for Embiid 8-11 minutes a game in the playoffs. Given his improved physical shape and conditioning, his workload is sure to see an uptick once the postseason rolls around. Lopez is more than capable of holding things down on both ends of the floor when the All-Star center is on the bench.
There are plenty of centers on the buyout market who could fill the Sixers' backup center spot, but Lopez is one name to really keep an eye on as they try to help out their superstar duo.