Proposed Trade Sees Sixers Offload $180 Million Star for Elite Shooter

Tobias Harris Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers.

After a long and winding summer of free agent signings and draft-night trades, the Philadelphia 76ers are just one month away from the season’s tip-off on October 18.

The Sixers have undergone a flurry of overhaul, including the additions of four new players: De’Anthony Melton, Danuel House, PJ Tucker, and Montrezl Harrell. The team also said goodbye to Danny Green, who spent the last two seasons in Philadelphia.

Armed with stronger bench versatility, a few swaggering “dawgs,” and superstars in Joel Embiid and James Harden, the Sixers look primed to compete for a title. But there’s still one player who is sitting on the hot seat heading into the season: Tobias Harris.

Harris is a solid contributor — 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game last season — but is also earning more than both Embiid and Harden next season. His $37.6 million next season and $39.3 million in 2023 are on par with the league’s high-end stars. But, if that stat line from last season wasn’t a clear enough indication, Harris simply isn’t one of the NBA’s premier stars. Further, freeing up that much space would do wonders for the Sixers’ ability to add more talent to the roster.

That contract is a real kicker in trade negotiations. But it hasn’t stopped Andy Bailey at Bleacher Report from cooking up a proposed trade involving the former Tennesee Volunteer. Here’s what Bailey proposed on September 19 in a deal between the Sixers and Indiana Pacers:

The Deal: Tobias Harris, a 2028 first-round pick swap and a 2029 first-round pick for Buddy Hield

At first blush, it might look like the Sixers are giving away tons in future assets for just one player in Hield who’s never played a minute of playoff basketball. But a second look reveals just why each time would say yes to this trade.

Why the 76ers Say Yes

Bailey laid out a compelling case for Philadelphia. While he acknowledged that Hield likely lowers Philadephia’s defensive floor, it unquestionably raises the team’s offensive ceiling.

“Philly has more than enough high-end scoring with Joel Embiid and James Harden,” Bailey wrote. “Filling out as much of the rest of the rotation as possible with shooting should be the aim (it probably is, given this offseason’s moves).

“Hield is four inches shorter than Harris and probably limits the team’s defensive ceiling a bit more than Harris, but he’s one of the best high-volume three-point shooters in league history.

“He’s tied for third all time in career threes made per game, and his career three-point percentage is a well-above-average 39.8.”

The Sixers already boast one of the league’s top shooters in Tyrese Maxey. The youngster is coming off a season where he shot 42.7% from deep. Add in PJ Tucker’s prowess for corner triples and the team could feature a scary mix of paint dominance in Joel Embiid and shooting pop.

But it’s the potential to unlock the Sixers’ big man that could really seal the deal on this trade for Philadelphia.

The Trade Could Unlock Joel Embiid

In Hield, the Sixers get a player they’ve desperately lacked since the Ben Simmons trade: the roaming shooter.

It worked gangbusters to have JJ Redick whiz around Embiid while the former was a Sixer. And more recently, having Seth Curry fill a similar role opened up the offense in a special way. But Redick is retired and Curry is suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets.

But Hield could fulfill a similar role. Hield shot 39.1% off of catch-and-shoot threes last season. Imaging a world where Embiid or Harden drives to then kick out to one of PJ Tucker, Buddy Hield, or Tyrese Maxey on the perimeter is pure magic.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x