LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The L.A. Clippers entered the Anthony Davis sweepstakes with gusto early Wednesday morning when they traded star forward Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for several expiring contracts and draft picks.
According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, the Clippers sent Harris, center Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott to the 76ers in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
L.A. received Philadelphia’s 2020 first-round pick — lottery-protected for the first three seasons — and an unprotected 2021 first-round pick which the 76ers had acquired from the Miami Heat via a trade with the Phoenix Suns last June, Buha reports.
Chandler and Muscala are both on expiring deals, while Shamet is only owed $2 million next season.
All this comes as the Lakers are desperately trying to work out a deal for Davis before the Thursday noon deadline as well. The Lakers have offered the New Orleans Pelicans Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and two first-round picks for Davis.
The 26-year-old Harris, in his eighth NBA season, has played excellent basketball this season, helping to put the surprising Clippers into the thick of the playoff race with a record of 30-25. He has averaged 20.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 43 percent shooting from three-point range. Many experts believed he was snubbed when he was not named an All-Star last week. Harris was named the Western Conference Player of the Month for November.
Harris will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and by trading him to Philadelphia, the Clippers ensure he doesn’t leave for nothing. The 76ers are likely hoping to resign both Harris and Jimmy Butler to create a big four along with franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
The Clippers, meanwhile, have a top-14 protected first-round pick in the upcoming draft that goes to the Boston Celtics if they make the playoffs. The Clippers currently sit as the eighth seed, but by giving up Harris, will likely drop down and allow them to keep the pick.
For the Clippers, the trade opens up possibilities. It frees up significant cap space and leaves them with a combination of assets: draft picks, young talent such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, solid veterans like Louis Williams and expiring contracts. The Clippers can combine these to either trade for a superstar before the Feb. 7 deadline or sign one as a free agent this summer. The likes of Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are all on the table.