Now that the Philadelphia 76ers traded James Harden but didn’t replace him with another All-Star talent or anyone close, the expectation is for president of basketball operations Daryl Morey to find another big name to pursue, which could even include Donovan Mitchell.
According to HoopsHype’s Mike Scotto, Mitchell is just one of a number of top scorers and All-Stars the 76ers have on their radar.
“Some potential targets to keep an eye on for Philadelphia include Zach LaVine, who can spread the floor and OG Anunoby, who is loved by coach Nick Nurse, which I think is important. He offers two-way versatility on both sides of the ball, and the 76ers will have the necessary cap space to re-sign him this summer. Other names Philadelphia will monitor include Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, I’m told.”NBA insider Mike Scotto on Philadelphia 76ers’ trade targets
It’s since been reported that 76ers ownership pressured Morey into dealing Harden sooner rather than later. They likely won’t need to create any sense of urgency this time around. Yet that doesn’t mean finding a trade partner will be any easier, especially considering Cleveland may not be anywhere near ready to move on from Mitchell roughly 14 months after acquiring the four-time All-Star.
Mitchell is under contract through the 2024-25 season. He also has a player option for the 2025-26 league year, but typically, star players decline the option while signing a larger long-term contract. Until the Cavs sign Mitchell to a long-term deal, his name will continue to come up in trade rumors, whether there’s any truth to them or not.
While Mitchell’s future in Cleveland may or may not be uncertain, the pressure is already on for the 76ers, who now need to show reigning MVP Joel Embiid that this Philadelphia roster has enough to compete for an NBA championship. If they didn’t with Harden, are they really better equipped without him? We’ll see what coach Nick Nurse can do with a reshaped roster.