The Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers felt it necessary to complete the first blockbuster of trade season in the dead of night.
Early Wednesday morning, the Clippers shipped Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the 76ers for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and multiple draft picks, including an unprotected 2021 first rounder via the Miami HEAT.
For Philadelphia, the upside is obvious; Harris, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler form one of the best starting groups in the NBA and, should Butler leave after the season, Harris could prove a valuable insurance policy. General Manager Elton Brand and the 76ers management have gone all in, if not close to it, in an effort to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy this June.
But what does this trade do for Los Angeles? It gives them potential (and) assets, and lots of them.
The Clippers biggest take away from this deal is the draft capital. Specifically, the unprotected selection via Miami – perhaps the most valuable draft asset currently in circulation around the NBA – is a major coup for Los Angeles. The organization and fans alike will hate to see Harris go, but that pick could give the Clippers a chance at a generational talent, either at the top of the 2021 draft or via the trade market (while nothing in the NBA is guaranteed, there is currently an absence of a bright future in Miami).
The 76ers also sent their own first round pick in 2020, along with second-round selections in 2021 and 2023. Likewise, that draft compensation could be utilized in the draft or flipped on the trade market for other players and or assets.
The acquisition of Shamet is also a major one. His upside seems self-evident; a key reserve thus far for the 76ers, Shamet has looked the part of an impact talent in his rookie season. In 20.5 minutes across 54 games played, the 21-year-old has averaged 8.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in. Those counting stats may underwhelm the casual observer, but many would agree that Shamet has passed the eye test and has a future in the NBA.
According to the BBall Index player grades, Shamet has been more than impressive as well. On the season, Shamet has logged a grade of A-minus or better as a perimeter shooter, off-ball and one-on-one offensive threat.
Shamet would be well served as a building block, but could also represent a future trade chip ala the Miami draft pick. He would be a nice fit alongside fellow rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the Clippers backcourt but, should Jerry West and Co. make a play for Anthony Davis (or another disgruntled superstar down the line), Shamet would likely play a central role alongside Gilgeous-Alexander in trade talks.
Chandler and Muscala, while not players of Harris’ caliber or Shamet’s value, are two capable veterans on expiring deals. Chandler has averaged 6.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and two assists this season while he has bounced in and out of the lineup due to injury. Meanwhile, Muscala has averaged 7.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists as one of the 76ers’ primary reserves.
Should the Clippers look to continue their postseason push, Chandler and Muscala could play key roles down the stretch. Chandler, when healthy, has proved both an adequate shooter and rebounder; Chandler has shot 34.3 percent from deep during his career and BBall Index has given him a B-plus grade as a perimeter shooter this season. Muscala, meanwhile, is another capable vet that has long been an above average defender on the inside. BBall Index has rated him as an A-plus grade interior defender this season.
Should management look to fade the rest of the season, both could certainly be flipped to a contender for additional, albeit middling, assets before the deadline.
This trade very much came out of the blue; unlike other teams, the rumor mill hasn’t exactly been rife with Clippers-related tidbits. However, on the eve of the trade deadline and with a multitude of options in front of management, anything and everything could happen in Los Angeles.
As deadline day looms, keep on the lookout for further rumor and or trade breakdowns here at BBall Index.