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However, Jon Johnson of SportsRadio 94WIP and KYW Newsradio 1060 offered a conflicting report:
Regardless of whether or not the 76ers actually have interest, the 23-year-old Vonleh has enjoyed a career renaissance in New York.
Drafted ninth overall in 2014, Vonleh played for three teams in four seasons and never saw much playing time. However, he landed a spot in the Knicks’ starting five this season and has delivered with 8.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Vonleh is also ranked seventh among 96 qualified power forwards in defensive real plus-minus, according to ESPN.
If Philadelphia does want to make a play for Vonleh, then it would be wise to do so if the price is right. The forward is on a one-year deal for just $1.6 million, so it’s not as if Philadelphia needs to shell out money for him long-term.
The question is what the 76ers would send to the Knicks in a hypothetical move.
A first-round pick seems unlikely: Although Vonleh has excelled this year, Philadelphia may be getting a half-season rental given his impending free agency.
Furthermore, Vonleh may not be playing 25-30 minutes per night, which is his usual range with the Knicks right now. The 76ers have a trio of players outside All-Star center Joel Embiid in the frontcourt, including power forward Wilson Chandler and big men Mike Muscala and Amir Johnson.
Vonleh could hypothetically start alongside Embiid, but the 76ers could bring him off the bench to give the second unit a jolt of energy. It also helps that Vonleh has been excellent from three-point range this year (41.1 percent).
A second-rounder could do the trick for the rebuilding Knicks. Philadelphia has three of them in 2019, including one from the Chicago Bulls. Given Chicago’s rough 10-34 season, that pick could be a near first-rounder anyway.
Ultimately, this could be a win-win for both sides: The rebuilding Knicks get a pick, and the 76ers get a key rotation player who can help vault them deeper into the playoffs. That is, if Philadelphia is even interested.