Trades for marquee players —- despite how pervasively tackled they are by the media — rarely truly flesh out in the middle of the season. But to be perfectly candid, that exact scenario is one the Philadelphia 76ers should be familiar with. After all, it transpired to the franchise just 20 months ago when a certain player brought his undeniable flair and egotistical drama to the City of Brotherly Love.
Banking on a repeat of that script this time is being too rosy, but the 76ers are poised to be in that same boat. After all, considering the crest of assets the front office managed to extract out of he-who-must-not-be-named alongside those they already had on deck, many have envisaged Philadelphia as the team slated to be on a shopping spree in the midseason trade market.
Why the Philadelphia 76ers are the favorites to trade for this marquee player
One player widely believed to be available for plucking sooner than later is Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell. He and his camp have already reiterated that a contract extension this season is out of the realm of possibility, giving a tremendous amount of pressure to the franchise to come to toerms with their star next summer.
However, Mitchell re-upping with the Cavs is far from a lock. Most teams with optionality or the necessary financial leeway can make a play for him via free agency in 2025 or through a trade before that time. Sans tangible playoff success, Cleveland faces the risk of him potentially leaving the franchise for nothing or for relatively little in account of their impending lack of leverage as things currently stand.
Where do the 76ers factor into this? Well, Philly is already laying the groundwork to be a key player in the transaction sphere through either trades or free agency. Put simply, the franchise has what it takes to trade for Mitchell. And their ability to poison pill the Cavs and cajole them into at least a discussion makes them the favorites to acquire the explosive guard through a blockbuster swap.
After all, a Big Three consisting of Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Donovan Mitchell would be a troika that would easily alter the NBA landscape and perhaps elevate the 76ers as the team to beat in the East. Hence, should even a minuscule crack presents itself between Cleveland and Mitchell, count on the Philadelphia 76ers to try and create a crevice and pounce on the opportunity.