Philadelphia 76ers should consider trading for Malik Beasley
The Philadelphia 76ers have an open roster spot and the Denver Nuggets have a cheap prospect capable of filling it.
Simple math will tell you that the Philadelphia 76ers, after dumping Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas for Trevor Booker, have an open roster spot. They haven’t filled it yet, which means they have a pretty clear path towards buying low at the trade deadline — and the Denver Nuggets have a perfect candidate.
Kevin O’Connor recently published a piece at The Ringer detailing a slew of different trade targets around the league. We already crossed Dario Saric off that list, but Malik Beasley is somebody the Sixers should be calling about.
After going 19th in the 2016 NBA Draft, Beasley has struggled to find playing time in Denver’s loaded backcourt. Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton suck up the majority of the playing time, leaving Beasley — despite promising signs — with just 10.3 minutes per game this season.
There’s not much you can take away from that situation. It isn’t Beasley’s fault, and the Nuggets aren’t doing anything wrong. It’s just bad circumstances. That means the Sixers could a) get him for cheap and b) give him a much more valuable role.
Beasley showed a lot during his one year at Florida State, despite playing in another loaded backcourt. He shared the floor with Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes regularly, but still put up 15.6 points per game on 38.7 percent shooting from deep. He was marketed as a 3-and-D prospect with NBA-caliber athleticism, something that still holds true today.
While his shooting hasn’t been great in a limited sample size, that can largely be attributed to rhythm or lack thereof. The Nuggets haven’t been able to use him for extended periods of time, which makes it difficult to give him a steady diet of open looks.
The Sixers, on the other hand, have a pretty obvious hole Beasley could fill. With Markelle Fultz and Justin Anderson both missing time, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jerryd Bayless have stunk it up off the bench. Beasley has youth and is, at the very least, a gritty defender who should warrant an opportunity.
His role could be limited again once the team is at full health, but there’s also a very real chance that he beats out TLC and Anderson for playing time. He projects as a better shooter than both, and was picked a few spots higher than TLC for a reason. If he can get in a Philly uniform and knock down shots at a reasonable rate, it’s not hard to see him getting regular minutes off the bench.
Sometimes, players just need an opportunity. That’s where Beasley is at right now, and the Nuggets probably aren’t asking much. Throw a couple second round picks at them (or perhaps swindle them into taking Jerryd Bayless’ contract, depending on where their aspirations lie this season) and see if they take the bait.
It may seem like an obscure move, and there are plenty of young wings in similar situations, but he’s somebody who has all the signs of somebody who can produce at a high level in the right situation.