A proposed Philadelphia 76ers trade from Sports Illustrated’s Eric Jay Santos would send out James Harden and return a five-time All-Star who signed a four-year, $109 million contract with the Sixers in 2019 free agency, Al Horford, as well as the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Malcolm Brogdon, from the Boston Celtics.
Santos sees the deal being a win for both Atlantic Divison franchises.
“The Celtics would boast a potential starting lineup of Harden, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis, and Robert Williams III,” Santos prefaced before saying, “Considering Boston’s three Eastern Conference Finals appearances over four years, Harden may be more willing to embrace their system over those of his previous destinations.
“On the other side of the deal, Brogdon and Horford could be meaningful pieces to the Joel Embiid-led 76ers. Their acquisition limits fallout from the inevitable departure of Harden, who’s trade value will continually deteriorate over the next year.”
Analyst: James Harden Proposal Bad for Celtics & Sixers
Hardwood Houdini’s Sam LaFrance gave the trade a “C” representing the famous Adam Silver meme phrase, “Get ready to learn Chinese, buddy.” LaFrance sees the deal is bad for both the Celtics and Sixers.
“Not only is this a terrible idea for the Celtics, who are hoping to finally capture their 18th NBA championship this season, but it’s just as bad for the 76ers,” LaFrance wrote. “If Philadelphia was to agree to this the fanbase would lose its mind. Al Horford has to be one of the City of Brotherly Love’s least favorite players in the NBA. Horford joined the 76ers in the summer of 2019 on a lucrative contract. He went on to have a very short stint there, as he was never able to get comfortable next to Joel Embiid.
“Then, he rejoined the Celtics via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder and has picked up right where he left off before leaving Boston — torturing Embiid and the Sixers in the process. (Get it?) Philly fans want nothing to do with Horford and Celtics fans shouldn’t want anything to do with Harden.”
Al’s sister Anna Horford recently took a shot at the Sixers in the wake of the Harden trade saga, showing there’s no love lost between Philadelphia and the Horford family.
“It’s almost like the entire organization is one giant, miserable s–t show,” Anna Horford tweeted.
Magic’s James Harden Proposal Among Best Sixers Options
The Magic Insider’s Kade Kimble believes that what the Orlando Magic have to offer for Harden — in his scenario a package of Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, and Gary Harris — is among the best options available.
“If the market is as bare as it seems, this could somehow be one of the best packages the team receives,” Kimble wrote of the Anthony-Fultz-Harris trio. “Fultz and Anthony are rotational-level guards, and both have seen improvements in their careers with their time in Orlando.”
Kimble sees the Magic and Harden both benefitting from such an arrangement.
“For the Magic, Harden is a short-term solution that allows the team to unload that cap space at the end of the deal,” Kimble wrote. “Harden would help the team make their playoff return and potentially rejuvenate his career to boost his value ahead of his free agency.”