While the teams above them get ready to stand pat or just contemplate a trade deadline move, the 76ers have acquired Tobias Harris.
While NBA fans anticipate the other Los Angeles team making a big trade, and other top Eastern Conference teams consider moves, the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers have come together. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers has agreed to send forward Tobias Harris, center Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott to the 76ers for guard Landry Shamet, forward Wilson Chandler, forward Mike Muscala, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 unprotected first-round pick and two second-round picks.
Harris is having the best season of his career, averaging 20.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor and over 43 percent from 3-point range. In his final act as a Clipper, Harris had 34 points and hit the game-winning shot against the Charlotte Hornets Tuesday night.
Harris is set to become a free agent this offseason. So along with the earlier addition of looming free agent Jimmy Butler, 76ers general manager Elton Brand has been aggressive early in his tenure. But there seems to be a plan in place to create a “Big 4” this summer, with Butler and Harris being kept around with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
There has already been a bit of rumored turmoil between the 76ers and Butler, who may have his eye on a big pay day outside of Philadelphia when he inevitably opts out and becomes a free agent this offseason. In that case, Harris is a nice contingency plan if Butler leaves.
Philadelphia currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference, six games back of the top seed Milwaukee Bucks but just one game back of the No. 3 seed Boston Celtics. The No. 4 seed Indiana Pacers are also just one game ahead of the 76ers, and they are very vulnerable without Victor Oladipo for the rest of the season.
As the Celtics linger on the periphery of the Anthony Davis trade talk, powerless to make the move as long as they have Kyrie Irving, the 76ers are loading up for a run this year with an early plan to keep a core four together going forward.