Eric Gordon to the Philadelphia 76ers Trade #3
This trade sees the San Antonio Spurs join the fray as the Tobias Harris salary dumping ground. Eric Gordon and Doug McDermott head to Philadelphia to bolster their 3-point shooting and spacing, while Josh Richardson heads to Houston. To appease all involved parties, the Rockets get the Indiana Pacers’ 2023 second-round pick, and the Spurs get the Sixers' 2029 first-round pick. The only first-round pick the Sixers can currently trade is their 2029 first due to previous trades and the protections placed on them.
Personally, I don’t think the Sixers would ever make this trade. Tobias Harris is better than both Gordon and McDermott, and holding onto that 2029 first until a better move is available is a more prudent course of action. However, Gordon and McDermott are better fits than Harris on offense, and P.J. Tucker will absorb many of the defensive responsibilities that Harris was once tasked with.
McDermott has two years left on his deal, at around $13.5 million per season, and Gordon is functionally on an expiring deal. With Harris set to make $39.2 million in 2023-24, this opens up more than $25 million in cap space for 2023-24. That’s not enough to land a star in free agency, but with Harden and Embiid already in town and Tyrese Maxey on the rise, a high-priced role player or two could be a better use of their money.
This trade makes a lot of sense for both the Rockets and Spurs. The Rockets don’t alter their future cap sheet and get a valuable second-round pick in an excellent draft. The Spurs add a potentially game-changing first, and Harris is the perfect overpriced player to add to a rebuilding team. He’s not good enough to win games, but he is good enough to make a potentially atrocious team watchable. As an additional benefit, he could have re-sell value as an expiring contract, and the Spurs could end up netting two first-round picks for the price of Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, and someone else’s second-round pick.