Last week I opined the Sixers 5 worst trades dating back to the 2015-16 season.

Those misses were detrimental to this franchise, but these hits have helped to offset some of their impact.

Let’s review where the front office got it right.

5) Tobias Harris // 2/6/19

Harris is quite a polarizing player among fans, and quite frankly the jury on this overall trade is still out with two 1st round picks yet to be made (2020 and 2021). Based on those picks, Elton Brand could look better or worse. However, the current reality is Harris has continued to produce as an effective complement to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. In his first full season with the team, Harris has put up 19.4 PPG on 36% shooting from beyond the arc.

Although Harris’ contract is quite expensive for the foreseeable future, he increases the team’s chances of winning a championship more than any other asset Brand gave up to get him. 

4) Josh Richardson // 7/6/19

The second trade made by Elton Brand revolving around Jimmy Butler, Brand was in a difficult spot. It feels like we’ll never truly know the truth about Butler’s free agency saga with the team, as it’s seemingly been a game of he said/he said. Regardless, it’s rare for a GM to salvage any value when a star exits in free agency, but that’s what Brand accomplished in acquiring Josh Richardson.

Unlike Butler, Richardson will remain under team control through his potential 2nd season with the team (2020-21). That extra year grants Brand flexibility to explore future trade opportunities to improve the team if he so chooses. 

3) Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, and Jason Thompson // 7/9/15

Why was this trade so good? Well, GM at the time, Sam Hinkie was able to create value out of nothing. The three players the Sixers got in return aren’t what made this trade great. It’s the fact that Hinkie basically shipped two players who never got to the NBA in Artūras Gudaitis and Luka Mitrović for a 2019 1st round pick and a 1st round pick swap in 2017 (#3 for #5).

It’s unfortunate how those picks were squandered by another GM in a different particular trade of note. However, this trade still serves as a prime example of how a great GM can find value. 

2) Matisse Thybulle // 6/21/19

Elton Brand’s headlining draft night trade from 2019 is already paying off. Matisse Thybulle has established himself as an elite perimeter defender with exceptional instincts and range. A fan-favorite, Thybulle has exceeded expectations in his rookie campaign. The pre-draft knock on him was his offensive prowess, but he’s shot a respectable 35.2% beyond the arc.

There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but his potential to grow into an elite two-way player should make fans eager for the future. The Sixers were able to acquire Thybulle by trading up with the Celtics in exchange for two players (Ty Jerome and Carsen Edwards) who have contributed a combined 0.1 win shares in 63 total games compared to Thybulle’s 1.9 win shares in his first 57 games. 

1) Shake Milton // 6/21/18

Every now and then you hit the lottery outside the proverbial draft lottery. That’s what the Sixers’ front office was able to do just a few weeks after the Bryan Colangelo burner gate drama. Trading up to 54th to take Milton, the Sixers sent #56 Ray Spalding and #60 Kostas Antetokounmpo to the Dallas Mavericks. It’s safe to say the Sixers did pretty well in this trade (unless Giannis takes his brother under his wing and transforms him into an MVP).

Shake burst onto the scene in Ben’s injury absence this season, which quite frankly was the blessing in disguise needed to allow for Shake’s showcase. In a very strong 2018 PG draft class, one could make the case that Milton is among the top-5, behind guys like Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Devonte Graham, and Collin Sexton.

All these trades have one important thing in common: they were not made by Bryan Colangelo. Current GM Elton Brand hasn’t shied away from trade opportunities to say the least, and there’s still a lot of basketball left to decide how successful Brand’s front office tenure with the team will be.

Will he ever surpass Sam Hinkie level favor? 

Featured Image: Tim Fuller/USA Today

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