The Sixers are building with a ton of young talent, but they definitely could use a star to build around. It would be a coup to land Irving. But, as noted, the cost would be steep. The Sixers would have to surrender young talent to even get in the ballpark of an Irving trade, but if they got him, they quickly thrust themselves into contention in a weak Eastern Conference.
Cleveland would almost certainly ask for several young pieces in exchange for their established All-Star. Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor, Furkan Korkmaz, Justin Anderson and Robert Covington would all be on the table. I think Fultz, Korkmaz and Covington is a fair package for Irving.
Fultz was far and away the best player in the 2017 NBA Draft, Korkmaz is a 19-year-old shooting guard with a ton of upside and Covington is one of the NBA’s best wing defenders. Each has prototypical size and length for his position. If the Cavs are truly looking at a full-scale rebuild after next season — presuming LeBron bolts in free agency — those are three great pieces to start with. Or, they could simply demand Fultz and Saric. Either way they’d be getting a heck of a young, talented package in return.
Meanwhile, though the Sixers would be giving up a ton, they would be able to run out a lineup that had Irving, Simmons, J.J. Redick and Joel Embiid. That’s still fantastic and would immediately be a threat in the East.