Wasn’t Daryl Morey supposed to be spending more time with his family? The Sixers’ freshly christened president of basketball ops is wasting no time getting busy in his new gig, agreeing to trade center Al Horford and two draft picks to the Thunder in exchange for swingman Danny Green.
Philly will send OKC—stop me if you’ve heard this before—a future first-round pick as well as a second-rounder in the deal. Sam Presti will send back Green—acquired this week in the Denis Schroder trade—as well as Terrance Ferguson to complete the transaction. The first-round pick will be a protected selection in 2025. Let’s grade the deal for each team.
This is addition by subtraction. I never liked the Horford signing—check the receipts!—and his fit with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons was often painful to watch. Philly sending out a first-round pick to dump his contract was always going to be the price of business, and I don’t think the Sixers need to worry too much about giving away a first-rounder this decade when they have two young stars on the roster.
And Green is a useful player! While he struggled in the playoffs, he still shot very well from three during the regular season with the Lakers. He also remains a plus defender on the wing. Getting a spacer who won’t clog the floor is vital for Philly’s offense, and Green slots in very nicely in the starting lineup. Not only do the Sixers get positional balance with this trade without taking on a bad contract (Green’s deal is expiring), their offense should function more smoothly without taking anything away from their defense. I love this move for Philly. It’s a no-brainer.
Presti’s wheeling and dealing is a boon for asset porn enthusiasts. Look at the number of first-round picks!
Meanwhile, there are plenty of players on the roster who could fetch more if Presti chooses to trade them. Steven Adams makes sense to be on the move next, considering he doesn’t really work with Horford (who is signed through 2023.) Maybe Presti continues to field a competitive team while hoarding picks. Maybe he uses some of the firsts to dump Horford. Maybe he’s using all these first-rounders to assemble the greatest renewable energy resource in the world. Who knows! All that matters is the Thunder have options.
This particular deal is a little surprising, though. A protected first isn't enough to offset the $81 million owed to Horford over the next three seasons. I don’t expect OKC to simply become a dumping ground for bad deals. There’s certainly more to come.