The Philadelphia 76ers should take every opportunity to upgrade their bench and with Thon Maker on the market, the club should try to make a play for him.
There’s been little doubt that the combination of Jonah Bolden and Mike Muscala have been a nice duo at the center and power forward positions coming off the bench. However, adding another able bodied big man into that rotation would be an even bigger plus come playoff time. Luckily for the Philadelphia 76ers, one big man has recently become available in trades according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Agent for Milwaukee’s Thon Maker has told management that he’d prefer franchise finds a trade to a team that would offer a larger role for 7-footer. Sides working on a solution. Story on ESPN: https://t.co/1J2DU2v6JA
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2019
With Bolden and Muscala, the knee jerk reaction is to not be interested in the big man. However, outside of those two players, the Sixers don’t have anyone that can step up coming off of the bench. Amir Johnson is the shell of his former self. Where as, Justin Patton only has one game under his belt for his short career and is still making his comeback from injury.
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Thon Maker still has plenty of potential and just never really got a chance to grow that much with the Milwaukee Bucks. This season he’s played in 35 games while averaging 11.7 minutes. 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.5 blocks on 33.3 percent shooting from downtown. Although he’s played well, he’s lost his spot in the Bucks rotation to Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson.
In Philly, Maker would have a fresh start and a fair shot to become Joel Embiid‘s backup. The potential competition for the role of reserve center between Maker and Bolden would surely bring out the best in both players. Both are positives on the defensive side of the ball, but each player brings different aspects to the position.
Bolden is the more athletic of the two and can run the floor better. He stands at 6-foot-10 and is becoming a 3-and-D threat. Maker has much more offensive potential than Bolden and is measured at 7-foot-1. Adding Maker gives the Sixers another legit 7-footer behind Embiid and below is one potential way the Sixers could go about acquiring the Bucks big man.
Philadelphia 76ers Get
Milwaukee Bucks Get
C, Justin Patton
2020 second round pick, via Dallas Mavericks
It should be noted that bringing in Maker doesn’t mean that Bolden will lose all of his playing time. Surely head coach Brett Brown would make big man rotations based on defensive matchups. There could be times that Brown decides to play both Bolden and Maker at the same time or not to play Maker at all. Still adding Maker, who has played in 12 playoff games, in exchange for a very green player in Patton is a win for the Sixers .
On the same note, Patton is an attractive piece for the Bucks in the hypothetical trade. He helps maintain the depth at the center position for the club and Patton’s contract is up after this season, which can’t be said about Maker. Milwaukee could decide to waive Patton and use the open roster spot to bring in a player that can better suit their needs.
The other direction they could decide to take would be to keep the inexperienced big man and then they will have another player off the books come this summer, which will help in free agency. The second round pick is the sweetener that helps seal the deal.
There’s little doubt that there’s always value in adding a 7-foot-1 center that has potential on both sides of the ball. The Philadelphia 76ers could solidify the big man rotation if they can acquire Maker from the Bucks.