The Sixers have a coach.
So, what now?

Philadelphia introduced their new head coach in Doc Rivers on Monday, completing the first task among many in a crucial offseason for the franchise. Rivers mentioned in his press conference that he wanted to get the most out of the team as they are rather than make wholesale changes, while that is a nice sentiment last season should be evidence enough that some combinations on the roster simply can not work together and some trades will need to be made.

Doc may want this team to focus on playing to their strengths but their weaknesses still need to be addressed.

Who can the Sixers target via trade to improve their team for this upcoming season?

Buddy Hield

Hield seems to be the most rumored trade target for the Sixers already this offseason, possibly because he fits an obvious need for the team or it could also be because he has been voicing his displeasure with Sacramento for a while now. Unhappy players are detrimental to team success, they disrupt locker rooms and at some point, Hield’s act will wear too thin with the Kings organization and they’ll cut bait. If the time is now for the Kings to make a move then Philadelphia should look to strike and hope Hield’s attitude problems have more to do with his current employer than with him.

Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer/ USA TODAY Sports

What makes Buddy Hield such an attractive target for the Sixers is his potential to fill the void left by JJ Redick. Over the past three seasons, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons played their best basketball together when Redick was also on the court, this season with Redick gone Simmons and Embiid’s net rating together dropped to 1.6, the lowest it has been. Redick provided floor spacing for the Sixers stars with his long-range shooting and was able to score without needing the ball for long periods of time to create a shot. These features in Redick’s game can also be seen in Hield’s. This season Buddy Hield shot 48.2% of his shots within 2 seconds of catching the ball. On those shots, he made 50.4% of his 2 point attempts and 41.7% of his 3 point attempts. Overall Hield made 3.8 shots a game from outside the arc at 39.4%.

Possible deals could include Buddy Hield for Al Horford straight up or with some sweeteners thrown in, or if the Sixers were looking to shake things up a bit more they could look to deal Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson for Hield and Harrison Barnes. The Sixers would get two perimeter threats and get off of the Harris max contract while the Kings would move on a disgruntled player and get back two legit NBA starters who can play multiple positions.

Mike Conley

Any deal would have to center around Conley for Al Horford straight up or with late picks involved if need be. The best-case scenario the Sixers get a secondary playmaker to take the pressure off Ben Simmons, worst case Conley’s deal comes off the books at the end of next season. In this trade Horford also gets a much-needed change of scenery and the Jazz could see him as a replacement for the departed Derrick Favours or even a replacement for Rudy Gobert if they do not want to pay him a max extension.

Chris Paul

Photo: Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman

This may be a long shot especially considering Doc Rivers was allegedly part of the reason Chris Paul left the Clippers but it could be the best way for the Sixers to get a third All-Star. Paul fills both on and off-court needs for the franchise being the best crunch-time performer in the league this year accompanied by his win-at-all-costs hyper-competitive mentality. Unlike Conley, Chris Paul still seemed to be at the peak of his powers this season, making the All-Star team and leading the Thunder to the 5-seed after many predicted them to be in the lottery. One of the league’s best playmakers, Paul could form a deadly pick-and-roll partnership with either Simmons or Embiid, that along with his 3 point range and tenacious defense could make him the missing piece in the Sixers’ championship puzzle.

The Sixers would probably need to part with Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and some picks to get this deal done and while bringing in a 35-year-old who will make $40+ million each of the next two seasons could backfire, when the reward could be an NBA title the risk is hard to pass up.

Trade value may be at an all-time low for most Sixers players following a disappointing season but Elton Brand must make moves to give his newly appointed coach a better fitting roster around Simmons and Embiid.
If Brand can accomplish that then the Sixers may be back in the hunt for a title in 2021.

Featured Image: Jesse D. Garrabrant/ NBAE via Getty Images
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