Regardless of which side you align with more, it’s inarguable that the Philadelphia 76ers stand as winners in the James Harden blockbuster trade which sent shockwaves around the league. After all, the franchise managed to quash a seemingly ceaseless quagmire while receiving a stack of immediate help and useful assets down the road.
That being said, it seems like the 76ers are far from done on their heavy involvement on the rumor mill as the front office will reportedly attempt to leverage the draft capital they acquired from the Clippers to lure in a third star to complement Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. In account of that, here are five stars they could target to bolster their title bid this season and potentially in the near future.
5 stars the 76ers could target following James Harden trade
1. Mikal Bridges — SF/SG (Brooklyn Nets)
Considering how the Brooklyn Nets have seemingly enshrined Mikal Bridges as their franchise centerpiece, this one is probably a pipe-dream entry for the 76ers. After all, the 27-year-old is on a discount contract, and has shown viability as a potential All-Star this season.
However, the Nets aren’t even playoff locks in the East, and building around Bridges implies that the franchise is banking on their free agency appeal to return to contention. He’s too old to prompt a rebuild. Otherwise, Brooklyn is approaching the unenviable position of being in NBA purgatory.
The 76ers should closely test the waters on striking a potential deal for Bridges. The Nets haven’t shown any proclivity toward even trading him for a barrage of first-rounders when the offer presented itself last season, but that could change given that Brooklyn is trying to mount a competitive bid despite its limited ceiling and a floor not dwarfish enough to bottom out.
At 6’6, Bridges is a perfect fit for Philadelphia next to Embiid and Maxey. He has had success before as a third option, and his skill set especially complements those two well. He can create his own shot at all levels with above-average efficiency, almost never forces the issue, doesn’t turn the ball over much, and most importantly, he is a premiere defender who can guard four positions.