The Tobias Harris trade has two meanings for Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Tobias Harris (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Tobias Harris (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

In the wake of the recently announced trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers involving star-caliber forward Tobias Harris, the teams’ changes have different but equally significant meaning for the Boston Celtics.

The second everyone thought they could go safely to bed, on the last night before Trade Deadline Eve in the NBA, a Tweet from The Athletic’s Shams Charania shook the league to its core – not to mention with implications for the Boston Celtics.

Later on, the full details of the trade were reported.

While this is a trade that will surely have effects that ripple throughout all of the NBA, the Boston Celtics are in a unique position to be in both of the races the Clippers and 76ers are in: the race for Anthony Davis, and the race for the Eastern Conference title.

On the Los Angeles front, this adds a lot of compelling assets to their bargaining table for AD – especially the unprotected Miami 2021 first rounder. The Clippers have long-awaited their turn at acquiring their new superstar tandem after the departure of the Blake/CP3 era, and if they aren’t going for Davis with these assets, they’re certainly going for someone. The Celtics may now have to seriously worry about two teams from the city of angels.

The Clippers also currently sit at eighth in the Western Conference. Their 2019 draft pick is lottery protected, and their 2019 squad just got a lot worse, adding another asset to Los Angeles’ bag this summer and potentially weakening the Celtics’, who stood to gain the Clippers’ pick if they made the playoffs this year.

The 76ers, on the other hand, just gave out a lot of nice assets. It wasn’t chump change. They must have a belief that Tobias Harris gets them to the top of the conference right now, and frontcourt depth in Boban Marjanovic won’t hurt either.

It’s not hard to envision a potential lineup of Simmons-Redick-Butler-Harris-Embiid being scary in the playoffs, though their depth issues may not be fully sorted out by this trade. In either case, the Celtics and Brad Stevens now have one more star to shut down in a potential playoff series.

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The dynamics of the league are changed a bit now after this trade, and equally so are the Boston Celtics’ prospects at getting Anthony Davis this summer and running the table in the Eastern Conference this postseason. There is still time to make a move before February 7th at 3 p.m., though, so nothing is set in stone yet.