The NBA’s trade window opened up yesterday, and while Daryl Morey’s arrival had given Sixers fans a hint of that ‘getting ready to head down the stairs on Christmas morning’ feeling, it’s been all quiet in Philadelphia. Now, looking at things objectively, it wasn’t realistic to expect Morey to turn garbage into gold just a couple short weeks after joining the franchise. What has been a bigger blow for Sixers fans, though, has been how nearly every transaction that has taken place seems to disadvantage or extinguish an avenue of hope for Philadelphia.
Start with Chris Paul’s imminent journey to the Valley of the Sun. Paul was looked at as the answer to Philadelphia’s half-court play-making woes, and a veteran hand to steer the offense in clutch situations. Many an “Al Horford and parts to Oklahoma City” discussion was had over the last few months. However, Sam Presti was able to get a much more alluring package from Phoenix and the CP3-Doc Rivers reunion will have to be cancelled.
Then, Process Legend Robert Covington was shipped from Houston to Portland. For fans working the trade machine for James Harden-to-Philadelphia possibilities, Lord Covington’s return to the City of Brotherly Love as part of a larger deal could help lessen those “nostalgia pains” in having to deal Ben Simmons to obtain Harden. That option is off the table now and the Rockets getting multiple first-round picks for Covington shows the asking price for Harden will be astronomical. Toss in the fact that initial reports of Harden requesting Brooklyn or Philadelphia in his trade demands were later contradicted by reports the Beard only had eyes for Brooklyn, and any Sixers wish fulfillment involving the Rockets has drastically evaporated.
Speaking of both former Sixers and guards the fan base was hoping the team would acquire, Jrue Holiday has instead been sent to Milwaukee. Not only was Jrue high up on Sixers fans’ wish list, but he has gone to the top team in the Eastern Conference. Let’s not allow the Bucks’ early exit from the Bubble allow us to forget that they were the squad the Sixers formed their current misshapen roster to contend with originally. Another roadblock to Philadelphia’s status as a contender just got even stronger.
Plus, the Bucks weren’t content with just Holiday, also setting out to acquire Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Kings. Not only does Bogdanovic provide Milwaukee with a versatile playmaking wing, but his departure from Sacramento helps open up to logjam between him and Buddy Hield. Philadelphia’s Horford-to-Sacramento for Buddy Hield aspirations have taken a hit.
I’m not upset or even particularly surprised that the Sixers haven’t done anything in the first 24 hours of the trade window. But man, why did seemingly everything have to throw a bucket of cold water on our speculative hopes from the previous few months? Tomorrow’s NBA draft comes at the perfect time to get me back into that positive Morey mood.