Grade the Trade: 76ers swap All-Stars in stunning blockbuster proposal

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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James Harden, Jrue Holiday – Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

Why trading for Jrue Holiday isn’t worth it for the 76ers

In truth, this deal contains almost zero caveats for the Philadelphia 76ers. Holiday is the perfect third star whom teams will kill to acquire, and the flexibility he presents due to the structure of his contract tranquilizes any sort of downside there could possibly be in the prospect of snagging him via trade.

However, the biggest con of this proposal is that it’s criminally unrealistic. Sure, the sudden, yet silent ultimatum given by Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Bucks franchise could forcibly prompt its front office to go bigger in their next star hunt, but Holiday isn’t even expected to be a near-impediment to that cause. If Milwaukee desires to go for a grander swing, they could already do so by moving on from Khris Middleton or Brook Lopez, not Holiday.

There’s also virtually zero reason for the Bucks to even desire Harden. While he’s a better offensive player, he’s less consistent, less available, and substantially worse at defending and accepting a shredded-down role than Holiday. Trying to trade for Harden could also be a perceived step-back for Antetokounmpo, as the 34-year-old has sort of become a symbol of dysfunction in recent years.

To wit, should the Milwaukee Bucks engage the Philadelphia 76ers themselves about a potential James Harden-Jrue Holiday swap, then the latter should and would gladly accept without a modicum of hesitation. Unfortunately, it would take a lot of bad things to happen for the former to even consider such route, making this trade proposal yet another Hail Mary.

Grade: N/A (A+++ if the Bucks somehow implode and engage the 76ers)

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