NEW ORLEANS - The 76ers' focus in the days leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline is acquiring draft picks, according to an Eastern Conference executive.
The franchise wants to gain future compensation in exchange for Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. With the most cap space in the league and an open roster spot, the Sixers will consider acquiring an expiring contract from a team looking to dump a salary. But that most likely will also involve receiving a draft pick.
As a result, the 76ers are believed to be the most active team in trade talks leading up to the deadline. The Sixers have had discussions with all 29 other NBA franchises.
They are unlikely to make a move until the final hours before the deadline, but there's also a chance the Sixers won't make any moves.
They are reportedly interested in getting first-rounders, preferably lottery picks. That could be a holdup.
Turner and Hawes are in the final seasons of their contracts. Young has another season left followed by a player option in 2015-16.
If the Sixers won't budge on their demands, the Charlotte Bobcats could be one of the few potential destinations for Turner.
The swingman is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer. He would, however, become unrestricted if the Sixers don't extend the $8.7 million qualifying offer he's in line to receive. There's a thought most franchises will shy away from him if he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Turner is represented by David Falk, who demands big money for his clients. Teams realize they won't be able to re-sign the fourth-year veteran unless they overspend.
That's why Charlotte makes the most sense.
It is clinging to the Eastern Conference's eighth playoff spot and has strong interest in Turner. The Bobcats can offer the first-round pick they received from the Detroit Pistons if they're serious about making a postseason push.
The San Antonio Spurs reportedly could be another potential landing spot for Turner.
The Phoenix Suns were once considered potential trade partners for him. The Suns could have four first-round picks in 2014 and reportedly are willing to part with one of them.
Of the three Sixers, Hawes is arguably the easiest to move. There's a report that the Portland Trail Blazers, among others, contacted the Sixers about him this season.
Young's $8.6 million salary could hold up a potential deal. He's scheduled to make $9.1 million next season, while his player option for 2015-16 is for $9.7 million.
But the Sixers don't have a sense of urgency in regard to making trades. The team has been impressed with how Turner, Hawes, and Young developed this season.
So it will be interesting to see if they'll make moves if their trade demands are not met.