Would you say the Sixers’ overall roster construction is better following the trade?
Bill: “Yes, absolutely. I think Kelly Oubre has proven that he’s not going to be a starter. I don’t think he’ll be a starter in the foreseeable future. I think he’s best served coming off the bench. They’ll have to find that guy to replace P. J. Tucker, but I really think they have a better roster because you don’t have the distraction of James Harden. James Harden really took away from the play of Maxey and Tobias Harris. He controlled the ball way too much. And now with Harden out of there, you see the flow on the offensive end with Maxey and Tobias Harris. I could see the Sixers as a three or four-seed (with the current roster). I mean, the East is a lot tougher than it was a few years ago. You have Cleveland, who is an up-and-coming team, and watch out for the Knicks. It’s not going to be easy to secure a three or four seed. Do they have the players? I think they do. But again, the East has been getting a lot tougher and teams are better. It used to be that the West was top-heavy with talent. I think the East is catching up to the West and may pass the West. So that’s to say they will be a third or fourth seed. At the same time, that is a tall order and it all depends on Joel Embiid and his commitment to winning a championship”.
Francisco: “I would actually say no because I still think Harden and Embiid make sense together, even paired with Maxey and Tobias Harris. I truly don’t think roster construction has ever been a huge issue with The Sixers in years past, more of a mental toughness and competitive grit issue in the postseason, which much of this team, especially Embiid and Harden have lacked in their careers”.
Seth: “On paper, in terms of roster construction and depth for the Sixers I really do think that it benefits them. I have always been a James Harden guy and believe he was quite clearly the best player not only in the deal but also would have been the Sixers 2nd best player aside from Joel Embiid, but the emergence of Tyrese Maxey and his uptick in scoring and ability to play make at a higher level have given the Sixers more options to explore and work with. Adding Roco, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris Sr, and KJ Martin gives them not only more depth off the bench but also the ability to stretch the floor more as opposed to having James Harden dribble the air out of the ball and PJ Tucker providing next to no threat offensively. All in all, this trade should allow the Sixers to be more creative with Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid, along with giving guys such as Furkan Korkmaz and Jaden Springer the chance to carve out roles for themselves as well”.
In conclusion, the James Harden trade sent shockwaves throughout the NBA and sparked varied reactions from fans, analysts, and insiders alike. Only time will tell if the trade works out for both sides, as the Sixers and Clippers embark on a new chapter in their storied franchises.