After acquiring Jimmy Butler earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers engaged in another blockbuster deal days before the February NBA trade deadline. On Wednesday, the Sixers sent Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, and multiple future draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott.
By adding Tobias Harris to the core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and J.J. Redick, most people believe that the Sixers now have the best starting lineup in the Eastern Conference. However, the lack of depth remains as one of the biggest issues for the Sixers. To boost their second unit, Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation suggested that the Sixers may consider trading for Trevor Ariza of the Washington Wizards before the February NBA trade deadline.
After losing John Wall in a season-ending injury, the Wizards are no longer considered as a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. With Trevor Ariza’s contract set to expire after the 2018-19 NBA season, trading him now will be the Wizards’ best option than losing him in free agency without getting anything in return.
“Gauging Markelle Fultz’s value on the market is nearly impossible right now, so maybe either side would have to throw in some type of protected pick. But this trade seems to work on both ends. Philadelphia has expedited its championship window, and Fultz doesn’t fit it. In swapping Justin Patton — who doesn’t play — and Fultz for a vet like Trevor Ariza, the Sixers can get the bench depth they need to supplement a top-heavy roster. Ariza defends the perimeter and shoots well, and has proven to fit seamlessly just about anywhere. This move pushes them further towards a title.”
At this point in his NBA career, Trevor Ariza will surely love to play for an NBA team that has a real chance of contending for the NBA championship title. Ariza will be an incredible addition to the Sixers, giving them a reliable scoring option in their second unit as well as a veteran with championship experience. In the 24 games he played with the Wizards, the 33-year-old small forward is averaging 14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals on 38.5 percent shooting from the field and 31.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The deal will not only be beneficial for the Sixers but also for the Wizards. In exchange for Trevor Ariza’s expiring contract, the Wizards will be acquiring a young and promising talent who could be part of their long-term future. Markelle Fultz may have failed to live up to expectations from a No. 1 overall pick in his second season in Philadelphia, but a change in scenery could help him revive his basketball career.