With a mere 10 days until the NBA trade deadline, rumors are sure to start popping up all over the league.

Photo: Justin Grasso/Sports Illustrated

The Philadelphia 76ers still find themselves atop the Eastern Conference standings despite Ben Simmons missing a couple of games post-All-Star break and Joel Embiid set to miss at least two to three weeks.

Daryl Morey is sure to be active, but if there’s one young player, he needs to hold onto it’s Matisse Thybulle.

Matisse’s Offensive Improvement

Since the All-Star break, Matisse Thybulle has shown tons of improvement to his offensive game, most notably his three-point shooting. Whether or not this is just a hot streak, we can’t really be certain just yet. However, seeing how much of an impact, he can have on the game just by hitting a few shots each game is very encouraging.

We all know how impactful he is on the defensive end, and come playoff time, Matisse can be an even bigger weapon for the Sixers if he’s a more confident shooter.

This is such high praise from one of the league’s top defenders, and it should make fans even more excited about Matisse contributing more on the offensive end. He’s never going to be a primary scorer in the NBA, but if he can average 8-10 points off the bench and provide some outside shooting, his defense is too good to keep him off the floor.

When it comes to the playoffs, there will be games where Thybulle’s incredible defense is necessary.

Doc Rivers will have an easier time putting him in different rotations if this offensive improvement over the last four games is sustainable.

Who’s Even Available for Trade?

Despite the trade deadline being right around the corner, there are not that many big names being mentioned in trade rumors so far. The biggest names we’ve seen are Kyle Lowry, John Collins, and maybe Victor Oladipo. Those players aren’t anything to sell your future for. Kyle Lowry would obviously be an exciting addition for this team, but it remains unclear if the Raptors are even looking to deal him. Due to the fact that there seemingly aren’t many players available that would significantly raise the ceiling of this Sixers team, I believe Matisse Thybulle has no means of being involved in any trades.

Trading away a young player for a more proven veteran player is what we tend to think of when a team has a “title or bust” mindset. The thing is, you can’t force any team to trade their best player, even if their current team isn’t good. That’s why guys like Bradley Beal and Zach Lavine will not be moved at this deadline unless a team significantly overpays. For the Sixers, adding an elite scorer or ball-handler alongside the existing core would be a dream. That’s likely not going to be in the realm of possibilities, so improving at the margins without mortgaging the future is our best way to improve.

Luckily for us, Daryl Morey is at the helm, and finding marginal improvements to a roster was one of his greatest skills during his tenure in Houston.

Matisse Thybulle is immensely important to the Philadelphia 76ers’ success, both this season and in the future. The defense he provides is unquestionably a game-changer.

Over Thybulle’s last four games, he’s averaging 7.8 points per game, 3.3 steals per game, AND has made all five of his three-point attempts.

This kind of impact directly translates to success for this team, and if Thybulle continues to shoot the ball confidently, it will allow him to stay on the floor for longer stretches of time.

Doc Rivers has to be pleased with the way his bench has played since the All-Star break, and Matisse Thybulle is one of those players showing how valuable he is to the team.
For that reason, and the lack of star players on the trade market this year, Matisse Thybulle needs to be untouchable at the deadline.

Featured Image: Justin Grasso/Sports Illustrated
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