When Boston Celtics fans woke up on Halloween morning to the news that the Philadelphia 76ers had traded James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers, they probably let out a sigh of relief.
I think Celtics fans are looking at it wrong.
The Sixers are now more of a threat to the Celtics now than they were before.
Sixers better through addition by subtraction with James Harden trade
The No. 1 reason why the Sixers are a bigger threat is that they got rid of their biggest problem, which was Harden. For as good as Harden is, he was a negative player for Philly, and he never delivered what they needed from him in the big moments.
It also allows Tyrese Maxey to have an enhanced role. Maxey is a player on the rise and he is averaging 30 points per game this season.
Maxey making a leap, paired with reigning MVP Joel Embiid and an improved depth chart, makes the Sixers more of a threat to the Boston Celtics than when they had their Harden issues plaguing them.
Sixers can potentially surpass the Boston Celtics if they land another star on the trade market
Also, with newly acquired assets, Philadelphia can add a star player or another quality player. This should be a concern for the Celtics because the Sixers would be scary with another star player.
Although the Celtics should not be overly scared of Philadelphia, it’s important to keep tabs on other East contenders throughout the season. Since the Cs made major moves, the Sixers and Milwaukee Bucks have followed suit.
The response from both teams intensifies the arms race in the East, and it will lead to amazing games this season. But Boston needs to be careful that they aren’t left behind by a team that didn’t seem like top dogs until they rid themselves of what was dogging them.