Some fans and media members will argue the 76ers overpaid for Tobias Harris, who’s contract expires at season’s end. They would be right.
Trading a young, inexpensive Landry Shamet along with two first rounders and two second rounders is a steep price. It will haunt them if Harris leaves in free agency and the 76ers fail to reach the NBA Finals this season.
Despite all those things going against them, this was the right move by the first-year general manager.
Short term, long term
Trading for a 26-year-old ascending player who was having a career year with the Los Angeles Clippers will help this team now and in the future.
This gives the 76ers the ability to offer Harris the most money in the offseason, while showing him they believe in him long term. There will also need to be a discussion about whether ownership will be willing to pay big money to keep both Harris and Jimmy Butler. But that will be a discussion for after the season.
It’s all about right now and the potential this starting five possess in a wide-open Eastern Conference.
“We’ve got the total package if you ask me,” Harris told the assembled media Thursday in his press conference after the trade. “Just seeing the guys on the team and as I’ve stated before, guys who can create defenses to shift but at the same time, to have playmaking, to have the unselfishness, to make the right play out there, that’s gonna be the key for us.”
His addition gives the 76ers yet another offensive weapon. He was averaging 20.9 points per game with the Clippers while shooting 43.4 percent from three. His ability to catch and shoot while playing alongside Simmons will take pressure off of Embiid and J.J. Redick.
Time may be the biggest enemy for the Sixers as they try to find chemistry in time for the playoffs. But similarly to the Butler trade, their ceiling continues to rise.
Elton Brand is taking the right approach when you have young superstars on the roster. Don’t be afraid to mortgage the future when you have Embiid and Simmons ready now.
The Butler and Harris trades hopefully convey to Simmons and Embiid that this team is serious about winning and putting pieces on the roster to help them get there.
It was apparent after the team’s loss at home to the Toronto Raptors changes were needed to the 76ers depth. Mike Muscala and Landry Shamet struggled in their starting roles when Redick and Wilson Chandler went down with injuries.
In addition to Harris, the team acquired center Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott from the Clippers. Plus, they acquired James Ennis from the Houston Rockets and Jonathon Simmons from the Orlando Magic.
Marjanovic will help solidify the backup center position while Scott will take the place of Muscala. Harris should be an upgrade on defense from Muscala while still having the ability to hit a 3-pointer.
Brand recouped some of the draft capital he lost in the Clippers trade by acquiring a protected first round pick and a second rounder from the Magic for Markelle Fultz. They also added Jonathon Simmons in the deal.
It will be interesting to see how head coach Brett Brown decides to use Jonathon Simmons and if he can help the team.
The bench has improved but still lacks a defensive-minded guard. But not a bad trade deadline for Elton Brand.
It’s up to Brett Brown to make the pieces fit.
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