Welcome back to The Weekly 4-Point Play, our new weekly column highlighting four of the biggest and most exciting stories in the association. In case you missed it, Volume 1 is here.
We have a real NBA trade, Halloween Night, and a couple of other stories we have to get to. This is the season for early-season hot takes and overreactions with teams only having played a handful of games. We usually don’t get a blockbuster trade this early in the season and I’m excited to dive into that. The categories for this week are Trade Reaction, A Trip to The Trade Machine, Future Star Watch, and Block Party of The Week. Let’s dive into it. Take us away Steph Curry!
Trade Reaction: The Beard Finally gets moved to Clipper Land
Woj unleashed an early morning Woj-Bomb that most NBA fans probably slept through. I checked my phone at 3 a.m. CST after a trip to the bathroom and proceeded to be up for 45 minutes as I had to scroll through socials trying to find all the details. This trade felt like a matter of “when” and not “if”. James Harden has a way of getting to where he wants to go and he has voiced his desire to join Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook with the Clippers. They quickly become a very interesting watch as people will want to see how a team with 2 former MVPs being the 3rd and 4th options will work on the court. The 76ers got draft picks and role players to ship Harden out.
This might seem like a lackluster return considering that Daryl Morey is known for being a star hunter. I actually think this is a pretty good return and this package could be parlayed into a star or a highly valued player closer to the deadline. Tyrese Maxey looks like he could be that 2nd star for Philly which gives them more options in who they could go after. This is a good segway into my next point.
With New Assets to Trade, it’s Time to Take a Trip to the Trade Machine with the 76ers.
In my opinion, this Harden trade has made the 76ers THE team to watch at the trade deadline. Any disappointing team with a star-level player will likely receive a call from Morey checking in on an asking price. They even could go in on a high-level 3 and D type if they’re fully in on Maxey and Embiid carrying their offense through the postseason.
Early reports have them potentially eyeing either option. Zach LaVine and Donovan Mitchell have come up as possible stars that could be available. OG Anunoby and Bojan Bogdanovic are the other side of the coin, a good shooter to complement Maxey and Embiid. OG is also an elite defender to help handle star forwards like Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is the player I’m eyeing for the 76ers. Any deal would have to be made with OG wanting to stay in Philly long-term. He could opt to be a free agent in the offseason, Philly will want some kind of commitment from OG before making any trade.
The 76ers could easily match salary with Marcus Morris and then can reroute most or all of the draft equity they got from the Clippers to the Raptors you can start down a different direction
Future Star Watch: Shaedon Sharpe is Taking Flight for Portland
Most of the eyes were on Scoot Henderson in Portland heading into the season. That attention has switched over to his backcourt partner Shaedon Sharpe. The second-year guard had a 24-point game against the Orlando Magic that caught some attention, he then followed it up with a 29-7-5 game against the Detroit Pistons on November 1st. A lot of people didn’t know what to expect with Sharpe coming out of the draft with him not playing at all in college. He is quickly showing that he belongs in the NBA and has a lot of stat potential as well. The Blazers have a very bright future and Sharpe is a big reason why.
The Block Party of The Week: Wemby scares away Grayson Allen and the Suns on Halloween Night
The Spurs showed they might be ready to compete a lot sooner than expected with back-to-back wins over the Phoenix Suns. Wemby showed out with 38 points in the second game on Thursday but it was the block party he had on Halloween night that caught my eye. He sent multiple of Grayson Allen’s shots away.
We could be in the beginning of an all-time great rookie season by Wemby. He will almost certainly be an All-Star this season and could compete for some other awards outside of the ones targeted at rookies. It wouldn’t shock me if he made an All-NBA team or an All-Defensive team. This kid must watch television.