76ers To Make A Big Trade If Mike D’Antoni Gets Hired?

76ers To Make A Big Trade If Mike D'Antoni Gets Hired?

The Philadelphia 76ers are entering their most important offseason in years.

Following this year’s disappointing run that culminated with a first round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics, head coach Brett Brown was shown the door.

The team’s general manager, Elton Brand, was offered a reprieve – but tasked with ensuring that this year’s letdown be a one-time event.

As things currently stand, former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni is the favorite to fill the void left behind by Brown.

Once that happens, things will get interesting.

According to Kevin Smith of Yahoo Sports, the Sixers have quietly been letting teams know that they will be open to potential trades if the D’Antoni hire happens.

The reason why is clear – this team is not currently constructed to play in the way that his squads typically do. And if you are hiring D’Antoni, you are doing so with the understanding that he wins in a very specific type of fashion.

So who comes in and who goes out if everything continues down this path?

First and foremost, it is important to remember that strong ball-handling and good passing are the keys to D’Antoni’s offense. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid check both of those boxes. The odds of either one of them being the ones to go are slim.

Plus, Brand has already come out and indicated that he has little interest in trading away his team’s two best players.

“I’m not looking to trade Ben or Joel,” he said last month.

“I’m looking to compliment them better. They’re 24 and 26 years old. I see them here for a long time”

That leaves Al Horford and Tobias Harris as the other potential major trade pieces.

Harris signed a five-year, $180 million deal to stay with Philly last summer. He ended up having a fairly decent regular season, but completely vanished in the playoffs.

“Tobias, as he said in his press conference, he wasn’t happy with his performance in the playoffs,” Brand said.

“Regular season, he had a great regular season — All-Star-level if we won more games. So I’m looking forward to seeing how he comes back, how hard he works, because he’s really motivated to improve and show that he’s a leader of this team.”

Horford, meanwhile, was inked to a four-year, $109 million contract. The rationale for that deal sort of made sense on on paper. He routinely lit the Sixers up before signing with them, and he would theoretically do for the team down low what Embiid could not.

In reality, the mix didn’t work.

Horford ended up averaging 11.9 points per game in 2019-20 – the lowest since his sophomore campaign in 2008-09. He also really struggled from the field, shooting a career-worst 45 percent.

“Al Horford can fit on an NBA-caliber, championship-caliber team, absolutely,” Brand said at the end of the season.

“Whatever that role is, we’re going to have to figure out, but absolutely he can fit.”

If the Sixers hire D’Antoni, at least one of Harris or Horford is likely gone. Maybe both.

From there, it will be interesting to see how the organization modifies its roster to put its new head coach in a position be successful.

Related: Pacers Trading Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis?

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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