Bouncing off of my article from last week, I decided to make some trade possibilities for the underachieving 76ers before the trade deadline. These are all considered “blockbuster trades” I would say, since they all include all-star caliber players of the 76ers. These players are Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris. The only reason I included these three and not Josh Richardson, was because I believe Josh Richardson is the only starter who fits amazingly with Joel Embiid. Also, these trades may not be the most realistic, but I think there is a chance these trades could happen this year.
1. Knicks acquire Tobias Harris
76ers acquire Marcus Morris Sr. and the Knicks 2023 and 2025 unprotected first round picks.
If any of these three players were to be ranked by their fit with Joel Embiid, I would have Harris be the best. Personally, I don’t think the 76ers should trade him simply because he can have those nights where he is shooting lights out from downtown. The reason I do like this trade, however, is because Marcus Morris Sr. has the 2nd highest 3-point percentage in the NBA, at 46.9%. Also, the 76ers could get two good picks for taking on a possible one year rental in Morris, so that they aren’t left with nothing if he walks. The Knicks really just need some star power, and Tobias Harris could be a nice first scoring option for this team while R.J. Barrett develops. Maybe they can form a nice dynamic duo in the future. Not sure if anything will beat Bobi and Tobi though…
2. Timberwolves acquire Ben Simmons
76ers acquire Jeff Teague and the Timberwolves 2020 and 2022 unprotected first round picks
Now, I was going to originally have a trade where Ben Simmons goes to the Pistons for Derrick Rose and two first round picks, but I feel like Jeff Teague would be a better fit. He is currently shooting 39.2% from downtown, and is also averaging 6.3 assists per game. In that case, the 76ers aren’t losing much playmaking that Ben Simmons provided, and they have a massively better shooter in Teague. Again, since he may be a one year rental, and Ben Simmons is insanely valuable, the Timberwolves should give up two first round picks. The Wolves get a playmaker with much higher potential, and maybe that changes Karl-Anthony Towns’s frustration with the team.
3. Cavaliers acquire Al Horford and Zhaire Smith
76ers acquire Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, and the Cavaliers 2023 unprotected first round pick
Quite simply, Kevin Love and Cedi Osman are perfect fits around Joel Embiid. They are shooting 38.5% and 37.9% from three-point range, respectively. Kevin Love can set screens and fade to the perimeter, or he can back down forwards in the paint. I also believe he should go back to being the third option on a contending team. Cedi Osman is a nice 3-and-D small forward. With Cedi Osman, the 76ers would have four small forwards in Tobias Harris, Cedi Osman, James Ennis, and Matisse Thybulle. However, the three bench forwards are all very versatile. Thybulle can run as the backup two-guard, and Osman can play a small-ball power forward. All three and nice wing defenders as well. The Cavaliers can take a chance on a young asset in Smith and they still have a nice power forward/center in Horford who can actually get some assists for the team.
4. Warriors acquire Ben Simmons and Al Horford
76ers acquire D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green. And the Warriors 2025 unprotected first round pick
I can already tell what you are thinking. “The 76ers lose this trade by a mile.” To be honest, I don’t think they do. They get rid of bad fits alongside Joel Embiid, and bring in a point guard who can both facilitate and shoot in D’Angelo Russell. They also bring in a veteran with championship experience who is best as a playmaker with talent around him. The reason he is struggling this year is because Kevin Durant left in free agency, Klay Thompson tore his ACL, and Stephen Curry broke his hand. He is playing with nowhere near the talent he played with last year, and it is hurting his performance. He needs a team with talent and shooters around him, and with this trade, he will have that. Also, the Warriors still get a playmaker in Simmons and a decent shooter in Horford.
Quick warning: This trade looks crazy, but trust me, it works.
5. Warriors acquire Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and James Ennis
Cavaliers acquire Zhaire Smith, Mike Scott, and Draymond Green
76ers acquire D’Angelo Russell, Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, the Cavaliers 2023 unprotected first round pick, and the Warriors 2025 unprotected first round pick
Scary right? Not really. The 76ers again give up Simmons and Horford, but they also get rid of a player who has not played at all this year in Smith, a decent wing off the bench in Ennis, and an end of the rotation player in Scott. In return, they acquire a better guard fit in Russell, a better power forward fit in Love, a good bench piece in Osman, and two first round picks. The Cavaliers pick may be a nice one since they don’t tend to bring in star free agents. Also, they take a chance on a young piece in Zhaire Smith and take a cheaper contract in Draymond Green. Kevin Love will no longer be frustrated in Cleveland and go back to his third scoring option duties. Also, the power forward position in Philadelphia gets two years younger, which means a lot being that both Kevin Love and Al Horford make similar amounts of money. The Warriors still retain a true playmaker in Ben Simmons who won’t interfere with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as he can play the “center” role in the paint.