The Philadelphia 76ers are known for historically making bad NBA trades. Whether it be trading arguably the greatest NBA player of all time in Wilt Chamberlain, the head scratching trades of Charles Barkley and also the draft rights to Brad Daugherty, the Philadelpha 76ers have been on the wrong side of trades for 54 years. As the specter of a Ben Simmons trade hangs over Philly, let's look back on five of the worst trades the Philadelphia 76ers have made this century.
#5 Jayson Tatum
Leading up to the 2017 draft, the only player I thought the Philadelphia 76ers should have drafted was Jayson Tatum. He seemed to have all the tools to be a great two-way player, and a smooth temperament to boot. The Sixers, with the third pick in that draft, elected to trade up to the top spot - with their historic rival, the Boston Celtics - and selected Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington. Fultz is an athletic slasher that would have fit well with Joele Embiid and Ben Simmons to form a versatile triumpherant distinctly different from each other that would stretch a defense. The thing is, Markelle Fultz never panned out in Philly. He had a hitch in his jumper, a shoulder injury, and his trips to the foul line were just entertaining to put it mildly. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum is a thorn in the Philadelphia 76ers' side, and is quickly becoming an NBA superstar -- in Boston. What could have been, the NBA will never know. Danny Ainge said he would have taken Tatum anyway:
“There was a story that came out this week about Jayson going to Phoenix. Jayson was never gonna end up in Phoenix,” Ainge told Lowe. “Even if he didn’t come in for that second workout with us days before the draft in Boston, we were still going to take Jayson Tatum.”
#4 Richaun Holmes
Covering the Philadelphia 76ers over the years, when a high energy player appears, it's noticeable. Richaun Holmes at 6'10" is the player the Philadelphia 76ers have been trying to replace at the center position since left. Since then, the Philadelphia 76ers have brought in centers in free agent deals to back up Joel Embiid -- most notably Dwight Howard. Then interim GM, Brett Brown, gave the now 27 year old Holmes away for cash considerations. You heard that right. Name a player in the history of sport who has truly helped a team after being acquired for cash.
Yeah, that guy is Richaun Holmes. Holmes, the 37th pick in the 2015 draft out of Bowling Green, is contributing good minutes in Sacramento and is the starter over Hassan Whiteside. Go figure. Brett Brown, man (shakes head for Philadelphia 76ers fans).
#3 Andre (don't call him Iggy) Iguodala
Andre Iguodala was a misunderstood player for the Philadelphia 76ers. Foul shots were an issue despite his stellar defense. Sound familiar? It should. Iguodala was seen as the number one option by fans because of how much money he commanded, and despite that erroneous perception, the glue guy, NBA all star, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic Gold medalist has had a great career following his trade from Philadelphia. The trade was pretty complicated, yet essentially Iguodala was traded for Andrew Bynum -- who we'll get to later. Sitting in press row, writers cringed whenever Iguodala was at the foul line. Fans were vicious whenever he stepped to the stripe or after misses. I tried to explain to Philadelphia fans that Iguodala wasn't the problem, it was more the Sixers for how Iguodala was seen. If he had been given some true scoring options in support of his defensive ability, Philadelphia would have surely benefited.
Anthony Gilbert and I speak to Iguodala below.