After Nemanja Bjelica backed out of signing for the mid-level room exception earlier this week, the Sixers were apart of a massive trade to acquire another a big man.
The Sixers traded forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Mike Muscala, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Charania also noted that forward Justin Anderson will be sent to the Hawks.
These smaller moves were a part of a bigger trade that saw the Oklahoma City Thunder trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Dennis Schroder and Muscala, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The NBA insider reported that Anthony will be waived by Atlanta and become a free agent.
This is a very convoluted trade that benefits more so Oklahoma City and Atlanta than the Sixers. However, for the Philadelphia, there are still some ways that this trade can help them.
For starters, they cleared up a potential logjam at the small forward position heading into next season. It seemed as if Luwawu-Cabarrot, Anderson, and Furkan Korkmaz would be battling for the last roster spots and minutes on the team.
Luwawu-Cabarrot, who the Sixers drafted in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft has not tapped into his potential yet as an NBA player. After a solid rookie season, where he averaged 6.4 points and 2.2 rebounds and played in 69 games.
Luwawu fell quickly out of the Sixers’ rotation and only played in 52 games this past season.
Anderson, on the other hand, was a part of the Nerlens Noel trade that happened during the 2017-18 season.
Despite not having much of an offensive game, Anderson was known more for his defensive abilities and that is how he earned playing time in Philadelphia. In his one-plus years with the Sixers, Anderson averaged 7.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
With both players now gone, it should open up some more playing time and opportunities for Korkmaz, who had a solid performance in the NBA Summer League.
What are the Sixers getting in Muscala?
Finally, Muscala will provide the Sixers with another big man, who can stretch the floor from the perimeter.
This past season with Atlanta, the former second-round pick averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20 minutes per game. He also shot 45.8 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range on 3.2 attempts per game.