The fourth and final Tobias Harris trade I created is between the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls. Chicago is a team that is looking to make some changes and this could be one of a few that follow. One of those could be moving Lonzo Ball’s contract due to his continuous knee injury setbacks. Philadelphia is looking to shed the Tobias Harris contract in its last season. That is where these two franchises can meet in the middle with a trade.
A trade that would send Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Derrick Jones Jr. to Philadelphia and Tobias Harris, Jaden Springer, and two second-round picks (‘24 via NYK and ‘29 via POR).
The trade allows both Chicago and Philadelphia to get off negative value contracts and bring some immediate value to their team. Philadelphia acquires a reclamation project in Lonzo Ball due to his chronic injuries, a solid two-way player with athleticism in Alex Caruso, and a hit-or-miss three-and-D wing player in Derrick Jones Jr. Ball did not play at all in the 2022-2023 season and possibly may not play this upcoming season. Trading for him would be a sort of long-term swing at guard.
Caruso has been one of the best perimeter defenders in the league for the past few years. He gained the reputation within the midst of the Lakers’ bubble championship and has continued to do that in a Bulls uniform. Caruso was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team alongside other elite defenders like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jrue Holiday. Caruso can step into Philly as their best point-of-attack defender on ballhandlers. The sixth-year player can also provide some offensive spark as he recorded shooting splits of .455/.364/.808 this season.
Derrick Jones Jr. is just a salary thrown into the deal but can be a productive player. His string-bean frame at 6’6 with long arms and leaping ability can contribute in transition, off of backdoor cuts, and on defense. Jones Jr. would most likely be used throughout the season at random times or get buried on the bench. Always useful to have an athlete of his caliber on the bench.
Philadelphia would make this move to get off of Tobias Harris’ contract, acquire a two-way guard in Alex Caruso, and a potential low-risk-high-reward bet in Lonzo Ball. Chicago would make this move to get out of owing Ball the final year of his salary in his recovery year. With that, the Bulls could always bring him back if they decide to.
The only reason I see Philadelphia saying no to this deal is the worry that they can’t do anything to help Lonzo Ball’s injury and that pushes Chicago to pull out of the deal. The other reason I can see Chicago not agreeing to do that is they would have to break up the trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic.
The Tobias Harris time in Philadelphia is soon coming to an end one way or another. It could be one of these trade ideas or another that floats around NBA conversations when trade guys are brought up. One thing is for certain, Tobias Harris trade rumors will be persistent throughout the NBA’s rumor mill up until the NBA Draft.