Is Sixers’ trade of Al Horford to the Thunder a prelude to something bigger? | David Murphy

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One thing we saw last season was the danger of impulse shopping. In the Sixers’ defense, they had a certain amount of money that they needed to spend in order to maximize their payroll. Hindsight suggests the offseason was lost the moment they wavered in their commitment to Jimmy Butler. This time around, the only clock that is ticking is the one above Richardson’s head. He’s in the last year of his deal, he doesn’t have elite levels of any of the skills the Sixers need, and he should have some level of value on the trade market. The Harris contract might have been a mistake in terms of length and dollars, but it is hardly a sunk cost. There is a palatable and conceivable scenario in which the Sixers enter the season with a starting lineup of Embiid, Harris, Simmons, Green, and a combo guard they acquire using a package involving Richardson. From there, they would still have the pieces in place to wait for the right trajectory-altering deal.