The Philadelphia 76ers are a team that is expected to challenge for a title in the 2022-23 season. They have been hampered by injuries and inconsistent play which has led to a 9-9 record and that has led to some talks that the Sixers might look into making a trade.
The logical option for the Sixers is Tobias Harris to try and move his big salary. As Philadelphia continues to try and add to their roster and move forward in their title quest, they will have to look at all options.
A mock trade from Mike O’Connor of “The Rights to Ricky Sanchez” podcast has the Sixers acquiring Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso from the Chicago Bulls in a 3-team deal that includes the Los Angeles Lakers.
The fake trade proposal
Sixers get: Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball
Lakers get: Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Nikola Vucevic
Bulls get: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Lakers 2027 first round pick, Lakers’ 2029 first round pick, rights to swap with Sixers’ 2024 first round pick, Sixers’ 2029 first round pick
O'Connor on why the Sixers do this deal
The key thing to keep in mind with this trade is that Lonzo Ball may or may not play this season, and his health should be considered a major red flag after that, as well.
From the Sixers’ perspective, Caruso fills the Sixers’ needs much better than Harris – he is the type of player who single handedly transforms your defense – and Ball is an interesting flier moving forward. If he returns next season and is roughly the player he was before the injury, this is a major win for the Sixers.
Analyzing the deal from a Sixers standpoint
The deal makes sense from Philadelphia’s perspective. Outside of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers don’t have a lot of ball handlers. Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton are solid, but one can see what the Sixers miss out on the floor. Bringing in Ball and Caruso would help fix that issue and Caruso also adds another perimeter defender, but the biggest issue will be the health of Ball.
If Ball is not going to be healthy, then moving a consistent guy like Harris would be foolish for Philadelphia. The Sixers really rely heavily on the veteran out of Tennessee to be their glue guy and their leader out on the floor so while Ball and Caruso would be helpful, it doesn’t seem worth it if Ball isn’t healthy.
Trading Harris would be foolish