The excitement that is the NBA Trading Deadline has come and gone. The Eastern Conference is wide open, even with 30 games left in the season, however, one team was very active and added a nice new piece.
The Woj Bomb that hit NBA Twitter was a trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers that sent Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the City of Brotherly Love in exchange for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, their 2020 first-round pick, Miami’s 2021 first-round pick, and two second-round picks.
That is a lot to digest so the 76ers will have a lot of questions going into the offseason, however, the opportunity of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy could outweigh any decisions made off of the court.
They need to improve their 13-14 record on the road this season to make some noise and have some playoff experience from last year to build upon. They also might be the best team in the East to match up against Golden State in a series. However, there is still the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and even the Milwaukee Bucks that can keep the matchup from even becoming a reality.
The Sixers have a lot to be excited about as they sit in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 34-20 record as the team has just added a fourth All-Star caliber player in Tobias Harris. Harris is posting career-highs in points per game (20.9), rebounds per game (7.9), assists per game (2.7), field goal percentage (50 percent), three-point percentage (43 percent) and free throw percentage (88 percent). They also add some bench help in Scott and a backup center in Marjanovic.
However, the Clippers won the trade.
The Clippers got an excellent rookie in Landry Shamet, two first-round picks, and two second-round picks. They also proved they aren’t aiming to be a force this season with the trade that benefits them. The Boston Celtics are awarded the Clippers first-round pick this season if they make it to the Western Conference playoffs. In a competitive West, selling your biggest asset all but assures Boston will have to wait to collect.
The three expiring contracts are players that weren’t going to be on the Clippers next season anyways. Getting the highly-coveted unprotected Miami pick will help the Clippers in the long haul. It also sets the team up to go big-game fishing in July. Kawhi Leonard has been linked to LA and this gives him some assurance of a team around him if he decides to head west (and back into the United States).
Obviously, the 2021 Miami pick is just a pick and we don’t know who will even be in that draft. However, that pick could be a massive trade piece. How good will the Heat be with Dwayne Wade gone and a bunch of decent players with big contracts? With the Eastern Conference being as weak as it is right now, Miami is currently under .500; imagine once they lose the talent of Wade, Udonis Haslem, and Goran Dragic.
The Clippers are quietly building up their future and with some smart basketball minds in their front office could become a force in the West soon. Elton Brand, the 76ers general manager, showed he isn’t afraid of the big deal to acquire talent. This may not be the best move if the offseason has Harris or Jimmy Butler leave via free agency, but we have seen players be swayed by a team they were traded to and sign extensions.