The Philadelphia 76ers certainly enjoyed their Christmas Day as they stormed back from a slow start and overcame the New York Knicks. After the game, however, the focus of conversation quickly changed from the Sixers’ strong performance in their eighth straight win to the possibility of the team moving on from one of their sharpshooters.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the New York Knicks have “at least talked internally” discussed the idea of trading for Sixers’ forward Tobias Harris.
Begley mentions these talks took place before the Knicks’ recent eight-game winning streak between December 4th and the 20th. Since then, the Knicks have lost three straight (all at home), including their Christmas Day loss to the Sixers, so it would not be surprising if talks reignite.
For New York, the concept certainly makes sense. The team has clear room for improvement, expendable salary to move (Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose), and expendable assets (Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish, seven first-round picks over the next three seasons).
Harris has also proven effectively that he can slide in as a quality catch-and-shoot sharpshooter. Not only that, but he’s improved his defense to the point that he can more accurately be called a 3&D player than two oft-mention potential trade targets — Reggie Bullock and Saddiq Bey.
What’s less clear is Philadelphia’s motivation. If, perhaps, there’s a third team involved, then things could certainly change, but it’s difficult to envision why the Sixers would:
- Trade Harris while the team is playing their best basketball of the season.
- Harris is playing the best basketball of his Sixers’ career.
- The Sixers would just be receiving the Knicks’ scraps.
Again, a third team could change that but thinking the Sixers could acquire a worthwhile player that the Knicks would not choose to target over Harris is wishful at best.
For now, while Tobias Harris is certainly not “untouchable,” it would be surprising, to say the least, if the Sixers were in active talks surrounding him, considering the team’s, and his own personal, recent success.