Two Trades for Tomorrow, January 15th

If is correct, two players become available for trades that make the following deals possible, Furkan Korkmaz and Terence Davis. I would make either one of the following deals.

But, first a word about Tobias Harris. Tobias Harris is going to be fine. Remember when Embiid was missing all of his mid-range shots and complained about the new ball? Well, Harris might be dealing with the same issue, not to mention his bout of Covid-19 which often has long lingering effects, his bout with the flu, his hip injury, his shoulder injury, his unrequested promotion from number three offensive option to number 2 offensive option and lack of a playmaker. That is plenty of factors to adequately explain his struggles so far this year. But, Harris has been remarkably consistent throughout his career. There is no reason to suspect his performance will not improve as all of these factors are mitigated.

1) Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes and Terence Davis for Ben Simmons and Shake Milton.

Davis is included simply to make the money work. He can be cut and stretched. This deal upgrades 3 positions on the Sixers. Haliburton upgrades the starting PG position; Maxey upgrades the second unit PG; while Barnes upgrades the starting SF spot and Green/Thybulle man the second unit SF spot. Barnes used to play SF. So, this plan is predicated on the assumption that he can still play there. If so, he upgrades the 3 point shooting, rebounding and scoring from the SF position. Haliburton upgrades the playmaking and 3 point shooting for the PG position. I don't pretend to know what picks might shift to which team in order to make this work.

In my opinion, Haliburton will be a near All-Star soon enough, if he isn't already. Both Barnes and Haliburton are prefect fits. Their addition makes the Sixers a strong contender for this year's championship. Haliburton provides Harris with a true playmaker to lesson his burden of creating his own shot. Barnes provides another scorer to help take defenses' focus off of Harris. The starting lineup should be awesome and the second unit will contain 2 of the Sixers' present starters. This makes the second unit much less a second unit than a first unit b, especially if Harris continues to split times with the second unit making 3/5 of the second unit present day starters. This would be a second unit that should be able to play whatever other teams throw at them and will finally stop giving up the huge leads they are regularly handed.

    2) Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield for Ben Simmons, Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton.

The same analysis as above holds for this trade except, I think, Buddy Hield is an upgrade over Milton or Korkmaz. Again, I don't pretend to know what picks might shift to which team in order to make this work. Including Hield may help get the deal done as it is suspected the Kings want to move on from him/his contract.

The first trade puts the Sixers $200K under the tax line even though they would have 1 too many players at that point. So, they could expect to be about $2 million under the tax line when all is said and done, if they keep Davis. If they cut and stretch Davis, then they would be about $2.6 million under the tax line. I would take the first trade as is but ask for a couple second round picks to make up for cutting and stretching Davis and including Milton. I view Haliburton and Barnes adequate compensation for Ben Simmons.

The second trade actually adds $7.3 million to the Sixers payroll, leaving them $13.6 million over the tax, which would be harsh. Even so, I would take this deal as is due to the greater gravity Hield will likely provide.

I would make this deal soon to let the players start acclimating themselves to each other. I would not keep Ben past the trade deadline as in the offseason he will not be the biggest, cheapest or safest star available. I would not count on a sign and trade for Harden. The idea that a player would want to leave possibly the best team in the league in the biggest market populated with friends in order to reunite with a general manager he will likely rarely see strikes me as absurd on its face. Players relocate to be on good teams, teams in bigger markets, play with friends or play with superstars. I have never heard of a player wanting to reconnect with a general manager. General managers often want to connect with favored players, not the other way around.

In any case, I hope and pray something gets done very soon.

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