Despite failing to live up to expectations from an Eastern Conference title contender in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers still continue to believe that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are the players that would lead them back to the NBA Finals and end their decades of title drought. Instead of breaking up their young superstar duo in the 2020 NBA offseason, the Sixers are expected to search for players that could complement Embiid and Simmons and try to get rid of some of the lucrative contracts on their roster. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Sixers could hit two birds with one stone by engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Washington Wizards this fall.
In the suggested trade scenario, the Sixers would be sending a trade package that includes Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Al Horford, Zhaire Smith, Shake Milton, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2022 first-round pick to the Wizards in exchange for John Wall and Bradley Beal. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
The potential deal may appear to be an act of desperation for the Sixers, but it could actually put them closer to winning an NBA championship title in the 2020-21 NBA season. Aside from successfully dumping two underperformers who are consuming a huge chunk of their salary cap space, the Sixers would acquire two All-Star caliber players that could complement Embiid and Simmons. When both guards are healthy, Beal and Wall would give the Sixers two elite-three point shooters that would make it easier for Embiid and Simmons to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense.
It may still take time for Wall to regain his All-Star form, but while waiting for him to return to his old self, the lethal trio of Embiid, Simmons, and Beal may be enough to make the Sixers one of the top favorite teams to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year.
Meanwhile, as Swartz noted, the Wizards are only expected to push through with the trade if they finally decide to move on with Wall and Beal and plan to undergo a full-scale rebuild.
“This is the Wizards’ chance to start completely fresh without Wall’s deal looming over them, especially since they don’t know how he’ll look coming off an Achilles injury. Horford and Harris have hefty deals as well, but nothing nearly as bad as Wall’s. Thybulle has All-NBA defense potential, and Smith and Milton both carry upside as young shooting guards. Getting a pair of first-round picks should help convince the Wizards to let go of Beal, especially since Wall is going with him.”
Though it wouldn’t enable them to free up salary cap space, the potential deal would allow the Wizards to acquire assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Thybulle, Smith, and Milton could form the new Wizards core with Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Isaac Bonga, and Troy Brown Jr., while the two future first-round picks would give them the opportunity to add more young and promising talents to their roster.