The Philadelphia 76ers lost plenty of trade assets when they acquired Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, but that didn’t stop them from making another blockbuster move before the February NBA trade deadline. While everyone was busy talking about New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, Sixers General Manager Elton Brand was quietly engaging in trade negotiations with the Los Angeles Clippers.
A day before the February NBA trade deadline, the Sixers traded Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler, two future first-round picks, and two future second-round picks to the Clippers in exchange for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott. Most people think that the Sixers sacrificed too many precious trade assets in their recent deal with the Clippers, but Brand strongly believes that they made the right move.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, Sixers General Manager Elton Brand revealed that he decided to be more aggressive in upgrading their roster after seeing the growth of rising superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Brand is very optimistic that their current roster has a strong chance of winning the NBA championship title in the 2018-19 NBA season.
“Joel Embiid, seeing his growth. Ben Simmons, seeing his growth,” Brand said.
“They’re rapidly improved over the past season. The window is now. Our opportunity is now. So once I saw that window, we discussed taking a shot at it now, because who knows how long this window is going to be open.”
Source: 76ers get Tobias Harris from Clippers in 6-player deal https://t.co/RPr7oUxROw— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) February 6, 2019
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons may still be young, but they have proven their capability to go hand in hand with other superstars in the league. However, in order to fully dominate the Eastern Conference and end their title drought, Elton Brand knew that he needed to surround Embiid and Simmons with quality players. Like Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris is still trying to make himself fit with the Sixers’ system.
However, his first two games as a Sixer showed that the team made the right decision to engage in a blockbuster deal with the Clippers. In their recent victories against the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers, Harris established an impressive performance on both ends of the floor. As of now, Harris is averaging 18 points, seven rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 57.7 percent shooting from the field and 62.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
If the core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and J.J. Redick improves their chemistry and remains healthy throughout the season, the Sixers will likely become a huge headache to any powerhouse teams in the league, including the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors.
On Tuesday night, the Sixers will have the chance to test their new-look roster against their Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics, at Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia.