Celtics Should be ‘Concerned’ of Potential Sixers Blockbuster Deal, Says Insider

Daryl Morey

Getty President of basketball operations Daryl Morey

In the January 6 episode of The Celtics Collective podcast, NBA insiders Sean Deveney and Steve Bulpett discussed who could potentially be the biggest threat to the Boston Celtics if they acquired LeBron James from the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I think that LeBron James coming to Boston is not in the offing. But fill in the blank. The Celtics should be most concerned about ‘this team blank’ getting LeBron James in a trade. What would be the worst-case scenario if you’re a Celtics fan?” Deveney asked.

Bulpett explained why he believed the Philadelphia 76ers would be the team the Celtics should be most concerned about if they got their hands on James.

“I suppose Philadelphia,” Bulpett said. “I mean, it would be fun to be a fly on the wall to see and be James Harden and LeBron sitting at lunch at Chick-fil-A and discussing their basketball world. But look, if Philadelphia gets its head together, right? And now that Maxey is back, that’s an interesting team. Yeah, you’ve got three legit major players – Embiid, Harden, Maxey, and you’ve got some really interesting pieces to go around them, you know, Tobias Harris. This could be a team to keep an eye on.”

James is ineligible to be traded this season because of the contract extension he signed last summer, but if the Lakers decide to trade him this coming offseason, the Sixers could put themselves in the mix.

Sixers Have ‘Taken Calls’ About Harris

According to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, the Sixers have talked to teams that are interested in Harris, though they are not trying to trade him.

“(T)he one player that’s always had to adjust is Tobias Harris. Sometimes he gets ten or more shot attempts, a lot of times, he doesn’t, but he’s the one who’s asked to sacrifice the most. So, with that being said, Philly has definitely taken calls on Tobias. That’s what I do know. I don’t think they’re actively trying to trade Tobias, but they’re open to listening. You know, this is Daryl Morey we’re talking about, you know, he’s one of the most creative guys we have at executing, you know, trades that may be complicated for most,” Haynes said.

Harris is in the fourth year of a five-year, $180 million contract he signed with the Sixers in 2019. This year, he’s slated to make $37,633,050. With only one year left on his deal, Harris’ contract could be appealing to teams trying to shed some salary.

Proposed Trade Sends Harris and Maxey For Bradley Beal

On January 4, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons proposed a trade on The Bill Simmons podcast that would send Harris and Maxey to the Washington Wizards for Bradley Beal.

“I wonder if there’s a Philly trade,” Simmons said. “This is a good ‘who says no’: Maxey and (Tobias) Harris for Beal. And I think Philly would say no, even though if I told you you could have (Joel) Embiid, Harden, and Beal on the same team a year ago, that would’ve seemed insane.”

Beal is in the first year of a five-year, $251 million extension he signed with the Wizards this offseason. The Wizards are 17-23 and are currently the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. If things don’t improve from there, trading Beal might be their next move, but it has yet to be reported if he’s available.