The LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers agreed on a blockbuster deal that sends forward Tobias Harris to partner with the Sixers’ Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler to pursue an Eastern Conference title, league sources told ESPN.
The Sixers paid a steep future price to the Clippers, including rookie guard Landry Shamet, Philadelphia’s own 2020 protected first-round pick and an unprotected 2021 first-round pick via the Miami Heat, league sources told ESPN.
The Sixers also sent forwards Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala and 2021 and 2023 second-round picks to the Clippers (via the Detroit Pistons) in the trade, sources said. Center Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott were shipped to the Sixers.
The Clippers wanted to move themselves into contention as players in the marketplace for stars wanting to get to the Los Angeles market, and the picks could go a long way to building a significant arsenal. The Clippers didn’t make the deal specifically to pursue New Orleans Pelicans All-NBA center Anthony Davis, sources said, but for star players like him who invariably become available in the marketplace.
Davis included the Clippers on a list of teams he would be willing to commit to long term if traded, but Clippers president Lawrence Frank and general manager Michael Winger didn’t make the trade with the primary objective to pursue Davis, league sources said. New Orleans could have interest in the Clippers’ assets prior to Thursday’s trade deadline — and perhaps again in the offseason, if Davis remains on the Pelicans’ roster.
For first-year Sixers general manager Elton Brand, it is the second significant deal of the season — bringing Harris and Butler into the Sixers’ lineup. Along with Butler, Harris will be a free agent this summer, and the Sixers plan to be aggressive in re-signing him to an extension, league sources said.
The Clippers considered Harris, 26, close to a max-level player in the marketplace, and that would’ve been difficult for them to pay with the franchise’s lofty free-agent aspirations. The Clippers are planning to pursue several All-NBA-caliber players, including the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers have salary-cap space to sign two maximum-contract players.
Harris is having his best NBA season, averaging 20.7 points on 49 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point line.