The LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers made their late-night blockbuster trade official.
A multi-player deal that broke early Wednesday morning, the Sixers acquired Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanović and Mike Scott in a trade with the Clippers, sending L.A. Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Landry Shamet to the Clippers in the deal.
Los Angeles will also receive Philadelphia’s own protected 2020 first-round pick, the Miami Heat's unprotected 2021 first-round pick and the Detroit Pistons' 2021 and 2023 second-round picks. The Philadelphia first-round pick is protected Nos. 1-14 from 2020-22 and if it does not convey during that time, it becomes 2023 and 2024 Philadelphia second-round picks.
“We are in the unique position to contend now and we think this trade positions us well for the postseason,” 76ers GM Elton Brand said in a statement Wednesday. “Tobias is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA and possesses an innate ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor, while Boban and Mike provide valuable skillsets, size and depth to our team. All three players bring high character to our locker room and we are excited about their fit alongside Joel, Ben, Jimmy and our entire roster.”
“We are excited to welcome Wilson, Mike, and Landry to the L.A. Clippers. Wilson is a veteran player we have long respected for his toughness, versatility and leadership. His hard-nosed mentality will fit right in with the rest of this group,” Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a statement Wednesday.
"In addition to Wilson, Mike, and Landry, we obtained multiple draft assets today that will be important building blocks as we continue to carry out our long-term plan -- to construct a sustainable championship contender.”
On the Sixers side, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports the team is attempting to create cap space and work the contracts to keep "a new Big 4" of Harris, Jimmy Butler, and All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons intact beyond the impending free agencies of the former two stars. Embiid is on the first year of a contract extension, while Simmons is on year three of his rookie deal.
The Clippers made the trade because they want to be a factor in the marketplace for players who want to come to L.A., Wojnarowski reports. New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis had the Clippers as a team he would be willing to commit to long term if he was dealt there. However, sources told Wojnarowski that the Clippers' brass did not make this trade with the sole objective of pursuing Davis -- either before Thursday's deadline or in the offseason.
Torrel Harris, who is Tobias Harris' father and his agent, told The Athletic last night (via Jovan Buha): "Our experience with the Clippers organization was great. The fans are amazing. We exceeded expectations and were in the playoff picture all season. Tobias is having an All-Star season and his experience in LA was great."
Moments after the trade went through, Harris took to Twitter and posted a gif of Will Smith on a basketball court from the opening credits of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
Harris certainly left a lasting farewell with the Clippers. He was the hero in last night's 117-115 comeback win against the Charlotte Hornets, as he both scored 34 points and nailed the game-winning floater with 4.3 seconds left.
Harris, who's now been traded five times in his eight seasons (including a three-teamer on Draft night in 2011), is averaging a career-best 20.9 points per game while shooting 49.6 percent overall and 43.4 percent on 3-pointers, along with 7.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 34.6 minutes per game. He was widely considered one of the top players not to be named among those participating in the upcoming All-Star Game.
Harris and Marjanovic came to the Clippers last year as part of the blockbuster trade that saw L.A. deal star forward Blake Griffin to the Pistons. Scott joined the Clippers in free agency last summer.
“I can’t say enough good things about Tobias Harris and the many ways he has impacted our organization. Since Tobias came to L.A. a year ago, he has been a model of professionalism, on the court and off,” Frank said Wednesday. “He developed into an All-Star caliber player here, setting a standard with his work ethic and diligence. We are incredibly grateful for his contributions.
“In addition to Tobias, we will miss Boban, one of the most positive forces we have encountered in the NBA. Bobi lifted our locker room and was a game changer on the court. Like Boban, Mike Scott fit seamlessly into our team-first culture, and excelled in his role. We wish all three the best of luck in Philadelphia.”
Brand traded for Butler, a four-time All-Star, earlier this season, and showed again he's not afraid to make a bold move for the win-now franchise.
“I want to thank Wilson, Mike and Landry for their time as members of the 76ers organization,” Brand said Wednesday. “They were great teammates and contributors, and consummate professionals. I wish them well in their respective careers.”
This could be the first of several major deals expected before the NBA trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. Eastern Thursday. The Sixers could certainly still be in the mix -- possibly even making Butler available in the right deal. The Sixers are certainly listening to offers for any trade that involves 2017 No. 1 draft pick Markelle Fultz, who has been rehabbing a bad shoulder and missed most of the season. Coach Brett Brown refused to commit before Tuesday's loss to Toronto that Fultz would be part of the playoff rotation.
"I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised with how he arrives back with us more than assume that he's going to be there," Brown said. "It's not smart for me to think like (he'll be a part of the rotation)."
Per the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Greif, Harris declined a four-year, $80 million offer last summer. The Sixers now have Harris, Marjanovic and Scott as unrestricted free agents come this summer -- joining a list that already includes (among others) Butler, backup point guard T.J. McConnell and veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.