Just this morning it was reported that the Sixers are still looking to make a big trade as the market becomes more clear. Kyle Lowry was a specific name that was brought up as a player the Sixers will be keeping an eye on. With the Raptors gaining momentum and moving up the Eastern Conference standings, how likely is it that they part ways with the veteran?
While Daryl Morey will definitely be keeping an eye on Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball might be one of the missing pieces for this team that’s already being shopped around the league.
At first thought, Lonzo Ball may seem like an unnecessary player for this team. He’s still a young player, but hasn’t been the guy many thought he would be coming into the league. His brother Lamelo has been receiving all of the spotlight lately, yet Lonzo has quietly evolved his game. In 2019-20, Lonzo started taking a lot more catch and shoot threes and saw some solid results. He took 6.3 three point shots a game and hit 37.5% of them. This year, he’s increased his number of attempts per game to 7.7 and is now hitting 39.1% of them. This development on a high volume is a great sign for his ability to contribute as a 3&D guard on any team in the league.
Along with his shooting development, Lonzo has consistently been a solid defender in his four seasons in the NBA. He has a career average of 1.5 steals per game. His advanced stats show that even though Lonzo has been moved off the ball a lot more than his earlier seasons, he still maintains a 22.3% assist rate and a career best 14.2% turnover rate. He’s showing the ability to work off the ball and provide playmaking abilities in the way we had hoped Josh Richardson would last season.
Adding a player like Lonzo Ball would certainly be helpful just on the basis of his confidence to pull the trigger from deep. That’s been an issue that’s plagued the Sixers in their recent losses. Because this team isn’t even close to the Nets in terms of offense, adding players who have defensive reputations and proven track records will also be crucial in order to make it out of the Eastern Conference. If defense is this team’s true calling card and shooting is the biggest need offensively, finding any players who can both guard and shoot will be crucial. Obviously, players who shoot and play great defense are highly sought after, so the market for a guy like Lonzo Ball could increase rather quickly around the deadline.
I think by now, we all know to trust Daryl Morey and the decisions that he is going to eventually make in order to bring this team closer to a title. As we move closer to the deadline, it will be truly exciting to see what kind of moves are out there to be made and how aggressive Morey is when the time comes. Because of the MVP caliber season from Joel Embiid and the recent signs of Ben Simmons playing at the highest level of his career, I think Daryl Morey will be as aggressive as he needs to be in order to find the right pieces around them, and in my opinion Lonzo Ball is a natural fit.
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