5 stars the 76ers could target following Harden trade
3. Zach LaVine — SG (Chicago Bulls)
Thanks to Joel Embiid being Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey accelerating his growth this season, the 76ers remain a lethal offensive team despite trading James Harden. Still, a three-game sample size is far from enough to imbue permanence onto that statement, meaning that the team will need even more to be a sustainably good team with a high playoff ceiling.
One name that Philadelphia has been linked up with before is Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, who has continued his solid play this season despite his team’s clearly limited ceiling as a playoff threat this season, if they are even on that realm to begin with.
The Bulls severely need a reboot, as a LaVine-DeMar DeRozan-Nikola Vucevic troika is simply too flawed to be endorsed as bona fide threats. Trading LaVine, who is signed for at least three more years, will give them the most value to prompt a rebuild, but do the 76ers have the infrastructure to warrant a phone call from Chicago?
First of all, the fit may not be immaculate, but LaVine should thrive in a 76ers offense where he only has to be a play finisher on the primary. A Maxey-LaVine backcourt will arguably be the most lethal scoring-wise and possesses a lot of intrigue due to both players’ dynamic play styles. There are little to no impediments in this regard.
Chicago, however, may demand significant draft compensation from Philly’s brass. The franchise has the ability to perhaps match that price, but the deciding factor could be the 76ers’ willingness to live and die with the Maxey-LaVine-Embiid triumvirate in the East for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, they cannot afford to be in a conservative position at this point in time.