If the Philadelphia 76ers are not able to make a trade in the next few days, they could become very active in the buyout market for the second straight season.
Kyle Neubeck of the PhillyVoice reported on Thursday that the Sixers are interested in newly acquired New York Knicks guard Wesley Matthews in the event, he is bought out. In addition to Philly, the Houston Rockets are also interested in the veteran guard per ESPN’s Tim McMahon.
However, ESPN’s Ian Begley reported on Friday that the Knicks have heard from at least one team, who is interested in trading for the veteran.
This latest news coincides with what Sports Illustrated’s Jake Fischer mentioned on Thursday, reporting that rival team executives expect New York to try to drum up some trade conversations before the deadline.
Matthews, along with his former Maverick teammates in DeAndre Jordan and Dennis Smith was traded to the Knicks in a blockbuster seven-player deal that saw Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee go to Dallas on Thursday.
In addition to Matthews, who is making $13.6 million this season, Jordan ($22.9 million) is another potential buyout candidate for the Knicks. Potential buyout candidates need to be waived by March 1 to be eligible for the playoffs.
What would Matthews bring to the Sixers?
Out of two new Knicks, Matthews would be the perfect buyout candidate for the Sixers, who are searching the trade market for a wing player and a center.
The 32-year-old guard is an okay defender but is a viable threat from three-point range. In 44 games this season with the Mavericks, he is averaging 13.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 29.8 minutes per games.
The veteran shooting guard is also shooting 41.4-percent from the field and 38 percent from distance on six attempts per game. In fact, 52.2-percent of his points scored this season have come via the three-point shot.
Overall, Matthews is a career 38.3-percent three-point shooter. If Philly was to sign the 6-foot-5 guard, he would essentially become this season’s Marco Belinelli.
Last season, Belinelli was bought out by the Atlanta Hawks and then signed with Philly a few days later, providing a much-needed scoring boost off the bench.
This season, Philly’s bench is averaging a disappointing 33.9 points in 17.4 minutes per game, which is good for 22nd in the NBA. However, their bench is shooting 36.9-percent from distance, which can be attributed to Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, and Jonah Bolden.
Matthews would not be asked to do a lot with the Sixers. They would simply just want him to knock down open shots on a consistent basis, which he would have and play respectable defense.