The 76ers probably had the second-best day among Eastern Conference contenders when it comes to the trade deadline, but that statement needs a major asterisk.
That’s because of the six projected Eastern Conference contenders, only the Sixers and the Miami Heat added players.
Teams can still sign players who are bought out or are free agents such as point guard Darren Collison, who has been retired but indicated a possible desire to return, or Jamal Crawford, who hasn’t played this year either but has indicated a desire to join a team.
The Sixers appear to have marginally improved by acquiring Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III from Golden State for three second-round picks. The two can help a perimeter game in need of improvement, but defensive could be a challenge for both.
Here is a look at how the Sixers Eastern Conference contenders did at the trade deadline and what could await them.
This was the Eastern Conference contenders trade deadline winner, but it could have been much worse for the Sixers and other teams. Miami was rumored to be acquiring Danilo Gallinari from Oklahoma City, who is on an expiring contract. Gallinari, with his proficient perimeter game, would have made Miami possibly the biggest threat to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference. The deal was never made.
Without him, this is still a team capable of contending in the East. The Heat got better defensively with the addition of Andre Iguodala. Granted, he is now 36 and doesn’t move as well as his early days with the Sixers, but he has competed in five straight NBA Finals, winning three of them with Golden State. Even though Iguodala hasn’t played this year after he was dealt to Memphis, he has fresh legs. If he limits his three-point attempts, which sometimes get out of hand, he makes Miami a much stronger defensive team. Iguodala is somebody who can guard Tobias Harris or at times Ben Simmons when playing the Sixers.
How long it takes him to shake off the rust will be a key. Miami also got two players from Memphis on expiring contracts, 6-6 forwards Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill.
Crowder stated 45 games for Memphis and averaged 9.9 points in 29.9 minutes. He shouldn’t see nearly as many minutes with the Heat but could be a wing contributor. Hill averaged 18.8 minutes withe Grizzlies and adds depth in the front court but shouldn’t be a difference-maker.
Of the people Miami dealt away, the biggest loss was Justise Winslow, a strong wing defender, who has been limited to just 11 games this season due to injury.
No moves. The Bucks were 43-7 at the trade deadline. Milwaukee is good enough to win as constructed and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Bucks didn’t delve into the buyout market.
Also no moves. The Celtics need a big man and were named in discussion with Houston on center Clint Capela, who was traded to Atlanta. With Detroit center Andre Drummond having been dealt to Cleveland, there are few buyout options among big men. Like the Bucks don’t be surprised if Boston stands pat in terms of the buyout market. With a healthy team, the Celtics will be dangerous.
The Raptors also didn’t make a deadline move. Winners of 12 in a row, the Raptors have a team capable of competing for the Eastern Conference title without any moves. One player who could help is Crawford who despite the fact that he will be 40 in March, can still provide instant offense off the bench and can be signed at any time.