After Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid posted a photo on Instagram captioned with the classic Batman line, "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain," Tuesday night — amid rumblings of discord in the team's ranks — the Heat star saw an opportunity. "I know a place where villains are welcome," Butler commented, along with a "shrug" emoji, seemingly a reference to the Heat. To which Embiid replied "Damn right my brother."
The Philadelphia 76ers are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference as they have been one of the NBA's more disappointing teams with questions continue to surround the viability of Brett Brown as head coach and whether Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can fit alongside each other.
"I've got lead executives talking to me as we go through this, hours and hours and hours that I spend on the phone in and around the deadline, even after the deadline," said Brian Windhorst on his podcast. "Some of the worst for me is the three days of debriefing calls that these guys... I'm very appreciative, I mean I do it. I was on the phone until almost midnight Pacific time after the deadline talking to people.
"But anyways, one of the conversations people are starting to have in the league is 'will they move Embiid? What's the price? Where would he go?' I'm not going to get into that, but my point is people are talking about that. I don't think they would do that without making an adjustment to the head coach. It's such a radical thing, but the fact that we're in mid-February and the people who work in the league, who have to prepare in advance, are mulling over Joel Embiid potentially coming to market, whether that's true or not... I mean, Josh Harris can come on this podcast and deny it if he wants, but the fact people are talking about it, is not good. It's a symptom of where they are."
John Clark: Joel Embiid on trade deadline 👀 “Hopefully I don’t get traded. You never know. No one is untouchable in this league. Hopefully I’m here for a long time. For the rest of my career” I think you’re safe big fella #HereTheyCome
Philadelphia's potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and the Heat's unprotected 2021 pick didn't move the needle. It's unclear if the Spurs had interest in Markelle Fultz; the two sides never discussed him seriously, and the Sixers would not have parted with him, sources say. The Spurs made it clear any deal with Philly would require Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid (likely Simmons), and the Sixers weren't going anywhere near that, league sources say.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers' Joel Embiid "I've seen my name pop up all over the place " in trade rumors. He wouldn't disclose the trade rumors. pic.twitter.com/aagImR4ie5
Keith Pompey: Brett Brown on managing the 3 bigs if they all remain in the roster throughout the season: "I think it would be an extreme challenge" pic.twitter.com/cpimRuE3kC
The Celtics reportedly tried to trade up to pick Embiid in the 2014 NBA Draft. "The Celtics were trying to trade the sixth pick that year, which ended up being Marcus Smart," said Bill Simmons. "They were trying to trade the sixth pick and the Brooklyn pick (17th overall pick) to move up to three to pick Embiid even though he was hurt."
“But the notion that we were out shopping any of them and aggressively pushing to make a deal is not the case,” Colangelo said. “We certainly listened because a lot of people thought we were in a corner. We never felt like we were in that corner. We feel like we’ve got three talented players that we are going to obviously let work itself out.”
There’s a solid chance that the Sixers will trade Noel or/and center Jahlil Okafor this season. But if he stays, Sixers coach Brett Brown says Noel will be an asset for the team that also features center Joel Embiid.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a logjam at the big positions in Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel. "There's no question you can look at our roster and say we have some unbalance," said Bryan Colangelo. "We're top heavy. We have some good talent there."
According to Bryan Colangelo, they are still working on trying to determine how to resolve the Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor front court situation. “We’re still working on that every day. We’re not going to make a bad deal so we’re going to do everything we can to make the right choice if we decide to ultimately move one,” Colangelo said about his big men. “We’ll try to make the right deal for the organization.”
September 17, 2021 | 5:16 pm EDT Update
The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
The word in Spanish basketball circles, as reiterated to me Friday, is that Marc Gasol is most likely to play for Girona if he decides to play on, even though the LEB Oro is one level below Spain’s top tier. I’m told he has been working out with new Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio to stay sharp even after negotiating his release earlier this week from Memphis following the Grizzlies’ recent trade with the Lakers to take on the final year of Gasol’s last NBA contract.
Ballots for the NBA’s 75th anniversary team were due back to the league office today. The league previously announced that the official list of its 75 greatest players, as selected by “a blue-ribbon panel of media, current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives,” will be revealed in October. The voters will also be revealed — not their full individual ballots but the names of those who made the selections.
September 17, 2021 | 3:51 pm EDT Update
After securing the arrival of Mario Hezonja, Russian team UNICS Kazan will announce soon the signing of former NBA guard OJ Mayo.
UNICS Kazan is adding one more marquee name to its roster with O.J.Mayo having a one-year deal with the Russian club. While there’s no signed contract yet, that seems to be more a formality delayed by bureaucratic reasons.
Chris Grenham: Former Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin tells me he worked out with Celtics this week. There is no training camp agreement between Boston and Goodwin yet, but there is interest from both sides. Goodwin played in 47 games with Atlanta last year, averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 assists.