Hello, Elton Brand!
The Sixers general manager, who’s been at the helm for just under five months, showed us he is not afraid to play when it comes to the NBA trade deadline.
The Sixers announced Wednesday that they have officially acquired Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanović and Mike Scott in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and multiple picks*, immediately hoisting the Sixers right back into the Eastern Conference Finals conversation (see story).
Let me also say that Brand has been talking with the Clippers for the past few days now, so the fact that this has been kept quiet up until this point has been pretty impressive.
The Sixers are now looking at a starting lineup of Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid. That stacks up against any starting lineup in the Eastern Conference. Harris is such a dynamic player who can stretch the floor, create his own shot and shoot the three-ball. And, just from a size and athletic standpoint (especially on the defensive end — I mean, just think about the wingspan we’re talking about here), that lineup is going to be tough for teams to match up with. On top of that, it doesn’t take long for you to hear about Harris’ work ethic when you ask around the league. This is not a guy you have to worry about creating trouble in the locker room.
And have you heard of the Bobi + Tobi show? If not see it here. Sixers fans, we are in for a treat.
That brings us to Marjanovic. Much like Harris, this is another guy that you hear nothing but good things about his character when you ask around the league. Oh and at 7-foot-3, 290 pounds, he also happens to be the tallest player in the league. That whole being the largest player in the league thing allows him to score with ease in shorts bursts off the bench, which means Embiid is going to get the rest he needs during games, while still having a productive unit on the floor.
And Mike Scott, though he’s struggled at times this year, shot 52.7 percent from the field last season and 40.5 percent from three. He also just recently started to hit his stride, shooting 55.6 percent from three over his past 10 games. The key part is that he’s versatile and can play different positions/roles in Brett Brown’s system, stretch the floor, play small-ball five and even some three.
With all that being said, the Sixers parted ways with three solid character guys in Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. Despite how high the Sixers were/are on Shamet — and he has some serious potential in this league — you can’t get more without giving up in the process. And when you think back to the 2018 draft, the Sixers essentially traded Mikal Bridges for Zhaire Smith and Tobias Harris.
On top of that, though it’s true the Sixers are in win-now mode, they are also trying to establish a core for their future. Philly wouldn’t be making trades for Tobias Harris (who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer) and Jimmy Butler (who has a player option for next season) if they didn’t feel like this was the future of their franchise. It’ll be a tricky summer to navigate, but it would be hard to imagine the Sixers would make these trades if they didn’t have the confidence they’d be able to keep this new core together.
By the way, the Sixers aren't done dealing. They acquired Malachi Richardson in a trade with the Raptors (see story), and the team is still aggressively looking for opportunities to bolster its roster.
*Picks details: Los Angeles will also receive Philadelphia’s own protected 2020 first-round pick, Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick and Detroit’s 2021 and 2023 second-round picks. The Philadelphia first-round pick is protected Nos. 1-14 from 2020-22 and if it does not convey during that time, it becomes 2023 and 2024 Philadelphia second-round picks.
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