Giving up Tyrese Maxey is Not Worth Sixers Getting Kevin Durant

With trade rumors swirling around Kevin Durant, the Sixers could be in position to add another star, but at what cost?

KD to Philly is a Possibility

Here is what we know so far about the Kevin Durant situation. First, we know that Durant has officially requested a trade. While he could be interested in Philly, it is not his top choice. The Sixers, of course, have interest in Durant as well. We all know GM Daryl Morey loves stars, and who wouldn’t want to add KD?

What Would it Take?

One thing that helps is that Durant  does not have a no trade clause. However,  any team that makes the trade will still have to makes sure that he is on board first. Therefore, the trade would mostly come down to who can offer Brooklyn the most enticing package. While this levels the playing field for the Sixers versus Durant’s slightly more preferred teams, it also means that they will have to cough up a king’s ransom.

Any trade for Durant will likely cost at least three quality players and several draft picks. Just to offset salary, any trade will have to involve Tobias Harris, but it will take much more than that. The Sixers do have some other solid, but expendable assets that they could throw in such as Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton. These three, plus a handful of picks could add up to sufficient value on paper. The trade machine likes it, saying that it would actually favor the Nets. However, there are several hurdles here. First this would require sign-and-trades for both Thybulle and Milton. Secondly and most importantly, that type of return for one of the all-time would be a tough pill for Brooklyn to swallow. As this trade would more or less signal a rebuild, the Nets would likely insist on getting a young star that they can build around. The Sixers have one player that fits the bill: Tyrese Maxey.

Trading Maxey Would be a Mistake

I get that the idea of adding KD is enticing. Of course it is. This is Kevin freaking Durant we’re talking about here. Nevertheless, we have to remember that he is 34 now. While he is still playing at an elite level, his best years are pretty much behind him.

At just 21 years old, Maxey is 13 YEARS(?!) younger than him. He will not reach the age that Durant is now until 2035. He has his entire career ahead of him. After what we saw this season, that future looks extremely bright.

Maxey looks poised to become at least a top 20 player in the NBA as soon as this year, and his ceiling has never looked higher. While Durant is probably still a top five player right now, he’s isn’t going to get any better. In three to five years from now, Maxey could very well be the better player. Again, in five years Maxey will only be 26 while Durant will be 39.

Bottom Line

The main argument for giving up everything, including Maxey, to get KD is that Philly’s championship window is right now. Joel Embiid’s body is not likely to hold up for a very long time. Still, Maxey could give the organization something to build around for the next 10 to 15 years. And the Sixers are pretty good with him right now. Say they do give up everything to get Durant. Now they have a chance to win a title or two in the next three years, if, and this a big if, both Embiid and Durant can stay healthy. That is a hefty gamble to bet your entire future on.

Was Tommy Edman Snubbed From the 2022 MLB All-Star Game?

MLB just released its finalists for the 2022 All-Star game. Somewhat surprisingly, Cardinals infielder, Tommy Edman, was nowhere to be found.

Edman’s All-Star Case

The case for Tommy Edman attending the midsummer classic is undeniable. A quick trip to Baseball Reference affirms that. Edman leads NL position players in overall WAR, defensive WAR, and runs scored. He’s also top-ten in almost every other major statistical category. Not only is his All-Star case ironclad, but you could argue that Edman is a dark-horse candidate for MVP.

How Did he Get Missed?

First of all, having fan voting be such a big part of determining All-Star rosters is just asinine. If a player isn’t a household name, like Edman, they’re essentially out of luck from the get-go. Fan voting is also a big reason why you typically see four or five players from the same team make it.

Another thing hurting Edman is the fact that he is overshadowed by two other Cardinals stars. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are much more recognizable names and are both having MVP-caliber seasons in their own right. They have dominated most of the headlines despite Edman quietly playing just about as well.

Perhaps the biggest thing hurting Edman is that voters may not know what position to put him at. While traditionally a second baseman (won a gold glove there in 2021), Edman has spent almost half of this season at shortstop. This is due to both the struggles of Paul DeJong, and the emergence of rookie Nolan Gorman. Essentially, Edman is being punished for being able to play two positions at a very high level.

Still a Chance

Edman could still make the All-Star game as a reserve via the “player ballot.” You would think he would have the respect of his peers at this point, despite not getting it from the fans. Still, the fact that he has to hope he can backdoor his way into getting selected is criminal and a sign that this process is in dire need of change.

Trade Grade: De’Anthony Melton to Sixers

The Trade

The terms of the trade are: Philadelphia 76ers receive De’Anthony Melton

Memphis Grizzlies receive: 23rd overall pick, Danny Green

Analysis

Philadelphia essentially gave up their first round pick to trade in Green for a younger, healthier shooting guard. That is not a bad price to pay given that late first round picks typically do not have a ton of value. Also, Green just turned 35 and is coming off an ACL injury. He likely wouldn’t return until late in the season and even then it’s impossible to tell what he will look like at that point. Swapping him out for Melton is the responsible thing to do for a team with championship aspirations. Also, the offensive production shouldn’t change at all. Both Green and Melton had almost identical field goal and three point percentages this past season. Defensively, there isn’t much of a difference either. On top of that, Melton will be almost two million dollars cheaper this year.

Grade

Sixers: A

Grizzlies: B-

This was a home run for Philly without question. Even if Melton leaves after this season, it’s not like the Sixers gave up much in this trade. If he has a breakout season, then they get the first crack at signing him. For the Grizzlies, this trade largely hinges on what their draft pick (Colorado State forward David Roddy) brings to the table. Green should get a bunch of open looks playing with Ja Morant, so that’s a solid fit. For now, they get an above average grade.

