76ers Quick Hits: Philadelphia Goes All-In

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(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The 76ers began the week at 34-19, won two of their last three, to improve to 36-20.

It has only been seven days since my last Quick Hits, and yet, it feels so far away from the present.

The NBA trade deadline sent a shock wave through the 76ers roster.

Let’s talk about what the 76ers lost this week, what they gained, and what it means for the immediate and distant future:

The 76ers Go All-In at The Trade Deadline:

Elton Brand has been a general manager for only a few months, but that has not stopped him from being aggressive. Let’s start with the blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Los Angeles receives: Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, two first round picks, and two second round picks. It is important to note that one first is a 2020 76er pick, and the other was the Miami 2021 pick.

Philadelphia receives: Tobias Harris, Boban Marjonovic, Mike Scott.

The most notable departure for Philly in this deal is Landry Shamet.

The late first-round selection in the 2018 NBA Draft was proving quickly that he was the steal of the draft. Shamet’s three-point production and composure for a rookie was incredibly promising. Muscala and Chandler will not be missed as much, however.

The highlight return for the 76ers is Tobias Harris, a 26-year-old 6’9 power forward who can score from anywhere. Harris is an unrestricted free agent this summer but has been bounced around the league throughout his first five seasons as a pro.

Philadelphia GM Elton Brand has already expressed his interest in bringing back Harris for years to come. Harris has stated that he wants to be surrounded by a winning culture, and Philadelphia feels like a good fit.

Harris fits the scheme, and slots perfectly into the starting lineup and gives Philadelphia an average of 20 points a contest, along with eight boards.  

Marjonovic brings tremendous size, standing at 7’3.

He provides Philadelphia with a quality backup big man for Joel Embiid, who will benefit from being able to rest more in games.

76ers
Photo via: Getty Images

Scott is a 6’8 forward who will contend for backup minutes at both forward positions. Scott likes to catch-and-shoot, and more often takes threes than twos.

Brand also traded with the Orlando Magic, sending Markelle Fultz to Orlando, in return for Jonathan Simmons, a top-20 protected first round pick and a second rounder.

It ends the Fultz saga in Philly and cements a mistake that the 76ers are willing to swallow.

Fultz, who is still healing from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, will have a fresh start in Orlando, where there is more time for him to develop and get healthy.

With Philadelphia pushing for success right now, Fultz and his $8 million cap hit next season, were casualties.

While Fultz’s time in Philadelphia was hectic, Brett Brown had nothing but good things to say about Fultz after hearing he had been traded.

“I never really felt like I got a chance to coach (Markelle Fultz) and the city never really got a chance to see him.”

The ending feels bittersweet, and one thing is certain: Fultz was the most polarizing player on the 76ers in recent memory.

Either you thought he was going to come back and become a Philadelphia legend, or you thought he was the biggest bust in NBA history.

I wish Fultz nothing but the best with his new team and look forward to seeing him play the game he loves again.

J. Simmons provides some depth at the wing, but the main return was draft compensation.

The last move Brand made prior to the deadline was sending a second-round pick to Houston in exchange for James Ennis III.

Ennis is a fifth-year player, who is another three-and-D type of winh. Ennis provides more size and shooting, things the 76ers both need.

First Look at New 76ers:

We only got a brief glimpse of the new-look 76ers, and it came on little to no prep time to sort things out. Despite just getting familiar with all the changes, Philadelphia kept stride, beating both the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers in back to back home wins.

What did the team look like? Well for one, Tobias Harris changes this team dynamically. Harris slots perfectly in the Philadelphia starting lineup, adding size and scoring to the 76ers.

To put it simply, Tobias Harris is a certified bucket. Don’t let me tell you, however. His play on the court is impossible to ignore.

Harris put on a show early against the Lakers on Sunday, scoring 14 points in the first quarter alone.

Many consider 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the free throw line to be the gold standard in the NBA. Harris averages 49%, 44% and 87% respectively. Stud. 

Marjonovic fits perfectly in the 76ers lineup, especially against the Nuggets when Embiid was battling a stomach bug and could not provide his usual output.

The new starting five for Philadelphia is:

Ben Simmons

JJ Redick

Jimmy Butler

Tobias Harris

Joel Embiid

In 2015, the 76ers won 10 games and lost 72. It’s now 2019, and the fans who put their trust in the process, have been rewarded with one of the best starting lineups in the NBA.

It is an exciting time in Philadelphia basketball, but there is still plenty of work to be done. The 76ers have 26 games left to figure out their new system and position themselves in the Eastern Conference for a good first round match-up.

Philadelphia is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, six games back of the leading Milwaukee Bucks.

A Look Ahead:

The 76ers will play two games next week. Here is the slate of games for the week:

Tuesday, Feb. 12: vs Boston Celtics

Wednesday, Feb. 13: @ New York Knicks

It will be a short week, ending on Wednesday before the team gets a break during All-Star Weekend.

Both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will be participating in the All-Star festivities. They will be on opposing teams, however, after team Simmons was traded for Russell Westbrook after the draft.

Game of The Week: vs Boston Celtics (Feb. 12):

76ers
Photo via: Getty Images

 

With the 76ers roster having a massive overhaul at the trade deadline, this game will feel much different than the previous meetings between the 76ers and Celtics.

It will be the third of four games against the Boston Celtics, but it’s looking more likely that these two teams will meet in the postseason.

If the season were to end today, Philadelphia would host Boston in the first round of the playoffs. 

Prior to the roster changes at the deadline, Philadelphia had trouble matching the athletic depth of Boston. With additions like Harris and Marjonovic, the hope is that the 76ers were able to bridge that gap and stick with Boston better than before. 

If the first two games of this new era of 76er basketball are any indication, this match-up will not look similar to their previous bouts.

The Philadelphia crowd will be rocking on Tuesday night and will have a playoff atmosphere in the Wells Fargo Center. 

You can tune into the game at 8 pm EST on Tuesday, February 12.


For all things 76ers, make sure to keep up with Basketball Society on social media. Talk to me personally on Twitter @PhillySportsMax, and I will see y’all next week.

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