Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle shouldn’t be considered untouchable

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Every fanbase in the NBA has a tendency to overvalue their role players. Los Angeles Lakers fans do it, Boston Celtics fans do it, and heavens knows Philadelphia 76ers fans do it too; it’s just the nature of fandom.

One team’s 10th man is worth another’s fifth starter if a single second-round pick is included, and a general manager can totally steal away another team’s second-best player without surrendering one of his top-two players if they ask nice enough, especially when the player in question is very good and his potential new team is 10 games under .500.

Have I suggested some outlandish trades? Sure, I once suggested swapping out Markelle Fultz and a pick for D’Angelo Russell during his breakout season with the Brooklyn Nets, but hey, that’s just the nature of the NBA; anyone can suggest anything, but it takes two to tango.

In an association where James Harden was traded midseason, is any player really untouchable? Yes, but only a few. As Elton Brand proved a few seasons back, almost any player can be acquired if one offers up multiple first-round picks, Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, and Mike Muscala, for their services; a team simply has to severely overpay for their services.

Would the 76ers trade Matisse Thybulle if they were offered a serious package for his services? Like Darius Garland and a first-round pick crazy? Yes, I would assume they would say yes without a second thought. How about as part of a package for a more established star? Say, Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal? Yes, I would imagine that would be an easy yes too.

Why? Because outside of Joel Embiid, no member of the Philadelphia 76ers is untouchable, and that isn’t a bad thing.

The Philadelphia 76ers should at least listen to any offer presented to them.

Matisse Thybulle is a darn good basketballer.

He’s athletic, has a 7-footer’s wingspan despite measuring in at 6-foot-5, and has developed sort of a reputation for making the lives of players he guards a whole lot harder than they are accustomed to.

According to Kirk Goldsberry, as aggregated by ESPN, Thybulle ranks first in the NBA at blocked 3 pointers and has allowed the lowest 3 point shooting percentage to shooters he’s covering at a crazy 21.4.

Considering the NBA’s average is roughly 35 percent, that is a legit different making stat.

To make Thybulle’s impact all the more impressive, the third-year winger out of Washington is the only player in the NBA averaging 1.1 blocks and 1.8 steals per game; not the only player on the Sixers with that stat, mind you, or even the only player in the Eastern Conference, the only player, period.

If you’re a team looking for defense, calling about Matisse Thybulle makes sense. If you’re the Sacramento Kings, who Keith Pompey reported are in deep talks to acquire both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris for a package of Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy HeildHarrison Barnes, and two first-round picks – even if Shams Charania rebuffed it shortly thereafter – trying to get Thybulle included in the deal is a nice way to save face and sell the fanbase a new, defense-focused identity.

Would Daryl Morey be willing to accept such a package? Per Pompey, the answer to that question is a resounding no, but hey, if the Kings offer up two more first-round picks or a player like Davion Mitchell, maybe that could change.

That’s the beauty of the trade market; outside of a few association-mandated trade restrictions around finances, contest signing dates, and trading consecutive first-round picks, teams can get creative to remix their roster midseason if they find a willing partner.

Next. James Harden hangs over a Ben Simmons trade. dark

Do I think Matisse Thybulle will be a member of the Philadelphia 76ers on February 11th? Yes, yes I do; while I’d like nothing more than to see the sort of trade that elevates the rest of the roster to Joel Embiid’s exemplary level of play, the specter of James Harden may simply hang too heavy over the offseason for Daryl Morey to accept anything less than his preferred package. Still, if the right package presents itself, any player could be on the go, so never say never.