The already wild week of the 2019 NBA trade deadline added another chapter with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers making a swap headlined by Tobias Harris.
Even though Harris will become a free agent this summer, this trade is a sign the Sixers are going all-in.
The trade also includes forward Mike Scott and center Boban Marjanovic going to the 76ers, while the Clippers acquire guard Landry Shamet, forwards Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscula, two first-round picks and two sound-rounders.
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Let’s break down the winners and losers from the trade as Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline nears.
1. Both the Clippers and 76ers
The Sixers needed a stretch 4 in their lineup that they never quite found earlier this season. Enter Harris, who makes two threes a game at a 43.4 percent clip. Trading for John Wick 3 star Boban Marjanovic also gives them a body in the middle if other teams go with big lineups, and Mike Scott can be another stretch shooter off the bench.
It’s all about becoming the lead contender in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are six games out of first place in the East, but they’re in the hunt for third place (just one game behind Boston).
The Clippers get back picks (two first-rounders, including the 2021 unprotected first-rounder from the Miami Heat, which will likely have serious value by then and a couple of second-round selections), expiring contracts (Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala) and promising guard Landry Shamet, who has hit nearly two shots from distance per game off the bench.
The Clips got a ton of value for a player they likely weren’t going to re-sign this summer. They continue to have a really good base to build on if they sign a big-name free agent like Kawhi Leonard.
2. Jerry West
His name was trending on Twitter on Wednesday morning for a reason: The Clippers executive continues to be one of the NBA’s best in the front office, getting maximum value in trades after he dismantled the Lob City Clippers. Harris was going to walk for nothing, and West pried that Heat pick and Shamet from the Sixers.
3. The Bobi and Tobi Show
One of the NBA’s best bromances is between Marjanovic and Harris, who will now bring their hilarity to Philly. Had they been separated, we would have mourned.
4. Elton Brand
Let’s give a hand to the 76ers’ rookie GM, who has swung trades for Jimmy Butler and Harris. Trust The Next Step in The Process.
1. The Eastern Conference
The first-place Milwaukee Bucks are the team to beat in the East, and they beat the Sixers back in October. But they have two matchups coming up with Philadelphia.
The Celtics suddenly look like they’ve woken up, but the Sixers might have found the formula to surpass Kyrie Irving and Co. The Toronto Raptors just beat the pre-Harris Sixers on Tuesday.
Now, it’s all changed. Those are the three most likely contenders in the East, and it suddenly got a step tougher to win the conference.
2. The free-agent market
Harris might have been a consolation prize for teams who don’t get Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson et al. Now, the Sixers might hold on to Butler and Harris:
3. Markelle Fultz
The NBA trade rumor mill has started churning out his name. The struggling ex-first rounder might be the next domino to fall..