The 2019 NBA trade deadline did not disappoint for local teams in the Northeast. After the Knicks started things by dealing Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, the Philadelphia 76ers just made a move that could change their season.
Late Wednesday night, the Sixers acquired forward Tobias Harris from the LA Clippers in exchange for a number of players and draft picks. The move cements Philly as a very real contender to win the Eastern Conference.
Finals or bust
With the move, Sixers’ management is showing they are completely all in on this season. Trading for Jimmy Butler early on was crucial, but the plan is to keep Butler under contract for next year and beyond.
Harris becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season as well, so it’s likely that the Sixers gave up a good amount for what will only be a few months’ rental. Tobias will probably be looking for a max contract this summer and the Sixers already have plenty of guys to pay.
That being said, it’s a great trade for both teams and Philly is now among the favorites going forward in the Eastern Conference.
Currently, Philadelphia sits in fifth place in the conference, but is only a game out of third. With a starting five of Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Joel Embiid, Butler and Harris, no team is going to want anything to do with this group come playoff time.
Harris is the gem
In a deal with a bunch of players and picks, Harris is the best addition. He’s been one of the most underrated players in the entire league for a while now and of course he was just snubbed from making this year’s upcoming All-Star Game.
This season, the 26-year-old is averaging 20.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting a ridiculous rate from the field. He’s hitting at 49.6 percent overall and an even crazier 43.4 percent from deep.
Harris is a more-than-capable offensive weapon and will give Philly another impossible defensive assignment for opposing teams to account for.
His three-point efficiency will be huge for the Sixers to help spread the floor and create space for Simmons and Embiid inside. Harris just might be what Philadelphia needed to get to the next level and be a true Finals contender.
Rest of the deal
For Harris’ talents, the Clippers received Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, along with two first-rounders and two second-rounders. The one pick originally came from Miami and looks to have significant value as it holds the Heat’s unprotected 2021 first-round selection.
The Sixers also get big man Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott.
As Philly is looking to move forward in 2019 with this move, the Clippers are now trending downward. Despite being five games over .500 and currently holding a playoff position in the highly competitive west, LA has chosen to ship one of its best players to strengthen its future outlook.
This can’t come as too big a surprise. Even though the Clippers are enjoying a solid season and are even ahead of the rival Lakers, they know their chances of actually winning a title this year are quite slim.
The gambling effect
Philly’s odds to win the NBA title moved at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas from +1600 to just +1000 after the trade. In New Jersey, futures odds for the Sixers are +1200 at FanDuel Sportsbook and +1400 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Look for those odds to continue to dip if this team can get on a roll.
After getting a taste of the playoffs a year ago, the Sixers could be primed to make some noise this June.