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The KD and Westbrook trades, the pursuit of titles and the backup center search

Thoughts on the KD and Westbrook trades, how that impacts the Sixers, and what options are left at backup center.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While those old souls living on the East Coast were sound asleep last night, the Nets and Suns completed a blockbuster Kevin Durant trade that has far reaching consequences on the Philadelphia 76ers, and the NBA at large.

Gone from Brooklyn is Kevin Durant, officially putting an end to the Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden hypothetical superteam, a group which won just one playoff series together. In return the Nets get, well, a lot, as the Suns sent Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder (since redirected to the Milwaukee Bucks), four unprotected first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029) and the right to swap picks in 2028.

This came just hours after the Lakers made a big (but not quite as big. It feels off to call it a blockbuster deal now that we have the Durant trade to compare it to) trade of their own, finally shipping off Russell Westbrook and one of their two oft-rumored first-round picks to get a trio of players (D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt) to help them compete for a championship while LeBron James continues to play at a superstar level.

And even that was only a few days after the Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving.

Some quick thoughts on how this all relates to the 76ers, both in terms of the shuffling of contenders and in who the Sixers have left to pursue ahead of today's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Note: as I was writing this article, the Sixers traded Matisse Thybulle in a three-team deal, landing Jalen McDaniels. I will have more on that later.

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