Greenberg: Let's Not Crown The 76ers In The East Yet

The Sixers are off to a great start with Tobias Harris, but they're not the best team in the East, Jared Greenberg says

The DA Show
February 11, 2019 - 1:16 pm

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The Philadelphia 76ers (36-20) are 2-0 with Tobias Harris, who is averaging 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists with his new squad.

But Jared Greenberg isn’t ready to pencil the Sixers into the NBA Finals just yet.

“I wouldn’t put them as the best in the East,” the NBA TV host said on The DA Show. “What the Celtics have had over 50 games to try and figure out and get right, it’s now going to take the Sixers just over 20 games to get right.”

But imagine their potential if they do. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Harris form quite the foursome. 

Still, the sample size thus far is small.

“(The Sixers) went on to win several games right after acquiring (Butler), and then they kind of had a rocky road,” Greenberg reminded listeners. “So these things kind of happen, and the opponent plays into this and how you’re playing and the adrenaline and the momentum. It was a great move (to acquire him), but now they have to retain Tobias Harris to make this great because what they had to give up to get him was a huge haul. So I would just say let’s be patient. As much as we’re unsure about Celtics, let’s not give a couple games to the Sixers and crown them the best team in the East yet.”

Especially if the Sixers are unable to re-sign Harris. They parted with Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, a 2020 first round-pick, Miami’s 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 second-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick for his services. 

Greenberg said the move was “absolutely” risky from the Sixers’ standpoint.

“The thing that they’re doing, which is interesting, is they already have the franchise-changer in Embiid,” Greenberg said. “I think most people would say not far behind him is Ben Simmons, although there’s a lot in his game that people still need to see. But what you’re trying to do is create a situation where you can plug the holes around him – and Tobias Harris is a borderline All-Star. I would have made the argument that he should have made the All-Star team this year from the Clippers. 

“But you go and get him and give up a guy like (Shamet),” Greenberg continued. “I don’t know how many of your listeners truly understand how good Landry Shamet was. But then to give up two first-round picks? It’s very risky – on top of the fact that all they had to give up to get Jimmy Butler. I think it’s more likely that they try and keep Tobias Harris and let Jimmy Butler walk. But if you have those two guys go and all you gave up for him – and if you don’t win a title after all of this – yeah, it’s a lot. Because now you’re trying to impress Joel Embiid, and if you can’t retain guys around Embiid, he’s going to be sitting around saying, ‘What’s going on?’”