Proposed Trade Has Sixers Sending Out $180 Million Forward For Process Favorites

Tobias Harris, Sixers

Getty Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball against Landry Shamet #14 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on March 27, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the 76ers 114-104.

The NBA trade season is heating up as the pack is beginning to separate for which teams are looking to contend and which may be better off trading away talent. December 15th is a date circled on many general managers’ calendars as this means that players signed this summer are now eligible to be traded. Rumors are already beginning to emerge and Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report did his best to connect the dots and suggest some deals that make sense for each team.

One deal he proposed involved the Sixers and the Suns. The deal had Philadelphia sending out Tobias Harris, Paul Reed, and Jaden Springer in exchange for Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet, Dario Saric, and Torrey Craig. As Swartz put it:

Another potential home for Harris is in Phoenix, where the absence of Crowder and a recent knee injury to Cam Johnson have opened up a hole at power forward.

Adding Harris as a pick-and-pop veteran who can rebound and pass makes the Suns even more of a title threat, especially since Chris Paul is finally starting to show his age.

Philly splits Harris’ contract into bite-sized pieces and picks up some quality role players in the process.

Crowder would likely take Harris’ starting spot, while Shamet, Saric and Craig bring three-point shooting, playmaking and defense to the Sixers’ second unit,” per Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report.

Why This Trade Makes Sense For Sixers

Harris has been a common name to pop up in trade discussions in recent weeks as well as dating back to previous years. While he gets too much criticism at times, it is fair to assess he is not perfect for the role the Sixers need him in. Harris has done an impressive job reinventing himself as a three-and-D style wing, but this is not his most natural style of play.

In exchange for Harris, Reed, and Springer, the Sixers would be adding four notable players to the bench rotation. Crowder is a Philly-tough style of player but could be a little repetitive next to Tucker. Crowder is a much more willing shooter (career 4.5 3PA and 7.9 FGA compared to Tucker’s 1.6 3PA and 3.2 FGA this season), but still is not quite the versatile defensive glove the team is still missing.

The addition of Craig could solve these issues. The 31 years old stands at 6’7″ and is a solid athlete who plays with a high motor. He is a nice role player who tends to make the right reads and contributes to winning basketball. In the 18.9 minutes per game he is averaging throughout his career, Craig has produced 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assists while shooting 33.8% on three-point attempts.

Both Saric and Shamet would be welcomed back after starting their careers in Philadelphia during the bleak years of The Process. Shamet would provide a nice shooting pop to the Sixers’ roster as he is a career 38.9% three-point shooter on 5.1 attempts per game. His ability to shoot off movement would be an intriguing addition to the roster. It would be frustrating to give up Bball Paul after the strong string of play, but Saric has also flashed the ability to be an effective backup big man both with the Sixers and on the Suns before he tore his ACL.

Could Harris Actually be Moved?

It has become an annual tradition for Harris to see his name mentioned in trade rumors. The veteran has been traded four times already in his career with the Sixers being his fifth team in the NBA. There is one season remaining on his contract following this season and has a $37.6 million cap hit for this year which is notable when looking at potential trades.

Harris, who has been the ideal veteran and leader on the team during his tenure, has not allowed the trade noise to bother him. As he put it when speaking to Ky Carlin of SixersWire, “What upper management and whoever wants to do, I’m truly grateful and thankful for what I do and the impact I’m able to have on this group and the guys on this team. I enjoy being here and everything else outside of that, I don’t let it affect me. I just go and hoop and worry about how I can control everything I can control in this situation.”

While the Harris rumors are sure to heat up as the trade deadline approaches, the Sixers will need the Tennessee product’s production in the meantime. With James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey each set to miss time, Harris’ production is essential to the Sixers’ success. He put this on display during the previous victory over the Nets where he led the team in scoring with 24 points. Hopefully, this continues moving forward and the trade rumors are worth monitoring.

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