The Sixers’ substantial commitments to Al Horford, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons limit their options moving forward.
However, NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh does have a couple of trade targets in mind for the team this offseason.
He thinks Nets wing Joe Harris, the NBA’s leader in three-point percentage last season, should be a player of interest.
Harris will be an unrestricted free agent and the Nets will have his Bird Rights, which means they’ll be able to go over the salary cap to re-sign him.
The Nets could orchestrate a complicated Joe Harris sign-and-trade to get him to Philly but it would likely require Philly giving up an asset like Matisse Thybulle in the deal,” Haberstroh writes. “It’s hard to see the pathway to get a Harris-(Tobias) Harris swap (Tobias makes $34.3 million next season), but the Sixers should at the very least kick the tires on what it’d take to acquire the best free agent shooter on the 2020 market.
For as elite a shooter as Joe Harris is, that does not sound like a good deal from the Sixers’ perspective — at all. Tobias Harris, in the first year of a five-year, $180 million contract, has averaged 19.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He’s not an All-Star, but he’s a well above-average player who also helps bind the team together with his leadership. Thybulle is a talented young defender potentially under team control through the 2022-2023 season. The Sixers could use more shooting but this particular idea, in our view, is not the right way to acquire it.
The other name Haberstroh raises is veteran Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica.
If Bjelica hadn’t made a last-minute reversal in 2018 free agency, he'd be on the Sixers right now,” he writes. “Bjelica is due $7.2 million next season and the Kings have an interesting offseason ahead with Bogdan Bogdanovic being a restricted free agent. Trading for Philly’s (Josh) Richardson could be a fallback option if Bogie’s pricetag gets too high for Sacramento’s liking.
Engaging with the Kings would certainly make sense. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield are two other players it would be logical to consider.
Richardson is under contract for 2020-21 and then has an $11.6 million player option the following season. While he hasn’t fit as well as the Sixers hoped in his first season here, his perimeter defense remains valuable. One imagines the Sixers could get a better return for him than a 32-year-old stretch four.
You can read Haberstroh’s full piece on the Sixers, including some of the major questions facing the team heading into the playoffs, here.
And, if you’re interested in more national discussion on the Sixers, Haberstroh and ESPN’s Pablo Torre discussed the team on the latest episode of The Habershow podcast. Torre still believes in the potential of the Simmons-Embiid duo and finds watching Horford play on the Sixers “infuriating.”
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