Grade the Trade: 76ers get young All-Star forward in this tempting proposal

76ers, Joel Embiid, James Harden - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
76ers, Joel Embiid, James Harden - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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76ers, Brandon Ingram, Joel Embiid (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The 76ers getting Ingram for Harden would allow the 76ers to win now and build

Brandon Ingram has been one of the better forwards in the league for quite some time already. Despite that, he’s still only 25 years old and his better, prime years should be ahead of him.

Last season, Ingram logged 24.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per contest for New Orleans, which narrowly missed the playoffs in large part due to injuries that kept him out for 37 games amid Zion Williamson already missing 53 outings. Still, Ingram emerged as a capable No. 1 option for the Pelicans, spearheading the team in scoring and playmaking on a nightly basis.

Hypothetically, Ingram would slide in seamlessly as the starting small forward for the 76ers, allowing Tobias Harris to move to his more natural position and carving out a prominent role without necessarily sapping valuable time on the ball from Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. Alas, he can also play the 4 and 2 at times, providing the ever-creative Nick Nurse with a malleable all-around player who can wear different hats when needed.

Still under contract for two more seasons, Ingram also offers some more insurance for the 76ers than James Harden while still giving the team the financial flexibility it needs to build the roster for the future.

Hence, even if Ingram doesn’t pan out, Philly can offer him in trades next offseason and opt to hunt for other big names that could fit their robust budget, especially if the manage to find a take for Ingram’s then-expiring deal.