Grade the Trade: 76ers acquire Lauri Markkanen and shake up the NBA in wild pitch

The Philadelphia 76ers trade for Lauri Markkanen and shake up the NBA in this wild proposal. Let’s grade it.
76ers, Lauri Markkanen
76ers, Lauri Markkanen / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

Why Philadelphia should go all-in and trade for Markkanen

Daryl Morey recently said that their offseason plan revolves around making the 76ers the best team in the league. That particular comment raised a lot of eyebrows, especially since the team seems to face a huge deficit in contrast to the Celtics, the reigning NBA champions, and even the Knicks, which are now being catapulted into the tier of contenders thanks to their latest flagship addition.

Realistically speaking, it would be hard for Philly to stand up to those teams without a third star who can help shatter the glass ceiling. With someone of that archetype like Lauri Markkanen, though, the 76ers’ prospects as a collective would instantly get boosted.

Markkanen, who is just on the early stage of his prime, is a near-perfect fit next to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. While his numbers could decline in a more secondary role, his offense is widely predicated on spot-up shooting and off-ball movement, making him an ideal bailout gauntlet next to two, high-usage stars.

Trading McCain, a promising rookie, four first-round picks, and a couple of second-rounders is definitely a steep price, but as the Mikal Bridges trade exhibited, it’s expensive to build a contender. Fortunately, the 76ers brass appears to be willing to do everything it can to bring a third star to Philadelphia.