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Which draft picks can the Sixers offer ahead of the 2024 NBA trade deadline?

The James Harden trade helped to replenish the Sixers’ draft-pick war chest.

Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

After accumulating draft picks like they were Pokemon during the Process years, the Sixers began slowly hemorrhaging assets. They traded a top-six-protected 2025 first-round pick to dump Al Horford onto the Oklahoma City Thunder a few years ago, and they sent two first-rounders (including a top-eight-protected 2027 pick) to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden.

That left the Sixers in dire draft-pick straits heading into this past offseason.

Because the Sixers had already traded protected 2025 and 2027 first-rounders, they were subject to the Stepien Rule, which prohibits teams from being without a first-round pick in back-to-back drafts. That meant they could only trade their 2029 or 2030 first-rounders (not both), and both would have the “at least two years after…” conditional language in case the 2025 and 2027 picks didn’t convey in those years. (Teams aren’t allowed to trade picks more than seven years in the future, so the Sixers can’t trade picks beyond 2030 until next year’s draft.)

The Sixers did acquire two second-round picks when they sent Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers at last year’s trade deadline, but they were otherwise largely devoid of second-rounders, too. The NBA stripped their 2024 second-round pick as part of the tampering penalty for P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr., and they traded their 2025 and 2026 second-rounders for George Hill in 2021. Their 2027 and 2028 second-round picks are tied up conditionally—they’ll convey those to OKC and Brooklyn, respectively, if they don’t send a first-rounder due to protections—which means they only had their 2029 and 2030 second-rounders to offer in trades.

To recap: Before trading Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers on Halloween, the Sixers could offer one first-round pick (either 2029 or 2030) and four second-round picks (2024 NYK, 2029 POR, 2029 PHI, 2030 PHI) in trades. Thanks to the Harden trade, they now have two additional first-round picks, a first-round pick swap and two more second-round picks to dangle.

The most straightforward of the bunch is the Clippers’ unprotected 2028 first-round pick, which should be a highly valued asset around the league. Although the Clippers have pulled out of the tailspin that began with Harden’s arrival in L.A., they’re built around three oft-injured players on the wrong side of 30, all of whom can become free agents this summer. Even if the Clippers manage to re-sign all three of Harden, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, they’ll be heading into their age-38, age-37 and age-36 seasons, respectively, in 2027-28.

The Clippers are opening their own arena next year, and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is one of the richest people on the planet, so no one should expect them to turn into the 2023-24 Detroit Pistons over the next half-decade. However, they’re largely devoid of proven, young talent, and they have only two first-round picks between now and 2028 (both of which OKC has swap rights on). Shorting their long-term future isn’t a bad gamble, whether for the Sixers or any team that acquires the Clippers’ 2028 unprotected first-rounder.

As part of the Harden trade, the Sixers also acquired a 2026 first-round pick from either the Clippers, Thunder or Houston Rockets (the worst of the three). They can now either offer that pick in trades as well, or they could offer their own 2026 pick, although the latter is already tied up in the conditional 2025 first-round pick that they owe OKC. If they don’t convey their 2025 first-rounder (protected 1-6), it rolls over to 2026 instead (protected 1-4). That means the Sixers can only offer their 2026 pick to another team if it’s protected 5-30—in other words, it wouldn’t convey unless it falls in the top four. Given the likelihood of that being a “fake” first-round pick, teams likely wouldn’t consider that a high-value asset.

The Sixers can still offer either their own 2029 or 2030 first-round pick—they also have the right to swap 2029 first-rounders with the Clippers as long as the Clippers’ pick isn’t in the top three—and they acquired a 2029 second-round pick from the Clippers, as well as a 2024 second-round pick from either the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz or Cleveland Cavaliers (likely Toronto).

That brings their total haul to this for now:

  • 2026 LAC/HOU/OKC 1st (worst of the three) OR 2026 PHI 1st (protected 5-30)
  • 2028 LAC unprotected 1st OR 2028 PHI 1st (protected 9-30)
  • 2029 PHI 1st (if 2025 and 2027 picks convey in those years) OR 2030 PHI 1st
  • 2029 LAC 1st swap (protected 1-3)
  • 2024 NYK 2nd
  • 2024 TOR/IND/UTA/CLE 2nd (likely TOR)
  • 2029 LAC 2nd
  • 2029 POR 2nd
  • 2029 PHI 2nd
  • 2030 PHI 2nd

On the night of the 2024 NBA draft, the Sixers will gain even more flexibility. They’ll be allowed to trade their own first-round pick after they make it—although they can agree in principle to move it before they’re on the clock—and they can trade their 2031 first-rounder after the draft is over, too. However, since their 2025 and 2027 first-round picks are already tied up conditionally, the Sixers would have to put conditional language on their 2029 and 2031 first-rounders if they trade those. (They’re free to trade their 2030 first-round pick regardless since the pick they owe Brooklyn is guaranteed to convey by 2028 at the latest.)

The TL;DR version: The Sixers can trade up to three first-round picks and six second-round picks between now and Feb. 8 trade deadline. On the night of the 2024 NBA draft, they could trade up to five first-round picks and seven second-round picks. That isn’t an OKC-esque war chest—the Thunder have an unprecedented 15 first-rounders (!) and 22 second-rounders (!!) over the next seven years—but that should get the Sixers in the door of most trade conversations regardless.

Who to spend those picks on will be the question that keeps Daryl Morey, Elton Brand and the rest of the Sixers’ front office up at night for at least the next month.

Unless otherwise noted, all stats via NBA.com, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball Reference. All salary information via Spotrac or RealGM.

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