Proposed Tobias Harris Trade Lands Sixers Former Sixth Man of the Year

Philadelphia 76ers, Tobias Harris

Getty Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz dribbles by Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

So far this offseason, the main theme for the Philadelphia 76ers is wing depth. First, Daryl Morey inked P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. to deals at the start of free agency. A recent slip-up on social media indicated that another three-and-D forward could also be on the way.

Since Morey traded Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies on draft night for De’Anthony Melton, the Sixers lacked playable two-way wings. Matisse Thybulle may be a two-time All-Defense nominee, but his offensive limitations have him on a short leash. Recently, the people at Bleacher Report came up with a proposed trade that will solve the Sixers’ issue at the forward position.

While coming up with simple trades that could drastically change this upcoming season, a scenario was laid out where the Sixers send Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Rudy Gay.

Bogdanovic averaged 18.1 points and hit 38.7 percent of his threes last season and should fit well in the middle of a lineup that now features Tyrese Maxey, Harden, P.J. Tucker and Joel Embiid. Clarkson is only a year removed from winning Sixth Man of the Year, and Gay helps him solidify this Philadelphia bench.

Sixers Solidify Their Depth

After acquiring James Harden at the trade deadline last season, the Sixers’ core pieces are set in stone. Philly has their big three in Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey. Morey’s primary objective for this offseason is bolstering the supporting cast around this trio. This proposed trade helps the Sixers’ depth in a big way.

As mentioned, Bogdanovic is a more than capable scorer and outside shooter. On top of that, his 6.8 three-point attempts per game adds much-needed volume shooting to the lineup. At six-foot-eight, Rudy Gay is a veteran forward who can still contribute for a team on both ends. 

Pairing Jordan Clarkson with De’Anthony Melton would give the Sixers the best of both worlds at the backup guard spots. Melton is a hard-nosed defender, while Clarkson is a microwave scorer who can rack up points in a hurry. Last season, the former Sixth Man of the Year winner averaged 16.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG off the bench for the Jazz.

Sixers Saving on The Bottom Line

Along with adding multiple depth pieces, there are other reasons why this proposed deal is beneficial for the Sixers. Most notably, it will free up a large portion of cap space moving forward.

Currently, Tobias Harris is the Sixers’ highest-paid player at $37.6 million. On top of that, Matisse Thybulle will soon be due for an extension as his rookie contract comes to an end. Dealing both players to Utah could save the team upwards of $20 million in cap space.

Shedding Harris’ contract (two years, $77 million) is a biggie for a 76ers roster about to get even more expensive when James Harden signs his next contract. It also gets them out of extending Thybulle (a restricted free agent next year) as well. Overall, this trade clears roughly $20 million off the books for next season while bringing some good talent back.

Bogdanovic will be on an expiring contract this year, while Clarkson ($14.2 million) and Gay ($6.4 million) have player options for the 2023-2024 season.

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