It’s crunch time for the Brooklyn Nets and every other team in the NBA. The Feb. 10 trade deadline is now less than a week away and Brooklyn’s on a six-game losing streak. The Nets haven’t won a game since it was reported that James Harden was interested in leaving New York City this summer.
Brooklyn has said that it isn’t willing to listen to trade offers for Harden but perhaps the front office should change their tune. If a trade were to occur, it’s likely that the Sixers would be the team on the receiving end.
Out of the Nets’ Big Three, Harden’s been the one to play in the most games this year (44). However, his play has been the most inconsistent on the court. He’s averaging 22.5 points (his lowest since 2011-12), 10.2 assists, eight rebounds, and 4.8 turnovers per game (the most since 2018-19).
Brooklyn was named as the preseason title favorites and currently sits in sixth place in the East with a 29-22 record, 1.5 games away from being in the play-in tournament spot.
After Harden’s four-point, six turnover outing against the Kings on Wednesday night, a Nets-Sixers trade became more realistic. Yes, Brooklyn’s been hit with injuries but Harden’s yet to find his footing since he was traded to the Nets in January of 2021.
With that being said, if Daryl Morey found a way to trade for Harden over the next six days, here are three Philadelphia players that could finish out the 2021-22 season with the Nets.
Brooklyn Nets could trade James Harden for a combo of these 3 Sixers players.
3: Matisse Thybulle
Bring on Matisse Thybulle’s defense. The guard is in his third season with the Sixers and is averaging 5.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.
The 24-year-old is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Thybulle can defend opponents’ top scorers and in fact, he’s the only player to have blocked multiple Steph Curry 3-point attempts in one game.
That’s the kind of intensity that Brooklyn needs in the playoffs. Thybulle was voted to the league’s All-Defense second team in his second year in the NBA and his defensive abilities have continued to evolve.
In a 105-87 win against the Lakers on Jan. 27, he finished with four steals and one block. Sure, Joel Embiid is having an MVP-caliber season with Philadelphia but Thybulle’s tenacity on defense has been another high point.
Thybulle signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract with the Sixers after he was drafted. Last October, Philadelphia picked up his fourth-year option. He’s making $2.8 million this season and is set to make $4.4 million next year.
If Thybulle were to be attached to a possible Harden trade, the Nets would welcome him and his defense with open arms.