Replacing Harden with VanVleet and 4 other wild moves 76ers should try this summer

Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers, Dillon Brooks (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

3. Sign Dillon Brooks with mid-level exception

If the 76ers do not trade for a wing, they should look to acquire one in free agency. They finished eighth in the NBA in defensive rating last season, but P.J. Tucker is 38 years old and De’Anthony Melton is only 6’2. Joel Embiid is one of the best defenders in the world, and the Sixers may have the best defense in the NBA with an upgrade on the wing.

Brooks is an elite defender with the size to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, and Jimmy Butler. The 76ers must go through those three teams if they are winning the Eastern Conference, and they need a defensive stopper on the wing to improve their odds.

Signing Brooks at the mid-level exception comes with the caveat that they can convince him to play his role. He cannot hijack the offense and take unnecessary shots. New 76ers head coach Nick Nurse could bring the best out of him, but it won’t be easy. Brooks believes he should average 18 points per game, but can he do it efficiently?

Dillon Brooks is the best free agent wing in the Philadelphia 76ers’ price range. Can they convince him to come to the City of Brotherly Love to play next to Embiid? It would certainly be wild considering Brooks’ history of trash-talking and technical fouls.