3 best Tobias Harris trades for Sixers, with or without Ben Simmons
Joel Embiid is playing arguably the best basketball of his life right now, and it would be a shame if Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers allow this season to go to waste. Morey needs to find “The Process” some help, and this likely comes in the form of a Ben Simmons trade. However, Morey might not be done at that point. Rumors are swirling that Tobias Harris could also be moved, either in a separate trade for a better-fitting player, or as part of a blockbuster trade with Simmons. Without further ado, let’s get into the two best Tobias Harris trades, along with the best Harris-and-Simmons multi-team blockbuster deal.
Tobias Harris Trades
Trade #3: Harris to New Orleans
Tobias Harris, Shake Milton and a first round pick for Brandon Ingram
The New Orleans Pelicans are going nowhere fast right now, and they will likely need to trade Zion Williamson at some point. Tobias Harris is a difficult player to build around because he is a jack of all trades, master of none. He’s an above average player who is average to above average in every skill, but he is not quite an elite player and he is not elite at any one particular skill. If the Pelicans had the ability to start a true rebuild, they would be able to better build a roster where Harris would be able to complement their young players. Also, Harris has veteran experience and is the consummate professional. This experience and leadership would provide invaluable benefits to the young players on the next contending roster in New Orleans.
Shake Milton is a lot more than just a throw-in as part of this deal: In the right system, he can be an effective player. He is ideally suited as a third or fourth option, somebody who can reliably convert catch and shoot looks from deep while scoring off the dribble when the situation presents itself. Although the draft pick will likely be in the mid-20s or later (something has gone seriously wrong in Philadelphia if this pick ends up being anywhere near the lottery), this is still a useful asset to find a quality contributor, whether that be a fourth or fifth starter to complement the next wave of stars, or a high-quality sixth man to lead the bench unit. New Orleans can use their early picks, plus whatever they could get from a separate Zion deal, to land a duo or trio of stars, and then this first round pick could be used on a player with a specific skill set that benefits the overall roster and who fits well with the stars.
For Philadelphia, Brandon Ingram is an elite scorer who scored with efficiency and, because of his length and shot-making abilities, is open even when he is covered. Those players are rare, and Ingram is one of them. He has improved his three-point shooting over the course of his young career, both in terms of attempts and percentage. A volume three point shooter who is also a three-level scorer and always open is an extremely valuable commodity, and Ingram has defensive potential as well. A versatile wing, Ingram can play either the three or the four, and he would fit in very well in Philly.
Trade #2: Harris to New York
Tobias Harris for Kemba Walker and a first round pick
In this trade, both the Sixers and Knicks are offloading contracts they may not want. Kemba has seemingly fallen out of favor in NYC, and the Knicks would be happy to move on from him. Harris is younger, and this would clear up the glut of talent in New York’s backcourt. Immanuel Quickly and RJ Barrett can have room to shine, and Harris can step in as a wing alongside Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.
Meanwhile, the Sixers can actually use Kemba. Although he is certainly not without his flaws, Walker provides an off-the-bounce scoring game that will complement Joel Embiid, and Kemba can also be a closer for the Sixers down the stretch, something they haven’t truly had since Jimmy Butler left for Miami. Because the Sixers are taking on the more burdensome contract, they also obtain a first round pick for their trouble.
Trade #1: A three-team blockbuster
Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Darius Bazley and Philly 2023 FRP to New Orleans
Tobias Harris, a future NOP FRP and Philly 2025 and 2027 FRPs to Oklahoma City
Brandon Ingram and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to Philadelphia
This is the best deal for Philadelphia, and there is something in it for both New Orleans and OKC.
DeVonte Graham has shot 37% from three point range the past two seasons, averaging 8 attempts per game one season and 9 attempts per game the other. Even if the Pelicans don’t want to commit to a full-on rebuild, Graham is exactly the kind of point guard that Ben Simmons needs to be successful. Shake and Korkmaz are both excellent shooters who have been featured in some of the better lineups with Simmons. They could also prove valuable bench contributors pending a potential separate Zion trade that brings back a star shooting guard or wing. Bazley is young and provides stretch-four or even small ball stretch-five potential, which would further perfect the roster around Simmons. For all his publicly noticeable shortcomings, Simmons surrounded by four shooters is a lethal threat. This deal would help jump-start the rebuild in New Orleans, and potentially put the Pelicans on the fast track to contention.
Oklahoma City, meanwhile, has no plans to contend anytime soon. Sam Presti is happy to continue stockpiling draft picks, and he adds three more to his treasure chest in this deal. He might even be able to let Harris put up empty stats on a bad team for the second half of this season and then flip him to a contender for more assets this summer or next year at the trade deadline.
The Philadelphia 76ers are able to build the final version of their contending roster after trying many different adjustments since the Markelle Fultz situation. Philly’s starting lineup now looks like this: Tyrese Maxey, SGA, Matisse Thybulle, Brandon Ingram and Joel Embiid. Maxey, SGA, Ingram and Embiid all provide quality-to-elite offense, Thybulle and Embiid provide elite defense, and Maxey and Ingram have above-average defensive potential as well. This roster could gel in half a season, come out of the Eastern Conference and win the NBA Finals as early as this summer, while also potentially forming a dynasty for years to come.