Sixers: Pass or pursue on 4 proposed trades

Tobias Harris, Sixers trades Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Tobias Harris, Sixers trades Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Pass or pursue Sixers trade for Jae Crowder and Dario Saric

From Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report 

Another Tobias Harris trade, this time sending him to perhaps the Western Conference’s leading contender. And what a good landing spot that would be for Harris, whose willingness to embrace a refined shot profile would go a long way next to megawatt creative engines like Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Harris definitely makes the Suns better, or at least gives them more offensive firepower to fill in the gaps whenever injuries strike. The appeal for Philadelphia here is less clear to me. Jae Crowder’s hard-nosed defense and confident 3-point shooting would fit right in, but starting him in Harris’s place would leave the Sixers with two extremely low-usage forwards on the wing. Not necessarily problematic, but it would be preferable to maintain a little more offensive dynamism with that fifth starter’s spot (especially with P.J. Tucker currently M.I.A. on the offensive end).

Unlike the previous trades, Philly is giving up the undisputed best player. One could argue that Crowder is a cleaner fit, but he’s 32 years old and the talent gap is sizable. Meanwhile, the Sixers are also giving up a talented two-way prospect in Paul Reed and Jaden Springer, who this scribe still believes in.

That’s not to say there’s no argument to be made here: Philadelphia is essentially swapping two rotation pieces for four rotation pieces. Philly fans know good and well what Dario Saric brings to the table and he would be a suitable replacement for Reed on paper (though his strengths are vastly different than Reed’s strengths). The same goes for Landry Shamet, who played the best basketball of his young career next to Embiid in Philadelphia. Good movement shooters who can dribble a smidge will always have a place on this team. Torrey Craig, meanwhile, is a perfectly reliable 3-and-D wing who could battle with Crowder for that fifth starting spot (if it doesn’t pass to De’Anthony Melton, in which case Crowder would anchor the second unit defensively while Melton quells those aforementioned offensive quandaries).

This trade does, without a doubt, improve the Sixers’ depth in the short term. But it also dampens their top-end talent and removes the seriously promising Reed from their long-term plans (not that Philly paying Reed next summer is anything close to guaranteed). I get the argument, and frankly this trade could benefit both sides. In the end, however, I’m just not sold on Crowder as the big get here.

Final verdict: Pass

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