The Philadelphia 76ers officially became the latest team to send James Harden packing. They sent the future Hall of Famer to his desired destination, the Los Angeles Clippers, in a package that netted them a slew of expiring contracts and draft picks.
Players like Marcus Morris Sr. and Nic Batum can give Philadelphia some added depth for this season, but this deal was for the picks. Make no mistake about it. Philadelphia landed two unprotected first-round picks in the deal as well as a pick swap. Additionally, they added a pair of second-round picks. That's a whole lot of draft capital.
A team trying to win with Joel Embiid in his prime and Tyrese Maxey ascending is not waiting until 2026 and 2028 to cash in those first-round picks. They're going to try and use them as well as some other assets they have to try and land a star to play alongside Embiid and Maxey so Philadelphia can contend. Fortunately for them, there are many interesting names for them to choose from.
3. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are a team stuck in no man's land. They're not good enough to make any sort of noise in the Eastern Conference but also aren't bad enough to land a high lottery pick without some serious luck. The middle is a place where no NBA team should want to be.
With Chicago having no realistic way of getting much better, they'd be better off trading some of their better players and entering a rebuild. If they do that, Zach LaVine would become a monster trade candidate for many teams attempting to compete.
The 28-year-old has developed from a raw high-flyer to a consistently efficient 25-point-per-game scorer with the Chicago Bulls. He'd give the 76ers the third option they desperately need with Harden's departure, as well as another ball handler who can create shots not only for himself but for others. He's a player that's reportedly been discussed as a potential target already if Chicago opts to rebuild.
What might make LaVine more appealing is the fact that he's already locked in on an extension through at the very least the 2025-26 season. This gives Philadelphia more insurance that their new big three would be together for more than one season.