Philly Host: 76ers Aren't Married To Jimmy Butler

Tobias Harris gives the 76ers a chance to win the East; he also gives them a "hedge" this summer

Ferrall On The Bench
February 07, 2019 - 10:03 am

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While Anthony Davis has dominated the trade-deadline chatter, the Philadelphia 76ers quietly made a franchise-altering move Wednesday, acquiring Tobias Harris from the Clippers.

What does this move mean? It means the 76ers (34-20) are bonafide contenders in the East.

“They’re going for it right now,” WIP host Joe Giglio said on Ferrall on the Bench. “The Sixers, as we know, they went through this process and they wanted to tear it down and build it back up. The Jimmy Butler trade told everyone here that they were accelerating this thing. It wasn’t for the next three to five years. It was for now. They thought they could make a run.”

With Harris in the fold, the 76ers are all-in this season.

“I think they can get to the NBA Finals,” Giglio said. “Their depth is really bad right now. I think they need a couple more pieces. Bt they’re good enough to get to the NBA Finals right now. I think that makes all these moves worth it.”

Harris, 26, averaged a career-high 20.9 points for the Clippers this season. He will join Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick to form one of the top starting lineups in basketball.

“It makes them better for right now, but I also think it’s a hedge for them as they go into this summer,” Giglio said, referring to Harris and Butler. “They might bring both back, but I think the next few months will let them know if they should bring both back or which one they should bring back next year.”

If the 76ers only keep one, Giglio would opt for Harris. He hasn’t been impressed with Butler, who has a history of finding fault in others while perhaps ignoring his own shortcomings.

“It’s the same Jimmy Butler,” Giglio said. “He got here and he gave a nice introductory speech (about) how it was different now. And then a month later he got into a shouting match with head coach Brett Brown in a film session and then conspicuously he was passing up open three after open three for the next couple weeks. I’m not a big fan.”

Butler, 29, is averaging 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals this season.

“Look, a couple of years ago, he was a tremendous player – probably on the cusp of the top 10,” Giglio said. “Here’s my worry with him: he’s about to be 30 years old, he’s had injury issues, you know he’s a malcontent – I wouldn’t give him the max. I’m not giving him 5-190 after the season. If he wants to come back for three years maybe, then they got to think about it. But I don’t think they’re married to him, and I think there’s a better chance that Tobias Harris is here longer than Jimmy Butler.”