According to Sports Illustrated, the Sixers made out pretty well during the NBA’s trade deadline.
The pressure was on for first-time NBA General Manager, Elton Brand. Although Brand didn’t have an entire offseason to make some moves and get his team to be the way he wanted it to be, the rookie GM made up for lost time over the last few months. It all started with the blockbuster trade for the most prominent name available early on in the year. Jimmy Butler was on the trade block, and Brand got him in Philly.
The Butler trade worked out well in the beginning, but it still didn’t seem like the Sixers had enough to compete in the Eastern Conference at a high level. So with that, we expected some significant moves to happen before the trade deadline. Well, we weren’t left disappointed. The doubters who were laughing at the Sixers decision to hire Brand are now eating their words.
Multiple moves were made within the final week of trading, and it’s clear that the Sixers are significantly better now. Can they finally go toe-to-toe with the Bucks, Celtics, or the Raptors in a series? That remains to be seen. The Sixers are much better off at this point though, as they ended up coming out with the highest grade after the trade deadline, according to Sports Illustrated.
What they’re saying about the Sixers:
“Arguably no team accomplished more at the deadline than the Sixers, who were aggressive and calculated, positioned themselves as legitimate contenders for this season, and will have financial bandwidth to try and keep Jimmy Butler and newly-acquired Tobias Harris on the roster long-term. By dealing Markelle Fultz for a likely 2020 first and what should be a consequential 2019 second-rounder, they recouped some of the draft capital they dealt to add Harris. Adding James Ennis for next to nothing and an extra veteran in Jonathon Simmons helps to beef up their rotation, and the Sixers are positioned to add another player through the buyout market. If all their new parts mesh, they might be the favorites in the East.“
The Sixers ended up grading out with a solid ‘A’. Although they weren’t the only team to get within the top range of grades, no team was listed above them. It’s clear the Sixers were simply more productive. They not only acquired pieces to upgrade their team in an attempt to ‘win now.’ But they also got rid of the distraction that is Markelle Fultz, for two draft picks and a veteran off the bench.
Whether you believe that is the right move or not, it’s shocking that the Sixers were able to get that much for Fultz, who hardly generated any value within the trade market throughout the year. The Sixers are gunning for the top of the East, and they made every single necessary move possible in order to make it happen.
Now, it’s up to Brett Brown and the players to execute with what they got. Some would go as far as to say the Sixers have the best starting lineup in the East. So, Anything less than the Eastern Conference Finals would be a disappointment in the eyes of the fans, as well as the eyes in the front office, who made the moves happen.