Report: Kings ‘monitoring availability’ of 76ers defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle
The NBA trade deadline is just over a week away, meaning the rumor mill is about to start working at full power.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Sacramento Kings are monitoring the availability of Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle as February 9th’s deadline approaches.
Thybulle, a 6’5 guard that is currently one of the league’s notable defensive specialists, has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in two-straight seasons (2021, 2022). For a Kings team that struggles to get stops consistently, Thybulle would be a solid addition to Sacramento’s defensive presence.
Sacramento is said to be monitoring the availability of Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle as the Kings, unexpectedly holding the West’s No. 3 seed after a league-record 16 consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, ponder the pursuit of a more defensive-minded option on the perimeter.
Marc Stein – January 31, 2023
My NBA Trade Deadline Latest: https://t.co/Ppt0N9N2zC
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 31, 2023
This isn’t the first time that the Kings have been linked to Thybulle, as Sacramento was reportedly asking for the 25-year-old to be included in any discussions regarding a potential Ben Simmons deal.
Thybulle is currently in the final year of a four-year, $12.5 million deal and will enter unrestricted free agency at the end of the season. The defensive-minded guard brings a lot to the table when it comes to disrupting opposing offenses, but offense is not a strong suit for Thybulle.
Over his four seasons in the NBA, Thybulle is averaging 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc. Offense isn’t a strong suit, but that isn’t why a team like the Kings would be interested in acquiring Thybulle.
Sacramento currently owns the best offense in the league (119.5 points per game). Scoring the basketball is not an issue for this group, but getting stops is a glaring issue–one that could create problems during the final months of the season.
Entering play on Tuesday, the Kings (28-21) sit in the third spot in the Western Conference standings and first place in the Pacific Division, but teams beneath them in the standings–the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers–are all waiting in the weeds for Sacramento to hit an extended skid.
After losing three of four, the Kings got back on track during Monday’s overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, further proving that this group can limit the damage when it comes to controlling losing streaks.
Defense played a huge role in Monday’s win as Sacramento swiped a season-high 15 steals during the win. If the Kings can add Thybulle–a player that has averaged 1.5 steals per game thus far in his career–it can create one of the best defensive guard combinations in the league with Davion Mitchell also in the fold.
Thybulle has fallen in and out of 76ers head coach Doc Rivers’ core rotation, as the fourth-year guard is playing a career-low 12.1 minutes per game.
If Philadelphia–the NBA’s fourth-best defensive team–feels that they have enough defensive impact, they shouldn’t have a problem finding a trade partner that can take on Thybulle’s $4.3 million salary.
Kings general manager Monte McNair is close with 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, as the two worked together for years while with the Houston Rockets front office. The executives were seen in the stands together during January 21st’s game at Golden 1 Center, raising speculation that these two franchises could soon become trade partners.
Sacramento has a few options that they can refer to as offerings in a deal for Thybulle:
- Terence Davis – $4.0 million
- Alex Len – $3.9 million
- Trade Exception – $4.023 million
- Second Round picks – Kings own 10 through 2028
Davis and a second round pick could be enticing to the 76ers, as Davis would bring Philadelphia a scoring option off of the bench. Alex Len, who is currently out of Brown’s rotation, could also be an option as the big man could slide behind Joel Embiid and Montrezl Harrell on the depth chart.
Options are there for a deal to get done, but with nine days to go until the deadline, expect several other rumors to surface surrounding the Kings and the rest of the NBA.
It’s officially trade season.