If you went to bed last night after Toronto’s road win in Philadelphia thinking that the Raptors would be just matching up with the 76ers in the second round of the playoffs, well, it might be time to think again. Good morning!
Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news just after 2:00 a.m. that the Sixers were loading up for the postseason in a big-time all-in move that brings in Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers:
Sources: Clippers and Sixers have agreed to trade Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-rounder, 2021 unprotected 1st via Miami and two second rounders.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
That is one whopper of a trade. The Sixers now have four guys who are either All-Stars (Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons) or near-All-Stars (Jimmy Butler, Harris) to pair with JJ Redick in one of the most potent starting lineups in the NBA.
Their bench is thin, but — as we saw over the weekend — Boban Marjanovic can give you quality minutes, and as a Raptors fan, I definitely don’t want to see Raptor Killer Mike Scott anywhere near my team in the postseason. And with that starting five, you don’t even need a deep bench.
Not gonna lie, as a Raptors fan this move is scary. Milwaukee is straight rolling right now, Boston is finding its groove, and now Philly is stocking up. Meanwhile the Raptors, despite their excellent victory last night, have looked inconsistent at best over the past 10 games.
This is also supremely annoying. The 2018-19 season was supposed to be Toronto’s all-in year! Why is Philly coming along and screwing it all up? Their stars are 24 and 22, why did they suddenly decide to catapult into win-now mode? Couldn't they have waited until next year and let us have this one? Sheesh.
The good news for the Raptors is that they don’t see Philly again in the regular season; they won the season series 3-1; and have a decent 4.5 game cushion in the standings with the league’s easiest schedule remaining.
The bad news is that, well, Philly’s a heck of a lot better today than they were in any of those four matchups, and they also have an easy schedule remaining, so that gap could close quickly. That tiebreaker could be important!
Now, certainly, there is still time for Toronto to make a move or two of its own, and we’ve all got our fingers crossed that Anthony Davis is coming our way; as unlikely as that may seem, hope is never a bad thing. If anything, this Sixers win-now move might have put even more pressure on Masai Ujiri to re-tool the Raptors roster for the stretch run. We’ll see what Ujiri has up his sleeve in the next day and a half!
Also: Shhh, but does Los Angeles clearing the decks indicate they have inside info on 2019 free agency, and a certain Klaw? Hmm...