According to Jason Dumas of Bleacher Report, the Philadelphia 76ers have inquired about Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton. In an article published today about Philadelphia’s plans to remain competitive in the East, Dumas had this to say:

Based on conversations with sources close to the team, they are not content with their current roster. A source tells B/R the team has inquired about the availability of Will Barton, P.J. Tucker, Delon Wright and George Hill.

Barton fits the playmaking wing needs best. He’s averaging 11.6 points per game through 33 games this season, down from his average of 15.1 last year. But his minutes and shot attempts are down this season with the emergence of Michael Porter Jr. It shouldn’t require a big return in a trade. 

The Sixers are clearly interested in Barton’s playmaking ability, but what would a possible return look like for the Nuggets?

If the teams were looking to do a 1:1 swap, the only player who can match Barton’s salary up front would be shooting guard Danny Green. Green is a career 40% three-point shooter (37.8% in 2020-21) who can also defend the perimeter. Even though he’s a bit older at 34, he’s also a three-time NBA Champion and would bring an additional veteran presence to a Nuggets team looking to make another deep playoff run.

In this scenario, Denver would basically be swapping some offense for perimeter defense. Barton brings much needed scoring at times, but with Michael Porter Jr. blossoming as of late it’s not a bad trade-off at all, especially considering how shaky the Nuggets perimeter can be. Additionally, Green is on an expiring contract this year which would free up $14.7 million in cap space for next season from Barton’s player option.

It’s also worth noting that Philadelphia has some younger players that are intriguing, such as Matisse Thybulle. Dumas makes no indication on whether or not Thybulle is even available, only that the Sixers are “set on winning or failing with” Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. One possibility would be to add Bol Bol and Thybulle to the Barton-Green swap mentioned above, with both teams netting high-upside prospects in return (h/t to Zach Mikash).

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