Why the 76ers should avoid a deal to acquire DeMar DeRozan
For all the merits of adding DeMar DeRozan, even at Harden’s expense, there are reasons why welcoming a trade for him to land in Philly could be a huge gamble.
For starters, DeRozan is a non-factor behind the three-point line. For a starting unit led by a post-heavy center in Embiid and surrounded by a non-scorer in PJ Tucker and a hit-and-miss scorer in Tobias Harris, blending DeRozan in could be too vintage to even function properly, as it would leave Maxey as the only consistent three-point threat in the opening group.
Also, imagine the cramped space if the 76ers could the traditional yet sensible route of trying a twin-tower lineup with Embiid and Paul Reed, whom they have invested in quite a lot for the upcoming season.
Substituting De’Anthony Melton for Tucker could be viable, but the crevice that the demotion of Tucker could create is a great segway to another of DeRozan’s weaknesses: perimeter defense. His lack of defensive acuity is over-pronounced, but he is definitely not a reliable option in that regard.
As his play style is quite the demanding one physically, he simply has do not much left in the tank to be a factor on that end unless the 76ers are willing to cut off his responsibilities on offense. And offense is, well, his main selling point.
Ultimately, even without any substantial risks involved, getting DeMar DeRozan still feels like a concession for the Philadelphia 76ers, especially considering the more interesting options that could become available moving forward. Hence, even with his edge over James Harden in the availability and off-court attitude departments, it’s difficult to see this making the team improve enough with him in the mix.