After a drama-filled summer, the Philadelphia 76ers finally decided to trade James Harden to the LA Clippers on Monday. The deal sees P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev joining Harden in exchange for four players, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a pick swap.
With the Harden chapter closed, the 76ers can completely focus on competing for the 2023-24 NBA Championship. The fanbase is dying for Philadelphia to make it beyond the postseason's second round for the first time since 2001, meaning more moves could be on the way if it means giving Nick Nurse the best roster possible.
With no room left for underperformers, here are three 76ers who are on thin ice following the Harden trade.
1. De'Anthony Melton
With Harden sitting out of the first three games of the 2023-24 campaign, De'Anthony Melton slid into the starting shooting guard spot. The 25-year-old showed promise during his first season with Philly but hasn't been able to follow it up this season.
Melton is averaging an unimpressive 8.0 PPG while shooting 30.8% from the floor and 25.0% from three-point range while playing 29 minutes per game. His shooting splits are incredibly disappointing considering that he averaged 42.5% and 39.0%, respectively, last year.
The 76ers' offense just hasn't been playing as well with Melton on the floor. His minus-4.0 offensive box plus/minus is the worst mark of his career, indicating that he contributes fewer points per 100 possessions than the average NBA player.
If the 76ers are going to compete for a title, Melton must be better on both sides of the ball. He's set to hit free agency at the end of the year, meaning Philadelphia won't hesitate to trade him mid-season if it means improving its championship odds.