The St. Louis Cardinals Should Move Corey Dickerson

The Cardinals veteran outfielder, Corey Dickerson, is due back from the injured list soon, but does St.Louis need him?

Dickerson Has Been a Disappointment

This past offseason, the Cardinals took a one-year, $5 million flier on a journeyman veteran to bolster their outfield depth. Unfortunately, Dickerson has not been up to the task. Before the injury, he was putting up dismal numbers (.194/.245/.286), on pace for career lows in just about everything. He hasn’t had a shortage of opportunities to improve either. St.Louis has given him 98 at-bats in 38 games. Defensively, he has been average at best. At the end of the day, his -0.5 WAR thus far makes it pretty clear that this signing has provided little-to-no value.

Creating a Logjam

A big reason why Dickerson was brought in was the idea that the Cardinals had several prospects that were not quite ready to play on a regular basis. Youngsters Juan Yepez, Brendan Donovan, and Lars Nootbar have all had promising starts. As has Nolan Gorman. Though not an outfielder, he has been competing for at-bats off the bench. These guys all have earned more playing time. At least a few of them will be part of St.Louis’ core of the future. A guy like Dickerson, who almost certainly will not be back next year, is just taking away valuable at-bats. we have already seen that there are not enough to go around, as Nootbar was just optioned to Memphis on Friday.

The Cardinals Have Needs Elsewhere

If there is one thing that might keep the redbirds from being serious contenders this season, it’s pitching. The starting rotation has been serviceable, but they will need Jack Flaherty to quickly get back to his old self once he returns from injury. The biggest weakness is the bullpen. The late-game crew is pretty solid with Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos. What St.Louis needs is someone to eat up those middle innings. Preferably, they should look for some that can provide some long relief as well as a few spot-starts.

Possible Trade Options

Dickerson has very little trade value right now. The best the Cardinals could hope for would be to package him with a prospect to a seller looking to get rid of a big contract. One team that could fit the bill is the Kansas City Royals. They have a glut of pitchers on their roster and could use the outfield depth. There are starters such as Brad Keller and Zack Greinke, who won’t be stars, (yeah, we’re talking about THAT Greinke, but he’s not that guy anymore) but could turn the rotation into a strength. Also, there are relievers like Amir Garrett and Josh Staumont. All of these guys, and more, could be available. At this point, the most value Corey Dickerson could provide the Cardinals would be as part of a trade package to improve the team’s pitching.

Could Joel Embiid Really Join The Heat?

The other day, Sixers center Joel Embiid sent out this tweet that led to a whirlwind of speculation.

It immediately begs the question,  when Embiid says, “Miami needs another star,” is he referring to himself? If so, could Joel Embiid to the Heat be in our future?

Embiid Isn’t Wrong

First, let’s be clear that Embiid does have a point here. At the moment, Jimmy Butler is Miami’s best player, and the team’s only true “star.” Bam Adebayo is probably the next closest to that designation, but he is not quite there yet. Looking at the rest of the roster, they have some great role players and veterans who were once stars, but their best days are behind them. One thing is obvious, if Embiid joined the Heat tomorrow, he would immediately become the best player on the roster. What team wouldn’t want to add him?

Could Embiid Want Out?

The big question here is whether or not Embiid would actually leave Philly. He has established himself as the undisputed leader of the team and is beloved by that city. However, frustration could be mounting for the Sixers big man after a fifth consecutive postseason exit without making the conference finals. Philly’s front office has failed to put a star alongside Embiid. They had Butler for the 2018-19 season, which ended in a heartbreaking game seven loss to the eventual champions in Toronto. Rather than trying to run it back, Butler was sent to Miami.

The latest attempt at finding a running mate for Embiid was a trade for James Harden. Unfortunately, Harden is a shell of his former self. Worse yet, he has an irresistible player option for next season that would pay him over $47 million, making him virtually untradeable. Is Embiid willing to risk wasting another year of his prime on a team that will likely struggle to contend for a title? He might decide that the Sixers have had enough chances and that it is time to move on.

If he does, Miami would be a near-perfect fit. Embiid and Butler already have a great relationship and their playing styles mesh together well. Both are playmakers with and without the ball. Also, Embiid already plays with the tenacity that Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, demands. Most importantly, the addition of Embiid would transform a Miami team that is currently a contender into a juggernaut.

How Would a Joel Embiid to the Heat Move Work?

Given that Embiid is under contract for next season, any move would require a trade. Also, he cannot be traded until July 17. So, what would a potential trade look like? After using ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, and then adding in some draft picks, here is one possibility:

Miami receives: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia receives: Bam Adebayo, Max Strus, Miami 2023 1st round pick, Miami 2024 1st round pick.

For Miami, Embiid would be a significant upgrade over Adebayo. Giving up Strus and two firsts is the price of doing business, one that they would happily pay. On the other side, any trade in which Philly gives up Embiid would feel like a loss. The compensation is not terrible, but it is hard to see how the Sixers get better in this trade. It is important to note that this trade would only happen if Embiid demanded it. This would give Philly little leverage.

Will it Happen?

At the end of the day, it is hard to picture Embiid being anywhere but Philly next season. I think it is more likely that Daryl Morey finds a way to either trade Harden or add another shooter. Still, this situation is something to keep an eye on. Embiid is heading into the final year of his contract. If the Sixers are not looking like contenders when next year’s trade deadline rolls around, all bets are off.