The Philadelphia 76ers are going through an abundance of change.
After signing Tobias Harris and Al Horford last offseason, the franchise thought that Philly could make a run at the NBA title. Instead, the 76ers were the No. 6 seed and were bounced in the first round of the playoffs. That led to the firing of head coach Brett Brown, the hiring of Doc Rivers, and numerous questions about the future of the team.
Harris, Horford, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons proved that the players were unable to play together on the floor. That has led to speculation that one of the players could be dealt this offseason.
These three teams could make a move this offseason for one of the team’s superstar players.
Brooklyn Nets: Trade For Al Horford
The recent news that James Harden is interested in playing for the Nets has shot their stock as one of the favorite NBA picks to win the title in 2021. However, Harden is not the best fit for this team. If the Nets are going to add a veteran to this team to make them a contender, Horford is the better choice. For starters, it would allow the 76ers to gain salary cap relief if the Nets can take on the back end of the four-year, $109 million contract he signed in 2019. His $27 million salary needs to be spread around other players if the team wants to use Harris, Embiid, and Simmons as their core.
The better deal is that Horford is a well-respected veteran in the league. Durant and Irving own particular personalities, while Irving has been dubbed as a “locker room cancer.” Horford played with Irving and has his respect. He would be the vocal leader in the room and it would probably cost the Nets DeAndre Jordan and a few second-round draft picks if the team takes on his salary.
New Orleans Pelicans: Trade for Ben Simmons
The 76ers are in win-now mode, so if the team could flip Simmons for a package containing JJ Redick and Jrue Holiday, that would give the team exactly what they lack. The 76ers were not a great defending team. That’s where Holiday comes into play. Redick formerly played for the 76ers and was the outside shooter the team needed. When he left for New Orleans, the 76ers dropped towards the bottom in three-point shooting.
The Pelicans are not going to re-sign Lonzo Ball in the future, especially with the team having to choose between Brandon Ingram or him. The core of Ingram, Simmons, and Zion Williamson makes for an interesting young core that could sell plenty of seats in the future.
Boston Celtics: Trade for Joel Embiid
The 76ers are very unlikely to trade their star player to a divisional rival but listen to this idea. What if the Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward (sign and trade), and two first-round picks. The 76ers would still be competitive, while the Celtics would get their bona fide go-to player in clutch time. The idea of having Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Embiid as your “big three” has to be an idea that Celtics management has imagined.
As for Philly, the two picks could be used to shape the roster in the future, or you package those for a star next offseason. The 76ers would retain Horford, Harris, and Simmons while gaining some outside shooting and defense. The Celtics could move on from the regrettable Hayward contract. This deal has a lot of parts, but both parties actually benefit.
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