Proposed Trade Swaps Tobias Harris for $215 Million All-Star Guard

Tobias Harris

Getty Tobias Harris

Even though James Harden is still technically on the Philadelphia 76ers, all indications are he’ll never play for them again. If and when he gets traded, the Sixers must consider who his replacement could be. Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey floated a trade that could help the Sixers manage Harden’s departure by acquiring Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine.

Bailey proposed the following trade between the Sixers and the Bulls.

Sixers receive: LaVine

Bulls receive: Tobias Harris, 2029 First-Round Pick swap, 2030 First-Round Pick

Bailey then explained why the Sixers would agree to a deal like this, specifically citing how one particular strategy they execute does not prove to be effective in the postseason.

“This deal might lower the Sixers’ ceiling a bit defensively, and an offense-boosting move may seem unnecessary for a team that was third in points per 100 possessions last season. However, the playoffs again proved that Joel Embiid and Harden’s foul-baiting isn’t quite as effective outside the regular season.

“Having another option who can get buckets without being overly reliant on trips to the line would’ve helped the Sixers in the second round against the Boston Celtics.”

LaVine is entering the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract with the Bulls and has made two All-Star teams. Though he’s a talented scorer, LaVine does not have much playoff experience to his name, having played only five games total in the postseason.

Sixers Have Discussed Zach LaVine Trade

On July 7, Bulls Insider K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported that the Sixers are among the teams that have talked to the Bulls about potentially acquiring LaVine.

“The LaVine trade chatter isn’t going away. In fact, league sources said that LaVine has landed in preliminary conversations with both the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers, who are working with James Harden and Damian Lillard, respectively, to find them new homes.”

LaVine is not the player Harden is, but he isn’t the worst idea as a replacement if and when the Harden situation gets resolved. LaVine has proven he can score, and he’s not too shabby of a playmaker, averaging more than four assists a game since 2018.

That’s not the same level of playmaking that Harden provides, but the Sixers have to consider that with Harden likely out of the picture soon, they may not have better options out there than LaVine.

Derrick Jones Jr. Mentioned as Sixers Target

Adam Aaronson of The Rights to Ricky Sanchez explained why Philly native Derrick Jones Jr. could be a good option for the Sixers.

“I believe the best wing still available in free agency is Chester, Pennsylvania native Derrick Jones Jr., a high flier who can conceivably play either forward spot — and even man the middle in an especially small lineup against the right team. Jones Jr.’s athleticism and frame are excellent, enabling him to become a quite useful defensive player,” Aaronson wrote.

While delving into Jones’ issues, Aaronson added how the Sixers could resolve that issue.

“There is a catch here, though: Jones Jr.’s only consistent offensive ability is as an alley-oop threat, which is not an ideal primary offensive utility for someone who is listed at 6-foot-5. In the last three seasons, he has taken just 4.3 three-point attempts per 100 possessions and has only made 32.5 percent of them.

“Non-shooters or poor shooters can absolutely cement themselves as viable rotation players in the right contexts. New Sixers Head Coach Nick Nurse could foster an environment in which Jones Jr. can succeed, as he has a documented affinity for tremendous athletes dragged down by suspect skill sets.”