After flaming out in the playoffs for yet another season, it’s clear the Philadelphia 76ers need to make some changes to get over the hump and win a championship.
Building around James Harden and Joel Embiid is a good start, but high-priced forward Tobias Harris might end up being the odd man out. This was something that was floated as soon as the team acquired Harden, and now it’s looking like it could be a real possibility.
Harris is sporting a large contract, and while he’s still a productive player, he’s essentially been relegated to the fourth option behind Embiid, Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Because of this new development, the Sixers might be better off flipping him for more pieces, and USA Today’s Ky Carlin believes a swap with the Indiana Pacers could be fruitful.
Harris to Indiana
With the Pacers retooling their roster just last season, there’s reason to believe they want to keep on tinkering.
As Carlin notes, the Pacers aren’t undergoing a rebuild, but they are in the midst of building on the fly. Pacers governor Tom Simon said as much to The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz.
“Why would we want to go through a rebuild when we can build on the go? That’s the talent,” he said.
This is why Carlin believes the Pacers could consider a swap for Harris, and it could be beneficial for the Sixers if they could get Buddy Hield in return.
“The Sixers could inquire about how much it would take to bring in a guy like Buddy Hield who would be a great fit next to Joel Embiid and Harden,” he wrote.
Harris for Hield straight up isn’t something the Sixers would take, but it’s a good starting spot as Hield would fit in well with the team. Hield’s contract is a paltry sum of $20.5 million next year when compared to Harris’s $37.6 million. The Sixers would be able to get some more pieces in a swap, and it could definitely be something worth considering.
Why Would Pacers Do It?
For the Pacers, they would be creating a Big 3 of sorts with Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner and Harris. That’s the beginning of something good if Haliburton’s development continues the way the league believes it can. If that happens, then the Pacers would be good in a hurry.
Turner isn’t guaranteed to be back on the team as there have been many trade rumors swirling around him, so there might be a different piece of the Big 3 if Indiana keeps on dealing.
There are a lot of question marks for the Pacers as they traded away one of their anchor pieces in Domantas Sabonis last season, but they presumably have a plan in place to build a competitive roster going forward. Lance Stephenson came back last year and was a good addition for them, but even that wasn’t enough to bring the Pacers back to the playoffs.
For the Sixers, it’d give the team more flexibility and hopefully fill out the bench with some depth thanks to the extra money. Hield would fit on any team in the league, so the Sixers would definitely like having him. If Philly pulled this off, they’d be looking good going through the rest of the offseason, but it’s not as simple as that.
Harris holds value around the league, but getting a team to take on his massive contract could be an issue.