Reaction to Sixers Tobias Harris Trade with Clippers

posted February 8, 2019 in

This year’s trade deadline awaited the fate of star names such as Anthony Davis, but the real blockbuster deal took place in the city of brotherly love.

During the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers came to an agreement on a trade.

The Clippers acquired Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala, along with a pair of first and second round draft picks, which are spread throughout 2021. The Sixers, in return, were dealt Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris.

The trade is certainly helpful to both sides. It appears the Clippers are exercising a more long-term plan which will not progress until free agency this summer. Meanwhile, the Sixers are ready to contend for a championship this season.

This is the second huge deal Philadelphia has landed this season, with the former being the acquisition of Jimmy Butler in November. Many questions remain even after this most recent deal. Specifically, how will these new acquisitions fit the Sixers, and what expectations should fans have?

Mike Scott is mainly going to be a bench piece for Philadelphia. Do not underrate his importance quite yet though. If these two trades, especially this most recent one, have hurt the Sixers in any way, it has been through depleting their depth off the bench.

Scott will serve as a solid defensive option in the second unit, who can also have limited success shooting. This will prove important for a second unit who has been blitzed by the opposition all season long.

Boban Marjanovic will likely only serve in a limited role as well. Minutes may appear to be hard to come by for the center with an all-star such as Joel Embiid on the roster, but when taking a deeper look, the Marjanovic acquisition may prove to be almost as big as Harris.

There is no doubting Embiid is a superstar – he averages 24 points and 13 rebounds per game. However, the majority of his scoring tends to be in the first half of games, with lapses on both sides of the ball at times down the stretch.

Whether Embiid’s lack of stamina is merely a conditioning problem on his own end, or a side affect of his back issues which plague him time-to-time, it certainly affects his play.

Marjanovic is the protection for Embiid the Sixers have been lacking in the past few seasons. He is a solid option at center who can make plays while Embiid rests on the bench. This will allow for a more rejuvenated Embiid to come in down the stretch, and help Philadelphia close out games, something it has struggled to do the past couple of seasons.

Tobias Harris is clearly the headliner of this deal. He provides an aspect which Philadelphia has sought after for far too long: an elite wing. This position has always been a hindrance through the duration of “the process.”

Harris’s production has been outstanding this season. He averages 20 points per game and shoots 43 percent from three – both well higher than any Sixers guard this season.

Now that general manager Elton Brand has set out and addressed the issue of bringing a marquee shooter to the Sixers alongside JJ Redick, the weight of all new expectations is about to hit the organization, especially coach Brett Brown.

Blame for Philadelphia’s struggle to contain leads and consistently compete against higher-tier teams has fallen heavily on Brown during his tenure. His lack of fluidity in an offensive game plan has led to scrutiny.

Brown can no longer be covered by the idea of the Sixers “process.” They are no longer a team full of young, budding talent, but a starting five full of capable, proven talent with experienced role players on the bench.

Anything short of an NBA Finals appearance in an eastern conference, which is wide open, could be seen as a disappointment, not only to Sixers nation, but to the players on the court as well.

Now that the young core has been dispersed apart from Embiid and accompanying young standout Ben Simmons, it is imperative that the Sixers lock up Butler and Harris long term in the summer. Brand seems optimistic he can do so, but on-court success will be a pivotal factor in either keeping the duo in Philadelphia, or possibly laying numerous seasons of tanking to waste.

It was certainly a calculated risk going all-in on a season with a team like the Golden State Warriors, who have five all-stars, in the NBA. Perhaps “the process” was accelerated because of the health concerns regarding Embiid or some other reason. Regardless, the Sixers are on the clock with a new core of talent and look to put the league on notice.

 


Andre Magaro is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email
ajm7362@psu.edu.