Tobias Harris Trade: Two Months Later, Did 76ers or Clippers Win Deal?

Tobias Harris Warriors Mavericks free agency

Getty Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris

When it comes to who won the Tobias Harris trade between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers, the easy answer would be that it’s still to be determined. But two months removed from the deal, that’s not going to fly even if the winner has shifted back-and-forth a bit. Both teams managed to benefit from the trade, but for very different reasons, making it even tougher to nail down an official winner.

Beyond that, there’s a lot left to be sorted out for both the Sixers and Clippers this season and also in free agency. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the parameters of the deal which shook the NBA trade deadline when it happened back in early February.


Tobias Harris Trade: Terms of Deal Between 76ers & Clippers

Tobias Harris 76ers trade

GettyPhiladelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris and center Boban Marjanovic

The trade was revealed in the early hours on February 6, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers acquired Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott. In return, they sent Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, two first-round picks and two second-round picks to the Clippers.

Following the original terms, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne broke down the first-round picks Philly traded in the deal. She cited that they were two pretty big ones, including Miami’s unprotected 2021 selection and their own 2020 pick which is lottery protected for three seasons. The unprotected pick was a highly-coveted one and went a long way towards proving that the Sixers were going all-in on winning now with this trade.

Wojnarowski also cited that the second-round selections will be in 2021 and 2023 to round out the deal. But the key aspect of this for the Sixers is what the future looks like with Harris.


The Argument for Clippers Winning Tobias Harris Trade

The Clippers are gearing up for a huge offseason which could feature at least one high-profile free agent and the potential addition of some big names to an already-talented roster. But even after dealing Harris, who was arguably their best player, they still made the NBA playoffs and are giving the Golden State Warriors trouble through the first two games.

The fact that the Clippers picked up the four picks, have salary cap to work with this offseason and added an expiring contract in Chandler is solid. It’s also worth noting that the team proceeded to flip Muscala to the Los Angeles Lakers and added a young big man in Ivica Zubac, who’s played a decent role for them.

Along with all of that, the addition of rookie guard Landry Shamet can’t be overlooked. The Sixers selected Shamet with the No. 26 pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft and he had a decent role over 54 games prior to the trade. But with the Clippers, he’s seen his role expand in a big way.

Through the 25 regular season games Shamet played with Los Angeles, he averaged 10.9 points, 2.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 27.8 minutes per game. He’s also made 45 percent of his 3-point attempts and has proven to be a strong option on the offensive end.


The Argument for 76ers Winning Tobias Harris Trade

It’s hard to argue with the fact that the Sixers picked up Harris, who averaged 18.2 points and 7.9 rebounds and proceeded to finish the year with a 51-31 record. But there’s more to consider than that just that for Philly’s side. This is where a bit of the “to be determined” aspect comes into play because the Sixers could crash out of the playoffs early and then lose Harris in free agency.

If Philly is unable to at least make a deep run and they also lose Harris, then they’ll immediately lose this trade. But if they can win a title and/or keep the 26-year-old small forward this offseason, then it’ll either be a win or will be trending rapidly in that direction.

For good measure, the additions of Marjanovic and Scott have made an impact for the team’s second unit. Marjanovic has done a great job not only filling in when Joel Embiid has missed time but also has provided a solid inside presence off the bench, averaging 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds over 13.9 minutes. Scott has averaged 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds but has seen his role increase as the season rolled on.

Pegging a winner is tough at this point. Considering the Clippers made the playoffs, added a solid piece for the future in Shamet along with the four picks, paired with uncertainty still for the Sixers points to Los Angeles as the current winner. But don’t be surprised if that changes in the coming months based on how the playoffs and offseason play out for Elton Brand and company.

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