Philadelphia 76ers: Why’s no one talking about a Malik Beasley trade?

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

With a desperate need for additional shooting on the outside, why haven’t the Philadelphia 76ers been linked to Denver Nuggets odd man out Malik Beasley?

In case you haven’t noticed, the Philadelphia 76ers are, like, really bad at the moment.

I swear a day doesn’t go by where someone complains that this team is washed – whether it be people on Twitter, in the #CommentSection, or literally approaching me on the street (I have a sweet Sixers starter jacket).

It’s inescapable.

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So naturally, when a team struggles for a few games straight against opponents formidable and not so much, it’s going to get fans, pundits, and bloggers’ wheels spinning on possible trades to right the ship before it’s too late.

I mean, did you see all of the hypothetical Eagles trades floating around in October? They must have been linked for two dozen players.

So if I were to tell you there’s a player who  1. actually shoots well from 3, 2. is on a reasonable contract, and 3. could grow with the team moving forward, it’d be a borderline no brainer to link the two together, right?

Yet, despite Zack Lowe mentioning that he’s available on ESPN’s recent free agency primer, I seldom see a mention of making a move to acquire 23-year-old sharpshooter Malik Beasley.

A 6-foot-4 off guard out of Florida State, Beasley was selected 19th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets – 12 spots behind another 6-foot-4 guard, Jamal Murray.

However, unlike Murray, Beasley didn’t immediately ascend to a starting role in the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic-led offense.

A part-time player through the first two seasons of his pro career, Murray didn’t pop off until his ‘junior’ campaign – averaging 11.3 points in 23.2 minutes of action while banking 40 percent of his five 3 point attempts a game. Beasley also scored in double digits 49 times, including six times in the playoffs.

And yet, for whatever reason, Beasley has started to fall out of favor with the Nuggets.

Call it the recent emergence of Michael Porter Jr. (Lowe’s theory) or addition of everyone’s favorite ex-Sixers combo forward Jerami Grant, but Beasley’s minutes, and therefore stats have dropped significantly.

Needless to say, an amicable separation between Beasley and the Nuggets could be ideal for all parties involved, especially as we approach the rotation-shrinking postseason.

When viewing Beasley’s numbers from the Per 36 Minutes – an artificial signifier that I personally don’t take too much stock in – the fourth-year guard/forward’s numbers are more or less comparable to last season, and therefore could provide similar value to his 2018-19 performances if afforded a more expansive role. Beasley also has experience receiving outlet passes from in the paint, an element of his game that would surely translate to the Philadelphia 76ers and their big-bodied, high-usage duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Beasley is also an ascending defensive talent, going from the fourth-worst defensive shooting guard in the NBA last season per ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus (16th worst overall) to only slightly below league average (78th/122).

To put it simply, Beasley is like a marginal improvement over Furkan Korkmaz as a sixth man spark plug who has far more to offer than the role the Nuggets are offering him.

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If the price isn’t too high – maybe a backup big like Jonah Bolden and/or Kyle O’Quinn and a pair of second-rounders – Malik Beasley could be the perfect player to bolster the Philadelphia 76ers’ bench scoring in addition to providing Brett Brown with another fourth-quarter option both now and moving forward on a long-term contract extension. While Malik Beasley may not be a household name in the City of Brotherly Love right now, I’d get acquainted with him asap.