The deadline has passed and the dust has settled. After a major trade by the Sixers to acquire Tobias Harris, the Eastern Conference suddenly found itself in an arms race to gain as much ammunition and firepower as possible for the playoffs. After the Tobias Harris trade, the Sixers arguably had the best starting five in the league right behind Golden State. Their bench and depth were still being questioned. That might not be the case for them anymore.
Sixers Trade Deadline Recap:
Sixers have a new Big Four
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic
Los Angeles Clippers receive: Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, 2020 1st round pick, 2021 1st round pick via Miami, 2021 2nd round pick, 2023 2nd round pick
Wing help is on the way
Philadelphia 76ers receive: James Ennis
Houston Rockets receive: Rights to swap picks in 2021
The Fultz Era in Philly is officially over
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Jonathon Simmons, 2020 top 20 protected 1st round pick via OKC, 2019 2nd round pick via Cleveland
That’s a lot of moving pieces. Obviously, the biggest and most important move is the addition of Tobias Harris for the Sixers. He gives the team a legitimate “Big Four” and a shot to make it to the NBA Finals. His ability to knock down the 3-ball at an efficient rate as well as creating his own shot will be a huge boost for this Sixers offense.
The bench was already hurting before the Tobias Harris trade and despite two nice additions in Scott and Marjanovic, it was still bad. Elton Brand made some moves to improve the bench and one of them was acquiring Rockets wing James Ennis in exchange for virtually nothing. Wing depth was a major issue for the Sixers and Ennis should help in that department. He’s a 6’7 forward with the versatility to guard and play both forward spots and is shooting nearly 37% from 3 point range.
As well as landing Ennis, the Sixers picked up Jonathon Simmons and some picks in a move that saw the team finally put an end to the Markelle Fultz saga.
Simmons has been struggling this year, averaging only 6.9 points while shooting an abysmal 36% from the field and 23% from beyond the arc. Even though he’s struggling offensively, he can still provide some quality defense from the shooting guard position, something the Sixers didn’t have before. Who knows? Maybe a change of scenery with a much more talented roster will benefit him.
For a first-year general manager, Elton Brand showed that he is not afraid of shaking things up and making big moves. Aside from the trade deadline moves, he also traded away fan favorites Robert Covington and Dario Saric in exchange for star guard/forward Jimmy Butler earlier in the season.
The move for Tobias Harris really shook up the league. You saw subsequent events follow such as the Raptors trading for veteran center Marc Gasol and the Bucks trading for Nikola Mirotic. The East is shaping up to be a bloodbath come playoff time and Elton Brand and the Sixers have made sure that they are prepped, fully loaded and ready to go come playoff time.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports