Former 76ers star says team should avoid trading for a third star this season

Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris
Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers fired off an early blockbuster trade this season with the well-documented James Harden trade, but following their masterful job at extracting maximum value for the disgruntled star, many have penciled in the team to remain in the hunt for a third star via trade eventually.

On the interim, the 76ers have fared well enough to remain in the upper tier in the Eastern Conference, showcasing a much more dynamic style of play that has so far maximized the talent on the roster from Joel Embiid still playing at an MVP level, Tyrese Maxey breaking out in Year 4, Tobias Harris putting together his most efficient season yet, and Philadelphia having an almost nightly expo of unsung heroes.

Former 76ers star thinks the team does not need to trade for a third star

As a result, a retired cager who knows how the 76ers operate from the inside thinks they should avoid trading for a third star altogether. Lou Williams, who donned Philadelphia’s colors from 2005 to 2012, recently dished out his take on the franchise’s anticipated star-hunting on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back segment.

"Philadelphia’s right there in the mix of being a top-three, top-four team in the East, I think they’re going to stay pat right there, so with that said, you don’t really want to shake that tree. You don’t really want to create too much difference in the locker room by trying to bring in another guy."

Lou Williams

Lou-Will added that the 76ers should ride it out with Tobias Harris, who, to his credit, has posted a very strong season so far as the team’s third option. So far, the 13-year veteran has tallied 18.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game on 52.5 percent shooting from the field. Clearly, he has been a silent, yet highly effective operator for Philly.

"And you have one [a third star], you’ve got Tobias Harris. He’s giving them 18.5 points, that’s a third star to me. If he can bottle that up, be consistent, I think you’re in a great spot for your basketball team."

Truth be told, hoarding big names at the expense of quality depth has rarely panned out in the NBA. And if the 76ers will have to dispense their solid collection of role players — potentially in addition to Harris and some draft capital as a sweetener — for a third star, the front office should seriously consider the benefits of simply staying the course, at least for this season, and bank on the prospect of the squad being consistently great.

After all, if the franchise badly wants a facelift, it can just wait until next year’s free agency when the front office can pursue some big names without the attendant jettisoning of useful assets which a trade requires.

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