Matisse Thybulle trade grade: Trail Blazers land defensive ace; 76ers address need

Matisse Thybulle is on the move.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers will acquire Thybulle from the 76ers as part of a three-team deal that also includes the Hornets, who are sending Jalen McDaniels to Philadelphia.

The reported deal also includes a bevy of draft capital.

Thybulle finds a new home after struggling to find his footing in Philadelphia this season. The 25-year-old is averaging career lows across the board, including just 2.7 points in 12.1 minutes per game.

Here is everything we know about the trade that sends Thybulle back to the Pacific Northwest, where he attended high school and college at the University of Washington.

NBA TRADE DEADLINE TRACKER 2023: Every player and draft pick moved

Matisse Thybulle trade details

Trail Blazers receive:

  • Matisse Thybulle

76ers receive:

  • Jalen McDaniels
  • 2024 second-round pick (from Hornets via Knicks)
  • 2029 second-round pick (Trail Blazers)

Hornets receive:

  • Svi Mykhaliuk
  • 2027 second-round pick (Trail Blazers)

Trail Blazers grade

Thybulle is a plus defender and was in need of new scenery after essentially falling out of Philadelphia’s rotation.

Portland, which, at the time of the deadline, stands at 27-28, is looking to make moves to strengthen its chances to contend for a spot in the West’s Play-In Tournament or move into a solidified playoff spot among the top six teams.

At the deadline, the Blazers have refreshed their wing rotation by moving on from Josh Hart and adding Thybulle as well as a former top-10 pick in Cam Reddish. 

Thybulle’s perimeter defense makes him a major addition for a Portland team that ranks 26th in the league in defensive rating, but Thybulle alone won’t be enough to completely transform the defense.

If he can slash and play well off of Damian Lillard’s gravity, Thybulle can get back into an offensive groove and be a plus addition for Portland.

Grade: B

76ers grade

For several years, depth has been a major issue for Philadelphia. This trade sees the Sixers part ways with a player that has fallen out of their rotation in exchange for a reliable contributor that answers a major need.

McDaniels measures in at 6-9, is a rangy defender and is in the midst of a career season with averages of 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists. McDaniels is only shooting 32.2 percent from 3-point range this season, but he’s attempting more 3s (3.6) than he ever has this season.

As Philadelphia looks to perfect its roster ahead of the deadline, it adds a young piece that can help this year and beyond, as McDaniels is set to enter restricted free agency in 2023.

The Sixers can use a player like McDaniels should they match up with a team like the Celtics or the Bucks this postseason. In order to make a deep run in the playoffs, they’ll have to face one or the other, or both.

Grade: A

Hornets grade

It’s hard to gauge what Charlotte is trying to do here.

If McDaniels wasn’t in the future plans, that’s fine, but he seemed to have much more value than Mykhaliuk and a second-round draft pick four years from now. There’s a world in which the Hornets are stockpiling more draft capital in order to pull off another deal, but the franchise needs to focus on adding first-round picks and more talent as it builds around 21-year-old LaMelo Ball.

This deal could be the precursor to Charlotte selling big-time at the deadline, but is a reminder that as a rebuilding team, it shouldn’t sell low.

Grade: D+


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