By Tom Ignudo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Last season, Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was active during the NBA Draft, acquiring Danny Green in a deal that got rid of Al Horford’s contract.

Morey then swapped Josh Richardson for Seth Curry, which provided the Sixers with floor spacing and shooting the team desperately needed. He also selected Tyrese Maxey in the first round, and Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed in the second round.

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There’s a chance Morey will be wheeling and dealing picks again at the draft, which takes place next Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com.

“Heading into the NBA Draft, the Sixers are expected to prioritize more immediate help for the franchise, with a source telling PhillyVoice there is “a very good chance” pick No. 28 is on the move prior to or during next week’s draft, as Philadelphia continues to explore multiple avenues to upgrade the team ahead of next season.

While the exact framework of such a deal is still very much fluid — the Sixers are open to dealing for either a veteran player or to recoup future assets to fill out the war chest — all signs point to Philadelphia moving No. 28 somewhere else. The Sixers are in pursuit of assets they can use to win sooner rather than later, ideally to get another starter-level player to add to the rotation for next year.”

Neubeck also noted later in the piece that the Sixers aren’t against using the No. 28 overall pick if a “gem falls to them unexpectedly,” and that very could happen. 

The Sixers have done a nice job as of late picking late in the first round as of late.

In 2019, they picked Matisse Thybulle out of Washington and last season Maxey fell into their laps at No. 21 overall and turned out to be one of their contributors to their playoff run. 

It does make sense though for the Sixers to try and package the pick for a veteran player who can potentially contribute next season, especially if they believe they have enough developmental guys on the roster like Neubeck reported

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At the trade deadline, they tried to find a guy who could step immediately and help in George Hill, but he was really never able to find his rhythm in Philadelphia. Granted, he was recovering from a thumb injury when he joined the team, so that could’ve affected his play.

Later in the story, Neubeck also wrote that the discussions surrounding the No. 28 overall pick is not related to trading Ben Simmons. 

“The Sixers have continued to put a high sticker price on Simmons and are under no pressure or rush to deal him if the right opportunity doesn’t present itself, according to sources familiar with the situation,” Neubeck wrote.”

The report from Neubeck aligns with what’s been out there already about Simmons. The Sixers have “opened up trade conservations” for their three-time All-Star, but they aren’t in a rush to make a deal for a package they think sells them short. 

The Sixers already turned down a package from the Indiana Pacers that included Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick, according to Bleacher Report

The Sacramento Kings are also a team reportedly interested in Simmons, but Neubeck wrote that the Sixers “would not even entertain a discussion with the Sacramento Kings save for the inclusion of guard De’Aaron Fox in a potential deal, which they view simply as a starting point for talks.”

Nearly two weeks ago, The Sacramento Bee reported that Fox is unlikely to be traded. Fox would certainly fit the bill of a potential Simmons trade, but the Kings might not even put their 23-year-old point guard on the table.

If the Sixers can’t find a deal for Simmons, he could return next season. The Sixers reportedly believe they can fix some of the issues with him on the court, but that remains to be seen.

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Regardless, trade talks and rumors are sure to heat up as the NBA Draft takes place next week.