It’s a trade that seemingly came out of nowhere. Reports afterwards indicated that for months Philadelphia had been enamored with Tobias Harris. At 26, Harris fits in line with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. His skillset as an efficient, medium-volume shooter should complement Simmons, Embiid and Jimmy Butler perfectly. Here’s a 6-9 wing who doesn’t necessarily need the ball in order to be effective. Plus, he can hit threes with the best of them, which means teams will be hesitant to double Embiid.
Philadelphia needed to do something, and there’s clearly more work that needs to be done. The buy-out market or maybe another trade will shape the depth of the 76ers moving forward. It’s essential Philadelphia grabs a defensive guard to help in any potential series against the Raptors, Bucks or Celtics. That’s not breaking news. Anybody that’s watched the 76ers for even a second this year knows how much of a struggle it has been on the defensive end. Guard after guard wallop JJ Redick, Landry Shamet or whoever else for career nights. Kyrie Irving took over on Christmas Day to give Boston the win. It’s been frustrating, of course, but the roster wasn’t fully finalized during those moments. There was always a trade or two looming. Philadelphia showed it’s all in after this trade.
It’s been a rather peculiar year for the 76ers from a fan’s perspective. Everything changes the year after winning 52 games. There was a sense of expectation, which only increased after acquiring Jimmy Butler. Butler has provided some heroic moments, certainly, but the team hasn’t been as fun to watch as last year’s team, probably because of outlandish expectations. Robert Covington and Dario Saric were easy to cheer for because of how familiar each felt to this fanbase. Covington amped the crowd up in second halves to encourage opponents to miss free throws for free Frosty’s. Saric ranked as probably the second most beloved 76er behind Embiid. The feeling surrounding the team changed a bit once Butler came into the fold. The whole Markelle Fultz saga escalated, for sure. It’s unclear if he’ll ever play for the 76ers again. There have been some truly wonderful moments. The win over Golden State not even a week ago ranking at the top. Philadelphia showed why many still believe in them during that win. Simmons played flawless. Embiid flexed his muscles when needed. It hasn’t always been like that. The starting line-up, when actually healthy, had been wonderful together. It’s even better now. There wasn’t a doubt the team would look better in the playoffs after rotations were shortened. Still, the demeanor of the team needed a jolt.
Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris are best friends. They make funny videos, one of which Simmons posted on his Instagram Wednesday afternoon with the caption Mood and subsequent laughing emojis. It’s Boban and Tobias singing, with hand motions and all, the 2007 banger Chicken Noodle Soup. This team has two months to figure things out on the floor. But from the moment Boban, Tobias and Mike Scott arrive, things have already changed, which is an odd thing to claim considering the old Clippers don’t really know their new teammates. The fact that Simmons posted that video demonstrates what type of atmosphere the locker room will generate. It’s going to be fun, especially when the 76ers start winning.
Harris makes the 76ers a better offensive team. It also gives them a chance to have four legitimate all-star level players for the near future, which is mind-boggling considering where the 76ers were this time two years ago.