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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Woj: 76ers Eyeing Frontcourt, Bench Upgrades at NBA Trade Deadline

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Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers have been active in the trade market, and president of basketball operations/general manager Daryl Morey is looking for more frontcourt help and bench upgrades before the NBA‘s March 25 trade deadline.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news on NBA Countdown prior to the 76ers’ nationally televised home game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

The 76ers’ starting frontcourt is set for the remainder of the season, with All-Star starting center Joel Embiid (29.7 PPG, 10.8 RPG) and Tobias Harris (20.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG) leading the way.

Philadelphia also has a solid backup 5 in Dwight Howard (5.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG), who has been productive despite averaging just 16.7 minutes per game.

However, the Sixers could use another player or two for frontcourt depth, especially in case of injury.

Embiid has missed six games this season for various reasons, leaving the team short-handed in the post on those occasions.

Tony Bradley would be the team’s backup 5 with Howard starting. The ex-Utah Jazz big arrived via trade last November, and he’s excelled with 4.1 points and 5.0 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game.

Both Howard and Bradley can do work down low, but neither can stretch the floor like Embiid.

A big who can do so could be beneficial for the 76ers, especially against teams who like to go small.

Behind Harris at power forward, Mike Scott has dealt with injuries all season and been limited to just 11 games. The 76ers can opt to play rookie Paul Reed at the 4, but he’s largely inexperienced, having played just 55 minutes and is now busy in the G League with the Delaware Blue Coats. Still, he showcased potential at DePaul, averaging 15.1 points and 10.7 rebounds during his final season there.

Ultimately, the 76ers would be wise to bolster their roster and keep the rest of the East at bay. The team leads the East at 19-10, but the Brooklyn Nets (17-12) and Milwaukee Bucks (16-13) aren’t too far behind.

If Philadelphia hangs onto the No. 1 seed, it would mark the first time the 76ers earned that distinction since the team’s 2000-01 season, which ended with the team reaching the NBA Finals.

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