Grading the Philadelphia 76ers' Trade Deadline Performance

Brandon K. Smith@Hurricane_BkContributor IIIFebruary 21, 2013

Feb 20, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner (12) shoots during the first quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the 76ers 94-87. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of action at the trade deadline by the Philadelphia 76ers makes grading their performance an interesting task. The only option in this scenario is to assess what areas they needed to improve and didn't, and just how pressing those needs are.

Based on those two criteria, we can decipher exactly how successful/unsuccessful Philly was as the NBA trade deadline came and went.

The Sixers' inability to get to the free-throw line has hampered their offense all season. They still rank at the bottom of the league in getting to the line and converting free throws. Neither Jrue Holiday nor Evan Turner are very adept at getting to the charity stripe and generally seem to avoid contact in the paint.

Since Holiday is pegged as the cornerstone of the team's future, it would have made sense for Philly to trade Turner.

Obviously, Turner is still a Sixer. Their inability to get rid of him brings ramifications beyond just the free-throw line, though. He and Holiday are both players that need the ball in their hands to excel—ergo having both players as key components to any future does not make a ton of sense.

Those who believe Turner and Holiday can coexist on the court together are not wrong, however. But remember the jump made this season by Holiday after Andre Iguodala (a player who also liked possessing the ball) was traded? It's not too crazy to think part of Holiday's improvement came as a result of more responsibility with the departure of Iguodala.

With that in mind, is it possible that Turner's need to have the ball to be effective is also hindering Holiday's development?

Couldn't the Sixers have flipped Turner and his semi-friendly salary for a spot-up shooter and/or a slasher who can get to the line? It certainly seems within the realm of reason.  

Philadelphia also could have served itself well to shop for a replacement for Jason Richardson, as he will miss the remainder of the season due to injury. It also would not have hurt to find a player who can shoot from the perimeter, as the Sixers currently rank 20th in the league in shooting threes.  

Overall, the Sixers are pretty horrific offensively, as they stand second-to-last in the league in scoring, averaging a nauseating 92.2 points per game.

The need to address their offensive decencies is quite apparent and their most valuable movable asset at this deadline was Turner. The fact that they could not deal him for some help at that end of the floor can only result in deeming this trade deadline as a disappointment.

The only excuse for their lack of movement has to be Andrew Bynum's impending return. His return should give them their first real threat in the paint offensively, which will in turn open up the offense in all facets. Furthermore, his return should result in more trips to the free-throw line both for him and guards cutting hard to the paint after pick-and-roll plays.

If Bynum's return was not looming, it would be difficult not to give the Sixers an F for their trade deadline grade. But, because of that, I'll have to give them a D+, as they did not fill any of the many needs they have on offense.