The Sixers finished second in the James Harden sweepstakes, as the three-time scoring champion was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a 4-team trade Wednesday evening.

The Houston Rockets were reportedly asking for Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and picks for James Harden, but Daryl Morey and company, declined.

While allowing the Nets to acquire James Harden may be a tough pill to swallow, the Sixers still have plenty of time and options to look at as the season moves on. Before the recent losing skid due to Seth Curry’s positive Covid test and corresponding contact tracing, the Sixers still have not lost a game with their full starting lineup of Simmons, Curry, Green, Harris, and Embiid.

Because of this success, it would not have been very reasonable for the front office to give up so early on a starting lineup that is extremely successful this early on in the regular season.

Despite Harden exiting the trade market, there are still a few stars that could be available around the trade deadline for the Sixers.

Bradley Beal

The star the Sixers should now turn their attention to, and closely monitor is the Bradley Beal situation in Washington.

Beal has been a walking bucket for the Wizards, averaging 35 points a game this season on an underperforming Wizards team.

The Sixers saw firsthand what Beal could do this season, scoring 60 points here in Philly back in late December.

Beal was arguably the biggest all-star snub last year, averaging 30.5 points and 6.1 assists a game. With the Wizards starting the season at 3-8 and Russell Westbrook out for an extensive period of time, Washington may find themselves dangling Beal on the trade market.

By the time the trade deadline comes on March 25th, the Sixers will have plenty of time to evaluate the current roster, and most importantly, Ben Simmons fit with Joel Embiid.

Zach LaVine

Another name to watch is the Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine. LaVine is another shooting guard capable of going off for 50-plus points on any given night, averaging nearly 28 points a game. Chicago is in the midst of a rebuild and could look to get younger and more draft picks.

A trade for LaVine would most likely need to include Tobias Harris, which remains to be seen what kind of value a rejuvenated Harris has on the trade market.

Kyle Lowry

The final star that may be available is Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is entering his final year of the contract, and with the Raptors playing below expectations, the Raptors may look to get any value they can for the former Villanova star. Lowry does not come with eye-popping stats, averaging 19 points, 6 rebounds, and close to 7 assists a game, but does everything that does not come up in the box score.

The NBA champion is a tough Philly-raised player, that could provide toughness and three-point shooting for the Sixers.

If the Sixers continue their pre-Covid outbreak strong start, the Sixers could look to keep the core together and strengthen the backup four spot with the likes of Rockets PJ Tucker or our old friend from the Bulls, Thaddeus Young. 

While it was controversial to let Harden go to the Nets, the Sixers still have many options to look over in the next two months.

Featured Image: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
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