Philadelphia 76ers: Patrick Beverley is suddenly a trade target

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Unlike the Dejounte Murray trade, which officially hit the NBA transaction wire on June 30th, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ market-resetting decision to sub out Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, 2022 first round pick Walker Kessler and four first-round picks for perennial Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert has yet to officially hit the NBA transaction wire.

… but why? Could one or both of the teams involved be having cold feet? Or has Donovan Mitchell made it known that he doesn’t want to play on a bad team and thus is pressing Danny Ainge to do right by him one way or another?

Realistically, it’s because such a massive, expansive trade tends to pick up additional moving parts as things roll on.

It happened with the Russell Westbrook trade last year, which expanded out to five teams when everything was said and done, and will happen again in perpetuity for as long as such an aggregating concept is allowed by NBA rules.

Will that happen again in this deal? Will some team trying to fold their assets into the deal to either dump another player on Utah, take another player from Utah or poach one of the players involved in the deal?

Yeah, I think you know where I’m going here, Philadelphia 76ers fans.

The Philadelphia 76ers have an unexpected opportunity to pursue Patrick Beverly.

If P.J. Tucker is a pitbull; a stout, thick bruiser who can put on the clamps and not let up, then Patrick Beverley is like a seriously cheesed-off Shih Tzu who barks with relentless fervor at a UPS delivery person’s purse and decimates any bag that gets in their general vicinity. He’s a pesky on-ball defender, a savvy floor general, and the exact kind of above average floor spacer – with a career shooting percentage of 37.9 from 3 – Daryl Morey wants around elite on-ball players like Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey.

And yet, despite having talked glowingly about both Harden and the Sixers’ franchise during his time moonlighting as an analyst at ESPN, the prospects of actually acquiring Beverly felt unrealistic, as his boundless charisma near single-handedly instilled a one-man culture of winning basketball onto the city of Minnesota, who hadn’t made it to the postseason since Kevin Love called the Gopher State home. Though far from the team’s best player, Beverly added heart to a T-Wolves team that always played with a laissez-faire attitude, and they parlayed that fire into a respectable showing versus the Memphis Grizzlies.

Fortunately, when the Timberwolves themselves shipped Beverly out of town a few months removed from giving him a one-year, $13 million extension, that hurdle has been thoroughly cleared.

On the court, Beverly’s fit is obvious; he can play the one as a direct backup to James Harden and share the court with any number of different two guards from Maxey to Shake Milton, De’Anthony Melton, and even “The Beard” himself. While folding in another 6-foot-1 performer could prove less than ideal, as that would give the Sixers a regular rotation featuring three players standing 6-foot-2 or shorter, Beverly plays a good bit bigger than his size would suggest and could create interesting looks with Harden lined up at the three next to, say, Melton and P.J. Tucker.

If that’s the route the Sixers want to go, a trade of either Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle or Furkan Kormaz, Shake Milton, another young player – say, Isaiah Joe – and a protected 2029 first round pick – or two seconds – could be enough to get a deal done.

dark. Next. Could Atlanta be a legit landing spot for Tobias Harris?

Could the Philadelphia 76ers trade for Patrick Beverley? Yes, that option is now firmly on the table. Should they trade for Patrick Beverley? That, my friends, depends on how Daryl Morey wants to build his team. If he craves size at the small forward spot, then swapping out the team’s remaining assets for Pat Bev doesn’t make much sense. If, however, he just wants feisty culture-setters, well, then there aren’t many better.