The Philadelphia 76ers have completed the shift into “win-now” mode, but their early-season trade for Jimmy Butler already proved that. The team’s moves at the NBA trade deadline proved they aren’t interested in waiting beyond this year to go for a title, as first-year general manager Elton Brand made sure to leave his mark.
Along with the trade which brought Tobias Harris to town from the Los Angeles Clippers, the Sixers added depth and now bolster a new-look starting five and second unit. But after the trades, there were a few looming questions, specifically about the long-term outlook. Both Harris and Butler can become free agents this offseason, but Brand and ownership have apparently already addressed this.
As The Athletic’s Derek Bodner revealed, Brand addressed whether it’s possible to bring back both players this summer.
“Absolutely. I’ve gotten all assurances from the managing partners that we can bring them back and sign them.” Brand stated, per Bodner.
Brian Seltzer of the team’s official website revealed the Sixers’ general manager stated the front office and managing partners are “all on board to keep this core together long term.”
The Markelle Fultz Trade
One of the biggest reasons to buy into Brand and the team’s plan and outlook includes the decision on second-year guard Markelle Fultz. The situation with Fultz’s shoulder injury has been a hot-button topic, but the Sixers proved ahead of the deadline that they couldn’t wait any longer for him.
The Fultz deal was the final move ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST cutoff. As The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported, the Sixers sent the guard to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathan Simmons, one first and one second-round draft pick.
In turn, the Sixers moved forward by putting together a core of players with the potential to produce now and created one of the best starting fives in the NBA. For Fultz, the move to Orlando means a fresh start which could certainly be beneficial.
Sixers’ Tobias Harris Deal & Post-Deadline Outlook
Philadelphia shook the NBA landscape a bit early on Wednesday morning by striking a deal to bring Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to town. In exchange, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported, they sent rookie Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, two first-round picks and two second-rounders to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The move created a first unit which features Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Butler, and Harris. It also adds to the second-unit by providing additional frontcourt depth. The Sixers’ entire roster and starting lineup went through a deadline overhaul, but it sets them up nicely for the future.