The most out-of-nowhere big deal of the 2019 NBA trade deadline came between the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers. L.A. sent borderline All-Star and free-agent-to-be Tobias Harris to Philly in a package that netted them two first-round draft picks, including an unprotected 2021 pick via the Heat.
The full details:
76ERS GET: Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic
CLIPPERS GET: Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, Philly’s 2020 1st-round pick (protected), Miami’s 2021 1st-round pick (unprotected), Philly’s 2021 2nd-round pick, Detroit’s 2023 2nd-round pick
Wow . What a bold trade by both teams.
The Clippers are in eighth place in the deep West, so trading their best player for what essentially amounts to two future picks and a prospect is quite atypical. It signals the team’s desire to chase big-name free agents this summer, though the deal does not actually clear any additional long-term salary. It does, however, avoid a tricky dilemma with Harris’ future and secures two prime draft assets that could be used to add more young talent ... or they could be packaged to trade for another star. Hello, Anthony Davis?
The 76ers, meanwhile, have pushed nearly all of their Process chips to the table and now have a juggernaut on paper. A starting lineup of Harris, the recently acquired Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and J.J. Redick looks imposing, and Philly can use the buyout market to replenish the depth lost in their two massive midseason deals. But keeping that quintet together — if they even mesh as expected down the stretch, which is an open question — is about to become incredibly expensive, since three of the five are free agents this summer. Is this the best payoff The Process could have sprouted? Was now the right time to go for it?
Scroll down for all the latest analysis on the deal, as well as some previous news items that helped set this trade in motion. For more local coverage, check out 76ers site Liberty Ballers and Clippers site Clips Nation.