Many NBA fans think the Sixers are in far worse shape now that they’ve traded away James Harden, but their guard Patrick Beverley doesn’t think so.
The 76ers sent Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev to the Clippers for Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a 2029 pick swap and an additional first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Beverley believes that without Harden or Tucker and with the new additions, his side can still be contenders for a championship in the 2023-24 season.
“I’m a basketball player, I’ve been on teams where, you know, the Kawhi’s, the Paul George, James, the Dwights, you know what I’m saying, you need everybody,” Patrick Beverley said on the Pat Bev Pod. “But I mean, the way things are going and the way the ball is moving, and the way that, you know, you can’t really key in on one or two guys like this. It’s been good. Without ’em too we got to find a way to win games and be competitive also. And I think like the competitive nature won’t allow you to think anything less than trying to be a contender.”
The Sixers could still make moves during the season to bolster their squad, but The Ringer’s Michael Pina is skeptical.
“The idea of wasting a season of Embiid’s prime—he will turn 30 in March—is an ugly one,” Pina wrote. “But that’s a cynical way to read this situation. For one, the list of players who make sense on the court next to Embiid and Maxey, and are worth surrendering draft picks and cap space for, is extremely short. Someone logical could shake free over the next few months, but right now we’re talking about the likes of Buddy Hield, Gary Trent Jr., and Spencer Dinwiddie.”
There are reports that Chicago’s Zach LaVine and Toronto’s OG Anunoby are on the Sixers’ radar, according to SI’s Chris Mannix.
But it is unclear whether Philly would even be able to faciliate a deal.
“…even if the Raptors or Bulls decided to trade Siakam, Anunoby, or DeRozan, there’s no guarantee the Sixers would have the best package,” Pina said. “(At most right now, they can offer expiring contracts, three firsts, and a bunch of seconds/swaps. Any one of those players could kill the market by making it clear they only want to play for the Sixers, but so far there’s been no indication of that happening.)”