“We had some stinker games, but for the most part, regardless of who we were playing, regardless of the number of people we had active that night, the guys went out, they competed, they played pretty well together, they tried to play defense and it was pretty gratifying to see. I would say also that, to a man, they kept their enthusiasm during the course of the year. Especially with the last group that we ended up with, really a good group of guys, they kept their enthusiasm, they kept their work ethic. It’s not easy when you’re winning 15 games to come to work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And I would say that for the most part these guys did that every day.
September 24, 2021 | 3:01 pm EDT Update
Skeptical teams observing the Sixers believe that the interest in reconciling with Simmons stems more from their hope to recoup a bit more trade leverage than the infinitesimal amount they currently possess rather than a genuine attempt to mend the relationship. Whatever the motivations are for trying to coax Simmons back to the squad, withholding a large seven-figure sum after a few missed practices does not sound like the wisest olive branch to extend.
The Raptors are both intent on being as competitive as they can this season and confident that more appealing trade possibilities involving Dragić will materialize after the season begins, once a potential trade partner’s need for proven playmaking becomes more acute.
The emergence earlier this month of Rosas’ consensual romantic relationship with a female team staff member, after Rosas’ tense dealings with eventual successor Sachin Gupta over a Houston offer to Gupta that he was prevented from accepting, gave Taylor the needed justifications to make the change now. Photographic evidence of Rosas in a romantic clinch with his co-worker was widely circulated across the league on Wednesday after his dismissal and promptly usurped even the Simmons situation as the No. 1 topic on the NBA grapevine.
Example: During the Las Vegas summer league, word circulated that Lore and Rodriguez would have loved to have made a run at Toronto’s Masai Ujiri to lead Minnesota’s front office. Ujiri recently signed a lucrative contract extension to stay with the Raptors — and the Wolves realistically had no shot at him — but the whispered interest only reinforces the notion that Lore and Rodriguez want to make splashy hires.