Sure, Holiday is a fantastic player, a good shooter, and one of the better defensive guards in the NBA today, as fans of the Philadelphia 76ers know all too well, but is he really worth a package more substantive than the Toronto Raptors paid for Kawhi Leonard a few seasons prior?
Well, if his performances in the 2021 NBA playoffs are of any indication, the answer to that question would be a resounding yes. Like Holiday, Lowry is a top-tier NBA point guard who plays defense like a dog, is a quality distributor, and most importantly of all, drained 37.7 percent of his 6.7 3 point shots a night over his tenure in Toronto.
Assuming the Sixers either procured a viable frontcourt player to fortify their rotation from the Raptors or in a separate transaction – maybe the Sixers keep Tony Bradley and exchange picks/roleplayers for Kenrich Williams if they want to keep the OKC connection alive, but it doesn’t really matter – the team would have a more balanced rotation featuring four 15-plus points per game scorers and enough two-way players to weather whatever losses had to be incurred to facilitate such a deal.
If the 2020-21 NBA season was truly about seeing what the Philadelphia 76ers already had – as Daryl Morey claimed multiple times – the idea of passing on a legitimately talented point guard to instead roll with the same old Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid/Tobias Harris plus a rotational supporting cast feels rather antithetical, no? The Sixers already missed out on the best potential trade they’ll come by anytime soon, even if the Houston Rockets didn’t want to ship James Harden back to his former GM, and by failing to play ball with Toronto, they effectively whiffed on what could have been the perfect moonshot for a 2021 title to instead hope something better materialized in the offseason.