Predicting the Sixers rotation after the James Harden trade

Tyrese Maxey, Nicolas Batum - Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrese Maxey, Nicolas Batum - Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sometime in the early hours Tuesday morning the Sixers and Clippers agreed on a trade centered around James Harden. All through this saga surrounding Harden reports have been that the Los Angeles Clippers were the preferred destination for the 34-year-old former NBA MVP. Since Harden opted into his contract option in June, the two teams have reportedly engaged in on-again, off-again trade discussions. Let’s take a look at the pieces of this deal and what we can expect the new-look 76ers to look like with their new additions.

Los Angeles Clippers receive:

James Harden

PJ Tucker

Filip Petrušev

Philadelphia 76ers receive:

Marcus Morris Sr.

Nicolas Batum

Robert Covington

Kenyon Martin Jr.

Unprotected 2028 first-round pick (via Clippers)

Two second-round picks (via Clippers)

First-round pick from Thunder

First-round pick swap (via Clippers)

Predicting the Sixers rotation after the James Harden trade

Starting Lineup 

Point Guard: Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey has been nothing short of spectacular for the Sixers to start the 2023-2024 campaign. Maxey is averaging 30.3 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 56% from 3-point range. These numbers allowed Maxey to be the recipient of Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors. With James Harden now officially gone, Maxey is undoubtedly the man in the backcourt running the show for the Sixers.

Shooting Guard: De’Anthony Melton 

Known in NBA circles as “Mr. Do Something”, De’Anthony Melton has found ways to be a productive contributor for the Sixers regardless of the circumstances. During the 2022-2023 season (Melton’s first season in Philadelphia) he found himself in the starting lineup in 58 of his 77 appearances and averaged 10.1 points per game on the season. Like Maxey, with Harden now officially no longer with the team, Mr. Do Something seems to have a more solidified role for the 2023-2024 Sixers.

Small Forward: Tobias Harris

Harris has been off to a good start this season. He has gone for 20 or more in two of the Sixers’ three games. He has done so while being very efficient from the field. Harris went 8 of 9 in Milwaukee and 8 of 10 at home against the Trailblazers on Sunday night.

Power Forward: Marcus Morris Sr.

This is the only question mark in the starting lineup for the Sixers. With PJ Tucker now gone, who will play the other forward spot alongside Tobias Harris? There are a few names to consider including Robert Covington and Kelly Oubre Jr. However, our prediction is that Marcus Morris will be in the starting lineup most nights. Morris has been a starter for the better part of his last 8 years in the league. The Philadelphia native will look to bring some three-point shooting and toughness to the city of brotherly love.

Center: Joel Embiid

The reigning NBA MVP has been brilliant to start the season. In Sunday night’s victory over the Trailblazers, Embiid scored 35 points, hauled in 15 rebounds, dished out 7 assists, and added 6 blocks. This was the second time in the young season that Embiid scored over 30 points, as he scored 34 the previous night in Toronto.