With the NBA Trade deadline fast approaching the Philadelphia 76ers may have pulled off the deal of the moment. The 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have reached an agreement on a blockbuster deal, reports ESPN. The Philadelphia 76ers acquire Tobias Harris from the LA Clippers.
Sources: Clippers and Sixers have agreed to trade Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-rounder, 2021 unprotected 1st via Miami and two second rounders.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers agreed to trade Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the 76ers. In return, the 76ers send Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, a 2020 protected first-round pick, an unprotected 2021 first-round pick (courtesy the Miami Heat) as well as two second-round picks.
This move vaults the 76ers back into the category of NBA Championship contender. Rookie general manager Elton Brand has shown himself to be fearless when it comes to improving his team. It was just last November that Brand shocked the basketball world and traded for All-NBA player Jimmy Butler. Harris, like Butler, is a free-agent at the end of this season. The 76ers have gone all-in for this season and boost their version of a Big 4. This Big 4 consists of Harris playing alongside Butler with All-stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
In Harris, the 76ers fill a need of a fifth capable starter in a big way. With Harris presumably replacing Chandler as the starting power forward, the 76ers substituted replacement level player with an all-star caliber one. Harris is in the midst of career year, boasting highs in Player Efficiency Rating (18.5), True Shooting Percentage (60.2 percent), a three-point percentage of 42.2 and Effective Field Goal Percentage (55.6). Most notably Harris is currently fifth in the NBA in minutes played and in the top 20 in minutes played per game.
This transaction frees up enough salary-cap space to sign two max salary players. There were rumblings of the Clippers front office being reluctant to re-sign Harris at his perceived market value. This is due to the Clippers’ eminent ambitions and aspirations with respect to the upcoming free-agency period. Clippers President Lawrence Frank and general manager Michael Winger expects to pursue Toronto Raptors star, Kawhi Leonard. He is one of several all-star caliber players Frank and company will pursue this off-season.
Looming in the background is also the prospect of landing superstar Anthony Davis via trade. While this move is geared towards the summer, one cannot overlook the possibility of the Pelicans organization being satiated by the Clippers assets collection. This is contingent on the Pelicans willing to trade Davis before the Thursday trade deadline.
With the Bobi and Tobi show now in the city of Brotherly Love, the NBA landscape changes yet again. Brand and the 76ers brain trust shows yet again that they mean business and will go all out to keep their Big 4 intact this off-season. Frank and his team now have the flexibility to lure big-name free agents to Los Angeles during free agency, as well as chase the Mobi Dick of this trade period. Suddenly teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are not so comfortable anymore.
Los Angeles Clippers Tobias Harris (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)