After months of debate about whether the Philadelphia 76ers would be able to trade Al Horford this offseason and what a deal might look like, the team’s new President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey has made it happen.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the Sixers have agreed to trade Horford, a 2025 first-round pick, the 34th pick in this year’s draft, and the rights to Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson.
The Sixers are also sending the rights to Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic to the Thunder, sources tell ESPN. Micic, 26, is considered one of Europe's top point guards. https://t.co/NXEzcdyoTH— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 18, 2020
The return for Horford was never going to be exciting. It’s just unfortunate for the Sixers that they ended up putting themselves in this position by signing him last year. While Horford is better than he looked as a poor fit with the Sixers last season, he’s still a clearly negative asset as he declines into his mid thirties with three years and $81 million remaining on his contract.
This is ultimately a good trade for both teams. The fact that the Sixers only paid one first-rounder to get off a contract as ugly as Horford’s is a win (as Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice has reported, the 2025 first-rounder is protected from 1-6). Keeping this year’s 21st overall pick is another bonus, as there should be several intriguing prospects who can help them right away in that range. Losing the rights to Micic isn’t ideal, but there was no guarantee when he’d have joined the team, and keeping the price to clear Horford’s contract to just one first-rounder rather than any more is a positive.
The Sixers also get a good player who complements Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Danny Green. Even though he’s past his prime, the 33-year-old is still a positive, intelligent defender and will provide immediate help on the wing, while also strengthening the team’s three-point shooting. He’s shot 40 percent from three for his career on solid volume (4.7 attempts per game and 6.6 per 36 minutes), and has a fairly quick trigger and knows how to find space and relocate off the ball. Furthermore, if Green starts, he’ll immediately make the starting lineup a more spacious, natural fit, as Tobias Harris can exclusively play at his best position of power forward without any concerns of Horford re-entering the starting unit.
Green is also on an expiring $15.36 million deal, so the Sixers aren’t tied into any long-term financial commitment here.
Ferguson is only a throw-in, and doesn’t bring any real value. He’s a negative player and will only be under contract for next season at $3.94 million.
Meanwhile, OKC and Sam Presti continue to load up their massive treasure trove of draft picks.
Now, it’s almost time to watch the 2020 NBA Draft unfold and see if Daryl Morey has anything else up his sleeve. This is a strong start to his tenure in Philly.
Stay tuned for more articles breaking down exactly what Danny Green has to offer the Sixers and any other moves the team makes as this crazy week progresses.