Sixers: 3 players who benefit most from James Harden trade

James Harden, Sixers (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
James Harden, Sixers (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Sixers finally did it. On Thursday, roughly one hour before the 3PM trade deadline, Daryl Morey landed his man — James Harden, who spent eight seasons under Morey with the Houston Rockets. The former MVP now joins Joel Embiid, who is currently the frontrunner to win MVP in 2022. There’s no more formidable duo in the league right now.

Any time you can add one of the premier offensive talents of an entire generation, players across the roster stand to benefit. Harden is an elite playmaking talent — averaging 10.2 assists per game — and, when healthy, very few players can trade baskets with Harden.

That said, who on the Sixers roster stands to benefit the most from Harden’s arrival? Let’s dive right in…

Sixers who benefit most from James Harden trade: Isaiah Joe

Harden’s arrival happens to coincide with the departure of Seth Curry, whose perimeter shot-making will be dearly missed. That said, it does open up quite the window of opportunity for Isaiah Joe to step up and stand out. He should (key word: should) get more opportunities now, as Philadelphia should strive to surround Harden with quick-trigger shooters whenever applicable.

Doc Rivers is still the head coach, and his general reluctance to rely on young talent is well-documented. Joe has appeared in 38 games this season, averaging 12.9 minutes per game with 4.0 points and 1.2 rebounds. His unimpressive 3-point percentage (.330) has been a disappointment, but with more consistent minutes and a chance to establish rhythm, there’s reason to believe Joe could provide immense value as a volume catch-and-shoot threat.

He will still have to battle Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz for position in the rotation, but Joe once averaged over 10 attempts per game from deep in college. He’s a gunner through and through, and Curry’s departure will ratchet up the need for shooting volume and gravity more than anything. Especially with Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle being imperfect fits next to Harden and Embiid.