The days leading up to the NBA trade deadline are no time for sleep, as the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers have proven. Just a few hours into Wednesday morning on the East Coast, the two teams made a big trade that will send Tobias Harris to the Sixers.
The full deal sees Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott heading to Philadelphia, while the Clippers acquire Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler and a handful of picks. They'll get the Sixers' 2020 first-round pick, as well as the Miami Heat's highly coveted unprotected 2021 first-round pick, which the Sixers obtained at the draft last summer. In addition, the Clippers will get the Sixers' 2021 and 2023 second-round picks.
This is a trade that will have huge ramifications around the league, both this season and moving forward.
First of all, it gives the Sixers yet another high-level player. Harris is in the midst of a career-year, putting up 20.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while shooting over 42 percent from downtown. Many felt he had a legitimate case to make the All-Star team for the first time in his career.
He's a perfect fit for the Sixers' starting lineup, and along with Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid, the Sixers now have arguably the most talented group in the Eastern Conference. They'll have big decisions in the summer, when Butler and Harris are both due for free agency, but for now, they're going to be really good.
As for the Clippers, this likely derails any hopes they had of hanging onto a playoff spot out West. Led by Harris and Lou Williams, they've put together a solid season, and at 30-25 had a one-game lead over the Sacramento Kings for the eighth spot following Tuesday night's action.
They should fall off, though that's probably not a bad thing for them anyway. They weren't going to make any noise in the playoffs, and this deal furthers their rebuild plans. For one, they should get another late lottery pick this season assuming they miss the playoffs, and they've acquired a plethora of picks in the deal. The Heat's 2021 unprotected first-rounder, in particular, is a big-time pick-up. Plus Shamet has shown some signs of being a solid rotation player as well.
Whether they keep the picks, or try to parlay them into a blockbuster trade of their own, the Clippers are nicely stocked for the future -- one which they hope includes some big-name free agents, as they'll have plenty of cap space in the summer, especially now that they don't have to worry about re-signing Harris.