One Big Trade, Four Different Reactions

by Brian Seltzer Reporter

Maybe you had just started to fall asleep. Or, perhaps your deep dozing was interrupted by a flurry of push notification buzzes and pings.

At the very latest, it was probably the first thing you saw during your rise-and-shine social media scroll the next morning.

As February 5th faded away, and February 6th started anew, news broke overnight that Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott were headed to the 76ers. It was the first major deal leading up to the league’s impending February 7th trade deadline, and not only featured a prominent, all-league caliber player, but carried plenty of shock value, too.

On the one week anniversary of the swap becoming official, check out the first-hand accounts of four principle people involved in the transaction - from how they found out about the trade, to their reactions to it.


Just hours before the trade was agreed upon, Tobias Harris scored 34 points and delivered the game-winning shot in a dramatic LA Clippers’ victory at Charlotte. Not too long after that, he found himself in a career-changing meeting.

“Honestly, I found out at 1:30 in the morning when [LA Clippers] Doc Rivers called my hotel room [in Charlotte]. I was watching this Netflix series on Ted Bundy. When the phone rang, I was super scared. Who the heck is calling me at 1:30 in the morning while I’m watching this Netflix series? And the series is kind of scary itself! So, I was like, ‘What the heck is going on?’

“Doc said, ‘Come to my room.’ In my head I was like, ‘Dang! Doc wants to show me some film at 1:30 in the morning.’ On the elevator I said, ‘No, no, no. You’re getting traded at 1:30 in the morning, be ready.’ When he let me know about the trade, right then and there I was excited. I was just like wow, this is going to be a really great opportunity to go to a team that is looking to win a championship. That was the most appealing thing to me, and I was happy about it. I was really happy.”

Harris then went back to his hotel room.

“I was the first [of the traded players] to know, and on the hall, I heard somebody’s door open, so I was like, that’s either Boban or Mike. I just peeked out my door, and [Boban] was half asleep, and I was like, ‘Oooooh you just got traded.’ And he goes, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Ok, go up there and find out.’ After that, he came back down to the floor, and we were just talking about the situation, the new team. For me, I’ve been traded before, so I’m like a trade guru. I know everything about trades. I just gave him advice, and the confidence. We were all excited about this move for sure.”


In a few short seasons, between the time they’ve spent together in Detroit and LA, Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic have become two peas in a basketball pod. As the duo joked during last week’s introductory press conference, they consider themselves a package deal.

“I was playing video games [after the Charlotte game] and then I fell asleep. Basically not sleep, but I put some show on TV, and this time it was ‘That 70s Show.’ I was doing nothing, and my room phone was ringing. At 2:10 in the morning, it was ringing. I got that phone call, and from that, I found out.

“My first reaction? Every reaction. You’re confused, like what’s happening? Why? Are you serious? That type of stuff. But because it’s Tobias, his [hotel] room is next to me, and he said, ‘Where are you going?’ I said I got traded. He said, ‘Me too,’ and I said, ‘Yaaaaaaaaay. We go to together! Yes!’

“After that, I’m so happy, I’m so excited, and I’m excited right now. It’s a great, great to be here. It’s God’s plan. We do it together.”


To start his NBA career, Mike Scott enjoyed some permanence, playing in Atlanta for half a decade. Over parts of the past two years, he’s been with Washington, LA, and now the Sixers. Following the trade, the Chesapeake, VA native sounded enthusiastic to get back to a familiar part of the country.

“I was in my hotel room in Charlotte watching TV, and my agent called me and told me. Honestly I was kind of excited. I’m an East Coast guy. LA was great, the weather was great. I played in Atlanta for 5 years, 1 year in DC. I just felt like I was an East Coast guy at heart. I felt excited coming to this situation along with Tobias and Bobi, and I feel like we can help this team out a lot.”


Having already pulled off one blockbuster earlier in his first season as a general manager, Elton Brand wound up having another megadeal up his sleeve. He and the rest of his front office colleagues were once again prepared to pounce when the right opportunity surfaced.

“You get a lot of ideas bounced around during the trade deadline. So the idea was bounced around a little bit. Nothing specific. We weren’t sure if we wanted to do anything, they weren’t sure if they wanted to do anything. Then it happened really fast. We had to negotiate a little bit. It was done about 2:30 in the morning. I’m sure a lot of people woke up to that trade. It happened really fast.”

Brand, however, spared Brett Brown a night owl call, instead giving the head coach a little bit of a heads up that something was brewing.

“I told Brett after the game [February 5th vs Toronto] it was probably happening, and he was just stunned. He’s like looking in the air, ‘I can’t believe this.’ We talked about what could happen, some names I’m looking at, that kind of thing. But when I knew it was almost official, he just stared into the sky shaking his head. He was really excited.”


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