Grade the Trade: 76ers swap All-Stars in this three-team blockbuster

Joel Embiid, James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers - Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers - Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, 76ers – Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Is DeMar DeRozan the one that can push the 76ers over the top?

DeMar DeRozan is one of the most dangerous scorers in the game. However, ever since being traded out of Toronto and its jam-packed teams, he has had a difficult time leading his clubs to win anything meaningful. From being one of the core players which snapped the Spurs’ historic playoff streak, flaming out after a sizzling start to an overachieving season for Chicago two seasons ago to eventually missing the postseason in the last campaign, DeRozan hasn’t been pegged as a winner for quite some time now.

Still, the 76ers can present him with a situation he hasn’t been in with a roster clearly capable of winning it all when all the right buttons click. Between Embiid, Maxey, him, and other battle-tested veterans, Philly can have all the tools it needs to topple the likes of Boston, Miami, and Milwaukee.

With DeRozan, the 76ers can have a true play finisher outside of Embiid who can greatly benefit from Maxey’s playmaking, which should improve with much more reps next season. The team clearly struggled in the playoffs in late stretches, an area where DeRozan’s shot creation and ability to draw fouls can come in handily.

Moreso, DeRozan has become a very good playmaker since taking on primary table-setting duties in San Antonio. He’s very skilled and efficient in pinpointing shooters on the perimeter while driving to the lane, deceptive enough to soak in the defense and hunt for an open teammate under the guise of a shot attempt. This should be very welcome to a Sixers team not bereft of perimeter threats and pot scorers.

Oh, and again, DeRozan is entering the final year of his contract. Should this rental not pay off, the 76ers can simply move on and save a ton of cap space.

However, will those be enough?