Happy Monday, folks!

Long time, no chat. I hope y’all were well the past couple of weeks while yours truly was on vacation.

I’m elated to be back, as things are about to become exciting and busy this week with trades allowed to become official today, the NBA draft on Wednesday, and free agency beginning on Friday. And before you know it, the season will be underway on Dec. 22.

You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday during the Sixers offseason. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers. Thank you for reading.

— Keith Pompey (offthedribble@inquirer.com)

James Harden might prefer Brooklyn

James Harden and Buddy Hield are both solid trade targets for the Sixers.

Hield, the Sacramento Kings' disgruntled shooting guard, even indicated on social media his desire to be traded to the Sixers.

But on Sunday, Landon Buford of Top Level Sports reported that Hield prefers the Dallas Mavericks.

Buford reported that Hield had spent time working out in the Dallas early this offseason and the trade would make sense. The Mavs are looking for a third star to pair with All-Star Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

Meanwhile, the fuss about the Brooklyn Nets' being a possible trade destination for Houston Rockets perennial All-Star James Harden is getting louder. ESPN reported that the Nets are considering the possibility, but noted it was unclear how far the franchise would go to acquire the three-time reigning scoring champion.

This comes after ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins said Wednesday that Harden hasn’t been answering phone calls from Rockets officials the last two weeks. Perkins also said he’s hearing that Harden could be in line to form a Big Three in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, or play with the Sixers.

So things could get interesting for a couple of players who would be solid trade options for the Sixers.

The Sacramento Kings' Buddy Hield (24) goes up for a shot as the Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) defends.
David J. Phillip / AP
The Sacramento Kings' Buddy Hield (24) goes up for a shot as the Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) defends.

Starting five

Oklahoma City piling up first-round picks

Sam Presti is a collector of first-round picks.

Teams looking to make a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder general manager know they’ll most likely have to also surrender a first-round pick.

That’s what the Los Angeles Lakers are doing. They agreed to give up Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s draft to acquire Dennis Schroder. The trade can become official today at noon after the league’s moratorium.

Now, the Thunder have picks Nos. 25 and 28 in the draft. In all, Oklahoma City has accumulated 16 first-rounders between the 2020 and 2026 drafts. One can only imagine that number will grow, as the Thunder are shopping Chris Paul.

Sam Presti, the Oklahoma City Thunder's executive vice president and general manager, has compiled 16 first-round picks between the 2020 and 2026 NBA drafts.
Sue Ogrocki / AP
Sam Presti, the Oklahoma City Thunder's executive vice president and general manager, has compiled 16 first-round picks between the 2020 and 2026 NBA drafts.

Passing the rock

Question: What impact will free agency being first this offseason have on the draft plans? — @seanwoolford on Twitter

Answer: What’s up, Sean? Thanks for the question. Free agency will begin two days after Wednesday’s draft instead of ahead of it. However, teams can begin to make trades at noon today. So that will have a huge impact on the draft.

For instance, the Lakers won’t have to look for a point guard in the draft now that they will be acquiring Schroder in a trade. He’ll take the place of Rajon Rondo, who is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) will go to the champion Los Angeles Lakers for Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s draft, a person with knowledge of that agreement told the AP.
Ross D. Franklin / AP
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) will go to the champion Los Angeles Lakers for Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s draft, a person with knowledge of that agreement told the AP.