Considering how the Philadelphia 76ers are seen as a team that’s “problematically light on playmaking and shooting,” a recently published list of trade ideas suggested that the organization could address these issues by acquiring veteran point guard Mike Conley from the Utah Jazz in a deal involving their starting power forward, Tobias Harris.
According to Bleacher Report, hiring a new coach to replace the recently ousted Brett Brown might not be enough to help the Sixers fulfill their potential and get far in the Eastern Conference playoffs in the coming years. Instead, the publication recommended the aforementioned trade, which would send Conley and backup forward Georges Niang to Philadelphia in exchange for Harris, reserve playmaker Shake Milton, this year’s No. 21 overall draft pick, and an unprotected 2022 first-rounder. This transaction, as noted, could also help the Sixers find a way out of Harris’ “pricey” contract, which will pay him $147.3 million over the next four years.
Talking about how the 76ers could benefit from Conley’s presence, Bleacher Report wrote that the 32-year-old seems to be slowing down at this point in his career. However, the outlet added that he could still energize offenses, provided he isn’t the featured player in the starting lineup. The former Ohio State star was also described as a versatile playmaker who could run a fast-paced offense while playing alongside Ben Simmons or a slower-paced one centered on big man Joel Embiid.
As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Conley averaged only 14.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists and shot 37.5 percent from three-point range for Utah in the 2019-20 regular season, though he notably stepped up his play in five postseason games.
Regarding Harris’ possible fit with the Jazz, if he gets traded, Bleacher Report speculated that he could potentially help the organization keep contending in the Western Conference, given that he’s almost five years younger than Conley.
“The scoring swingman is overpaid, but that’s less concerning for a non-destination market like Salt Lake City. Plus, he can help Donovan Mitchell carry the scoring load and maintain floor spacing around Rudy Gobert.”
The publication also hinted that Milton, who performed well toward the end of the regular season while filling in for an injured Simmons, has some long-term potential that he could realize if he moves to Utah. Regarding the draft picks, it was noted that the 2022 first-rounder could be used as trade bait in the event the Jazz need to part ways with Mitchell or Rudy Gobert, who were rumored to be feuding shortly after the NBA went on a four-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Per Basketball-Reference, Harris produced 19.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game for the Sixers, while Milton had a productive stint as a part-time starter, averaging 9.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.