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NBA DRAFT NIGHT TRADE ALERT: Sixers Trade Al Horford to Thunder

The NBA draft is finally upon us, as is the flurry of trades and rumors!!! This week has seen plenty of moves since the trade-window opened on Monday, but this one hit different. The trade of Horford marks the first big move of NBA draft night. (Sorry to the Knicks who traded up from the 27th to get the 23rd pick from the Jazz, but that didn’t move me much.)

WOJ-BOMB:

Pretty even and logical trade for both sides, equally committed to their respective causes.

Overall summation is: Sixers F/C Al Horford (along with Euro-stash PG Vasilije Micić), a 2025 1st-round pick, and a 2nd-rounder (34th pick of tonight’s draft) to the Thunder for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson.

OKC Thunder Reaction:

Sam Presti begins the season with ... A BEARD

Twitter is ablaze with more pro-Sam Presti (Thunder GM) content for his landing of more draft picks. Rightfully so. By taking on Horford’s inflated contract and sending Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson to Philly, they add another 1st round-pick and an EARLY 2nd rounder in tonight’s draft. This totals OKC’s draft chest to a whopping 18 1st-round picks in the next 6 years. BANANAS.

Additionally, to the average fan, that 2nd-rounder might look like nothing, but the 34th pick is actually a very solid value to toss in here. The ability to negotiate contracts with those 2nd-round selections is huge, and maybe OKC can take a flier on an international prospect that could stashed as a long term investment. Or perhaps snag the 1st-round talent that inevitably slides into the 2nd-round for some reason. That’s usually a solidly fun low-risk high-reward bet.

Lastly, the Sixers also sent over the rights of Serbian point guard Vasilije Micić to the Thunder. If that name isn’t familiar, fret not – you’re not alone. He’s a 26-year old who plays for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Super League. For now, it’s just a stashed asset. He’s not expected to play in the NBA until at least the 2021-22 season. BUT, when he comes over, should be a serviceable point guard with size. Think of him as a potentially rock-solid backup floor general for a playoff team.

Draft Picks on Draft Picks on Draft Picks

18 1st-round draft picks in 6 years is insane. HOWEVER, as many Celtics fans know too well, it’s not something that always translates to 18 All-Stars. OKC stacking up draft picks does position them well to go out and acquire the next maligned superstar demanding a trade. Maybe it’s Karl-Anthony Towns, or perhaps someone who seems perfectly happy now! The NBA is as unpredictable as sports leagues come, so the trade options for Presti and the Thunder should be rampant.

Their war chest of draft picks may continue to grow. Particularly if they trade away Kelly Oubre or Steven Adams, both players who could be coveted on the trade market. Hell, they just flipped Dennis Schroeder for picks and Danny Green, which turned into this trade – so maybe Horford’s on the trade block at some point!

Philadelphia 76ers Reaction:

Welp – Sixers GM Elton Brand has royally screwed up once again. They caught heat for signing 33-year old Al Horford to a huge 4-year $109 million deal last summer, and are now already moving on. What a shame. I know I’m not alone as a Celtics fan who feels bad for Al. Can’t blame the guy for taking Philly’s massive offer, but now he’s getting dumped to an intentionally irrelevant OKC Thunder team.

Horford GONE

Al Horford finds hope in Philly after Celtics crash

Horford’s fit with Philly was questionable at best from the jump. I mean just look at the awkwardness of his above posed picture with Simmons. Could that look any weirder???

Awkward team photos aside, the signing was speculated as a strategic move to pry Horford away from Boston and take away the C’s best Embiid-stopper. Anyone with a few working brain cells and a calculator knew the Horford contract was an overpay that would not age well, but to this degree?? Where they’re sending a 1st-round pick as a sweetener for another team to take his contract? That’s just terrible. Talk about buyer’s remorse!

Horford’s fit with the Sixers was perplexing from out of the gate, and his on-court performance reflected just that. I mean, Philly even tried bringing their $109 million man off the bench in 2019-20… Not a great look for Philly overall here, and for any future free agents that ponder signing with the Sixers.

Philly Adds Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson

Danny Green, NBA Titles, & Three-Point Shooting - By The Numbers

It’s not all outgoing talent and assets for Philly in this trade. Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson are actually pretty solid roster pieces for the Sixers. Both should be instant impact role players for the Sixers, and good fits around Simmons and Embiid. Ferguson struggled shooting the 3-ball in 2020, but can still bring something the Sixers have lacked, 3-and-D.

Danny Green is similar, though a much better 3-point shooter and defender, albeit on the opposite end of the age spectrum. Green’s championship experience can’t go unmentioned either. He’s a 3-time NBA champ for a reason!!! Having those types of experienced role-players matters, from a team culture and playoff mentality standpoint.

What’s Next?

I have a hunch this won’t be the only big NBA trade news tonight – nor my only blog… so stay tuned. Much more to come.

 

-Mike Gilligan (@BigGilli, @VerbalCommitPod and @SmallStateTakes Podcast)

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