Hield, Lowry additions hope to keep Sixers ‘in the mix’


  • The Sixers make calculated moves to offset Embiid’s absence – Hield and Lowry bring scoring and leadership.
  • Hield quickly steps up as second scorer behind Maxey, showcasing sharp shooting and playmaking skills.
  • Lowry adds veteran presence in limited games, showing efficiency in scoring, rebounding, and assists.

The Philadelphia 76ers had to bring in reinforcements in the wake of franchise superstar, Joel Embiid’s injury prognosis, and opted to bring in veteran leadership in Kyle Lowry, and three-point prowess, Buddy Hield.

Such additions have led NBA insider Mark Medina to believe that the Sixers now have enough personnel-wise to be able to stay in contention for an automatic post-season berth, with the hope and expectation that Embiid can return for a potential playoff run.

Personnel changes hoping to man the fort

Slipped down to 5th in the Eastern Conference standings after Embiid’s injury

As widely predicted, the 76ers opted to be active at the trade deadline as they sought to make personnel moves in the aftermath of learning that Joel Embiid’s knee injury was set to keep him on the sidelines for an extended period of time, having had to undergo a left meniscus procedure.

In a string of moves at the trade deadline, the Sixers swung a trade with the Indiana Pacersfor three-point shooter, Buddy Hield, in exchange for Marcus Morris, Furkfan Korkmaz, and three future second-round draft picks, addressing their need for three-point shooting, where they ranked 21st in the league, in which they connected on only 36.2 of their deep range attempts.

Furthermore, in an effort to free up some space to make a splash in the buyout market, they opted to offload Danuel House Jr. and another draft pick to the Detroit Pistons, while they also parted ways with Patrick Beverley, who joined the Milwaukee Bucks, in which they received Cameron Payne and a 2027 second-rounder.

The buyout market saw Philadelphia acquire 37-year-old guard, Kyle Lowry, who rejoins former head coach, Nick Nurse, who he played under when both were with the Toronto Raptors and won the franchise their first ever NBA championship back in 2019.

Kyle Lowry – 2023-24 Season Statistics















With Embiid out, the Sixers have struggled, going 4-7, with 23-year-old Tyrese Maxey having to shoulder much of the offensive load in his absence, in which he has notched 26.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists in his 10 played games since the reigning MVP’s absence.

The Sixers now find themselves down in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with a 33-24 record, with the Miami Heat, Pacers and Orlando Magic hot on their tails, all within one and a half games from surpassing them in the standings.

Deadline moves helped Sixers ‘buy time’

Medina argues that the two moves the Sixers made at the trade deadline have helped the team to remain in playoff contention, despite Embiid’s long-term injury prognosis, and were moves, particularly Hield’s addition, that improve areas that were present in Philadelphia even before Embiid got hurt.

“Buddy Hield gives them three-point shooting, which the Sixers already needed to begin with. Kyle Lowry is a really good competitor, and a steady player. What the Sixers did at the trade deadline was really good, because it helps them buy time to still stay in the mix before Joel Embiid comes back.

Arguably, I would say that I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Sixers still made these moves, even if Embiid was still on the roster, because they haven’t been a good three-point shooting team this season. You just always want to add reinforcements, so it’s not just on your star player to carry everything.

But I think that this is a really good solution toward making sure they don’t plummet too far in the standings.”

Added three-point depth

Hield has been the 76ers’ second-leading scorer since he was acquired at the trade deadline

Buddy Hield

Despite having a subpar shooting season by his own standards, where his streaky shooting consistency saw his usage rate drop before his trade to the Sixers, the 31-year-old guard has come into the line-up and contributed some much-needed scoring on offense in his first seven outings.

Buddy Hield – 2023-24 Three-Point Shooting




Left corner 3



Right corner 3



Corner 3



Above the break 3



Albeit a small sample size, Hield has quickly emerged as the second scoring option behind Maxey, in which he has delivered 18.1 points at a 47.1 percent shooting clip, and 43.8 percent from three-point range on his 9.1 long-range attempts, by far the most attempts from anyone on the Sixers’ roster, per contest.

Since joining the Sixers, Hield has been more consistent shooting from the corner three, where he is currently averaging 50.0 percent from his 1.1 field goal attempts, as well as converting 42.9 percent of his 8.0 above the break three-pointers.

Additionally, he has showcased his veteran experience by leading the Sixers in assists with 5.9 per game in the month of February, with Maxey closely following with 5.6 per outing.

Similarly, while Lowry has only played in two contests for his hometown ball club so far, he has shot an even 50.0 percent from distance, averaging 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Overall, the acquisitions of both Hield and Lowry may somewhat mitigate the scoring loss of Embiid, with the pair currently combining for 25.1 points, still below that of Embiid’s 35.3 point season-average, but what the Sixers lost off the glass and on the defensive side of the ball is something that isn’t easy to replace, and is certainly not a strong suit of the new Sixers’.

Therefore, while they may be able to help keep the 76ers afloat up until the end of the regular season, the Sixers’ post-season success will likely be wholly dependent on whether their franchise superstar is healthy and can return in time.

All statistics courtesy of Statmuse, ESPN, NBA.com and Basketball Reference.


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