How the Tobias Harris commerce shakes up the NBA

4:09 AM ET Tim BontempsESPN PHILADELPHIA — In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, what already has been a...

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How the Tobias Harris trade shakes up the NBA

PHILADELPHIA — In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, what already has been a wild NBA trade deadline acquired one other increase when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Philadelphia 76ers accomplished a blockbuster deal with the LA Clippers for ahead Tobias Harris.

The full deal — Philadelphia getting Harris, middle Boban Marjanovic and ahead Mike Scott in change for ahead Wilson Chandler, guard Landry Shamet, middle Mike Muscala, Philadelphia’s 2020 first-round choose, the Miami Heat‘s unprotected 2021 first-round choose and two second-rounders — has wide-ranging implications across the league.

Here’s a fast rundown:

1. Philadelphia’s star-laden beginning 5

By including Harris — and never sacrificing any of their high 4 gamers to take action — Philadelphia now has a beginning 5 of Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler, Harris and Joel Embiid. The solely crew that may evaluate to them within the league at this level are the Golden State Warriors. After this transfer, Philadelphia can at the very least dream about reaching within the NBA Finals this June.

Harris is the best piece to fit in subsequent to Philadelphia’s different stars. He’s a terrific shooter (hitting 43.Four p.c of his 3-pointers this season, and taking pictures simply lower than 50 p.c general) and may slot in tandem with any of Philly’s stars — one thing that may matter drastically because the Sixers are going to be trying to find loads of depth. But Philadelphia ought to have the ability to have a minimal of two, if not three, of those 5 on the ground at anyone time, which may also help mitigate these depth points.

2. A full-scale seek for a bench

Even after making this transfer for Harris, Philadelphia remains to be staring on the obtrusive weak point it had earlier than doing this deal: athleticism off the bench. Scott will substitute Muscala because the crew’s backup energy ahead (the place he is really a greater match), whereas Marjanovic will give them an intriguing look in opposition to larger backup massive males and Jonah Bolden can presumably get spot minutes in opposition to smaller ones.

Among backup guards and wings, although, right here is Philadelphia’s present assortment of gamers: T.J. McConnell, Furkan Korkmaz, and injured guards Markelle Fultz and Zhaire Smith. Assuming Philadelphia would not flip Fultz into gamers who may also help now — and coach Brett Brown mentioned Tuesday Fultz is not anyplace near returning — count on the Sixers to be a heavy participant for any guard on the buyout market that springs free. Wesley Matthews is the obvious title, however some other that pops up will instantly garner curiosity. Corey Brewer is also more likely to make a return to the roster as soon as the deadline passes.

3. Clippers retooling … and resetting

One of the questions executives across the league have been pondering over the previous a number of weeks is the Clippers’ course on the deadline. Facing the opportunity of handing over their first-round choose in the event that they make the playoffs, would the Clippers really go for it? Or would they as an alternative pivot and use their many fascinating gamers on expiring offers to web future belongings?

LA selected the latter. And doing so netted the Clippers an unimaginable haul in all of those picks. That would not even embrace Shamet, who has been probably the most nice surprises from this rookie class.

Now the Clippers will have the ability to proceed into the summer season with their plan to land a pair of star free brokers (led by Kawhi Leonard, their high and more than likely goal) whereas additionally not having to fret about the opportunity of shedding out on their backup plan in Harris, who was probably to attract heavy curiosity himself as soon as free company started. It additionally provides to their coffers for a possible commerce for a star both now, this summer season or past.

4. The race to the highest of the Eastern Conference simply bought more durable

Assuming Philadelphia is ready to pull this off and maintain Simmons, Butler, Harris and Embiid collectively long-term, the Sixers needs to be a risk within the East for years to come back. More importantly, they clearly are going for it this season.

The query now’s how do the opposite contenders — the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks — react? The Bucks have probably already made their massive strikes, whereas the Celtics have to attend till the offseason to make the swing they have been plotting for years — attempting to land Anthony Davis. (Note: The Clippers virtually actually lacking the playoffs additionally signifies that Boston should wait to see if it could actually get their choose in 2020. If the Clippers miss the playoffs this season and subsequent, that first turns into two second-round picks.)

That leaves the Raptors because the crew more than likely to counter with an aggressive transfer, and it will not be a shock if Toronto does one thing important between now and Thursday afternoon.

The Raptors have each incentive to go for it this season. Leonard is a free agent and Toronto has all the time needed to play catch-up to attempt to persuade him to remain. Masai Ujiri has by no means been scared of creating a transfer. If the Raptors can discover the appropriate transfer stays to be seen, however do not count on them to let the deadline cross with out turning over each risk.

5. The race to the underside of the Western Conference simply bought simpler

This also needs to clear the trail for the No. eight seed to go to the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings or Minnesota Timberwolves. Even if the Clippers would possibly have the ability to hold within the race with out Harris, it is arduous to think about they may cease promoting now. And in the event that they do proceed to strip away gamers from the roster, they will guarantee they slip down the standings.

However, the Lakers, Kings and Wolves will all be pushing to make the playoffs. The Lakers are nonetheless chasing Anthony Davis however misplaced by 42 factors to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. They may very well be lively whether or not they get Davis or not, and already traded for Reggie Bullock to offer them a defensive presence on the wing. The Kings — the NBA’s largest shock this season — would appear to now solely be extra decided to get a small ahead to assist cease the league’s longest playoff drought.

And whereas Minnesota suffered a brutal loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, the Wolves are only one.5 video games behind the Lakers. Make no mistake, both: The Wolves would completely like to make the postseason after firing Tom Thibodeau earlier this season.


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