Usually in the week after the trade deadline, we hear about the trades that never happened but almost were real. Whether it's the Boston Celtics allegedly trying to pry Jahlil Okafor away from the Philadelphia 76ers or something bigger than that, we get a trickling of information leaked out that could or could not show you a certain team was almost serious about making a major change. The latest one comes from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer in which the Sixers nearly acquired Dennis Schroder from the Atlanta Hawks.
The deal on the table was reportedly Nik Stauskas, Ish Smith, a player with an expiring deal presumed to be Jakarr Sampson (before he was waived, obviously) and a 2016 first-round pick. However, the Hawks turned it down in a time when they were reportedly kicking the tire on moving Jeff Teague in order to make room for Schroder as the primary point guard on the roster.
The team offered packages that included some combination of shooting guard Nik Stauskas, point guard Ish Smith, a player with an expiring guaranteed contract and a 2016 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Dennis Schroder, according to multiple league sources.
Former Sixer JaKarr Sampson was said to be player with the expiring contract in the deal. According to NBA rules, Smith could not have been part of a multi-player deal since he had been acquired by the Sixers fewer than 60 days before. But he could have been traded alone in a second deal.
A source said that the Sixers are prepared to sign him a maximum-salary deal.
There are a few interesting details that come with this potential trade. First and foremost, I think this shows you the deal coming for Schroder in 2017 is going to blow a lot of people's minds. A lot of the money being thrown around is going to be crazy, but there will be a lot of interest generated for a point guard like Schroder. Even in a saturated position like point guard, names can catch fire and the Hawks considering moving Teague, an All-Star just last year, to make room for Schroder in the starting lineup caught the eye of executives around the league.
Considering he'll be a restricted free agent (assuming an extension isn't reached this fall), that could raise the price tag even more to put pressure on the Hawks to either match a big deal or risk letting their supposed point guard of the future go for nothing in return. And if the Sixers are seriously considering offering a max offer sheet to Schroder in 2017, who isn't going to get a crazy max offer? We're looking at a $100 million contract for someone like Schroder, which makes zero sense unless you put Stephen Curry in a Schroder jersey.
Secondly, the Sixers getting relatively serious about having a lead guard is very intriguing. Smith has been a nice stopgap for them the second time around, but they're still greatly lacking an impact player in the backcourt. Schroder is an upgrade, but some may argue that unless Schroder can prove he's an outside threat then you'd rather have Smith at his asking price this summer instead.
Third, the Sixers offering up a draft pick for a player is a role reversal for them. They likely weren't offering their pick or the Los Angeles Lakers' top 3 protected pick because Atlanta would have to take that deal. But the Sixers do have the Miami Heat's 2016 pick or the Oklahoma City Thunder's 2016 pick to dangle in these trades. Nik Stauskas isn't quite the asset anybody would hope he could become, so that makes the pick the most alluring part of the deal.
Maybe the Sixers will pursue Schroder again this summer when the Hawks start having to think about the Teague-Schroder battle again, but for now they just get filed into the almost deals of trade deadline lore.