The second option features some more creativity as it is a three-team trade between the Sixers, the Sacramento Kings, and the Toronto Raptors. The Sixers in this scenario would be the connector between Sacramento and Toronto. Philadelphia has the incentive the facilitator in this deal because of Toronto’s willingness to take on the final year of Tobias Harris’ contract.
If the Sixers decide to trade Harris, then they will need to replace his abilities, production, and overall size. Harris is a big body in the NBA. He’s long been classified as an oversized small forward, a small-ball power forward, and a big wing. That is where the idea of trading for power forward Harrison Barnes comes into play. Barnes is a veteran like Harris who had some of the bad habits has currently but that was earlier in his career.
Barnes has bought into the role that keeps him receiving opportunities in the NBA. The swingman with a decade’s worth of time in the league plays a connector-type role who can attack closeouts, knock down three-pointers, run the floor, and play defense. Barnes and Harris are the same age so there’s no worry about bringing a contributor that is old, think P.J. Tucker, and Barnes has less juice to create offense for himself.
The other incentive of this is that Sacramento would need to trade someone in their backcourt because of the incoming wing players in Anunoby and Trent Jr. That is where Davion Mitchell gets involved. Mitchell is developing into an exceptional two-way guard but found his role diminished in Sacramento this season.
Thanks in large part to not improving enough as a shooter from beyond the arc. Mitchell shot 31.6 percent from three in his rookie year and pushed it up to 32 percent this past season. The slight improvement was not good enough to outlast the competition that he and guard Terence Davis were having for minutes over the season. Davis was the better shooter from downtown as he shot 36.6 percent this season.
Philadelphia would do this deal because the team receives two players that can play on the wing and have defensive versatility. Possibly two role players that provide a better cast and flow for the core of the team. Toronto does this deal to get those two first-round picks, which are high-quality currency in the NBA. Sacramento makes the move to take a swing and show everyone paying attention that they are here to stay in playoff contention and eventually championship contention.
Looking at this from an objective lens, there are reasons why each team says no. Philadelphia could say no to giving Barnes that much and would rather just have Harris’ deal expire or deal him in the season around the trade deadline. Sacramento could say no because it is too much for O.G. Anunoby specifically. Toronto says no because their organization believes two first-round picks and a salary dump in Tobias Harris is not enough for one of the better wings in the NBA.