The Philadelphia 76ers may be sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference, but it's hard to see them embarking on much of a playoff run if the terrible and ongoing three-point shooting woes aren't fixed.
As the trade deadline looms, it sounds as though GM Elton Brand is preparing to make a big move, in order to address the issues. Per Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Philadelphia is inclined to trade their first-round pick this year as they search "for a big man who can shoot."
Deveney lists the likes of Noah Vonleh, Frank Kaminsky and Mike Scott as exampls of players the 76ers may go after. Philly also owns the Miami Heat's 2021 first-round pick, but Deveney said they haven't discussed moving it in trade talks.
Per NBA.com, the 76ers are a mere 15th overall in three-point shooting percentage at 35.2. Philadelphia ranks a respectable 10th in field goal shooting percentage (46.9 percent), so it's obvious what the main problem is here. The 76ers simply have to find a reliable three-point shooter that can complement the skills of big men Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid.
Obviously, the 76ers don't ask for their superstar center in Embiid to shoot from downtown more. But Simmons - known for his refusal to shoot from long range - is holding himself back from reaching an All-Star level. The 76ers really need their co-franchise player to eventually figure out the three-point shooting, or else they won't go far in the playoffs.
November acquisition Jimmy Butler has been able to repair some of the damage with his all-around strong shooting skills, but it's not enough. Adding a reliable shooter from three-point range would really help the 76ers in their quest for a championship.
What This Means
It makes sense for the 76ers to sacrifice a first-round pick if it means adding a player that can supply consistent three-point shooting and scoring. The time to win is now in Philadelphia, and the first-rounder would be a later selection anyway.