NBA Central: Woj says the chances of the Philadelphia Sixers breaking up Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are ‘fairly remote’ “I think you’ll see them continue to try to build around Simmons and Embiid.” (Via ESPN)
You brought up Brett Brown. The 76ers are in the playoffs. When you hear people talk about whether Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid can coexist together, what do you think of that? People wonder if they have to trade one of those guys to balance out the team? What do you think? Lloyd Pierce: I think it’s blasphemy. I think in this league, the challenge is, can you win? Are you a winner? If you’re that guy, it doesn’t matter who you play with. Winners get extra rebounds, run the floor, attack, defend, compete. To think you have a top-10 and a top-15 talent and you have two of them, and they can’t co-exist? I think they both impact winning. I’m not getting rid of one to go find another because you might not find another. It’s hard to find top-15 talent that impacts winning and is competitive. Both of those guys, I think, have shown that. They were a basket away from going to the Conference Finals last year. Chemistry is real. You have to have team chemistry. You have to develop it. You have to continue to work at it. Impacting winning and competing is real as well. I think both of those guys have that. I’m more concerned with how do you make it work, not let’s get rid of it and try another route. I don’t really agree with that approach for any team.
What was once a young, promising and exciting Philadelphia team has been grossly mismanaged by general manager Elton Brand and with an inevitable early playoff exit, it will likely lead to serious shakeup. According to league sources, it could even come down to between Simmons and Embiid. Both are proven superstars in today’s NBA and either of them would bring back a lion’s share of assets to allow Philadelphia to rebuild on the fly. That means that the rest of the NBA will circle this situation like vultures, waiting to swoop in and take advantage of an already inept Sixers front office.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid is a combination that a lot of people in the NBA, including the Cavs, feel like is disastrous, and it can't work long term. And there is one member of the Cavs organization that believes eventually, maybe even as soon as this summer, if Philadelphia has an earlier than expected exit in the postseason again... there's one member of the Cavs organization that believes that Philadelphia is going to have to pick between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. That that pairing is going to have to be split up
The Cavs, of course, would have interest in Simmons. He possesses the talent and versatility to immediately alter the team’s future. The Sixers would want a haul for the 2016 No. 1 pick who is locked up through 2023-24 and will probably be named to the All-Defense First Team. But the Cavs believe they have enough to assemble an enticing package, especially with recent first-rounders littering the roster, a top six pick coming in October and a future first from the Milwaukee Bucks.
One executive who spoke with cleveland.com believes the Sixers will need to choose between Simmons and Joel Embiid -- if Philly has an earlier-than-expected playoff exit.
One of the interesting possibilities I’ve heard being kicked around is Russell for Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons. The 76ers could use a point guard who can score and run the show — and shoot. Some believe the pairing of Simmons and big man Joel Embiid isn’t viable in their pursuit of a championship. Simmons, as one source told me, is probably the best player the Warriors could possibly get for Russell, just considering the needs of the Warriors and their potential trade partners.
Despite being a lightning rod for criticism in Philadelphia, Simmons says he enjoys playing in front of a passionate fan base. "I love being in Philadelphia. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," he said. "I think this is the perfect place for me. I just handle [criticism] how it comes."
Simmons will have a poison pill restriction in his contract as part of signing a rookie extension. For trade purposes, his $8.1M salary for 2019-20 would be used as outgoing salary and $29.6M (the average over 6 years) would count as incoming for the acquiring team.
It’s tough to predict which players may be available in the long term, but as I wrote in January: Teams are monitoring Ben Simmons (Sixers), Devin Booker (Suns), and Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves). All three players are locked into contracts now, but if the Suns or Wolves keep losing or if Simmons takes a back seat in Philadelphia, situations can sour. The true prize, however, will hit the market in two years.
It’s early in that process. Leonard’s shot just fell through the net. But one Western Conference executive brought up a name that could be a Simmons trade target: LeBron James. “I think they very well might explore that,” said a rival executive of Philadelphia. James doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but he shares the same Klutch Sports agent with Ben Simmons in Rich Paul. James has two seasons left on his deal before he can become a free agent.
A source who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity said general manager Elton Brand made it known to ownership sometime before the trade deadline that the organization needed to consider trading Simmons because the youngster was simply not coachable, and was a regular-season player annually exposed in the playoffs. The idea was immediately shot down, and Brand was told that Simmons and Embiid were untouchable – even if Anthony Davis was the prize.
Philadelphia, which could put together a fairly competitive offer for Davis, currently has no plans to pursue a deal, sources said. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports represents Davis and Ben Simmons and a deal centered on swapping his clients is highly unlikely. The 6-foot-10 All-Star desires to play in a big market that’s committed to winning, sources said.
The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly sought Ben Simmons in a potential Jimmy Butler trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast on Thursday, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor explained just how high the Timberwolves' asking price is for their disgruntled shooting guard: "One of the things that I've heard from a handful of sources is that—with the Sixers for example—the initial offer that they made, the counter-offer was like, 'We need Ben Simmons in a deal.'"
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.
September 25, 2022 | 6:25 am EDT Update
Thybulle chose to do everything he could do mentally and physically to be the best version of himself as a player and person. He’s learned that it’s more about the journey than the destination. “At this point, I would always want to stay in Philly,” he said. “And if it’s up to me, that’s always going to be my choice. “But considering that I’ve realized the reality of how far out of my control it is, if I do get traded or something does end up happening, I can look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day.”
Shortly after mentioning the inspiration he takes from John Wall’s struggles with injury, he spoke on how he relates to that and how the narratives pushed by Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley make it harder to mentally overcome the obstacles: “People go through it… Doesn’t matter how much money you got, how famous you are, like it’s real, people go through everyday struggles… I think it’s kinda ignorant, like Shaq and Chuck sometimes what they’re saying. ‘Cause they have a platform to kind of like protect us and, you know, do good. Um, obviously they’re supposed to criticize us, you know, we’re basketball players. But when it comes to personal stuff there’s a level of respect they should have. Even Shaq, like, when I was dealing with everything going on, I actually messaged him and he put it out. And I was like, alright.”
With Shaq, it hurt even more for Simmons because O’Neal and Simmons both went to LSU. According to Simmons, that has been a point of connection for Shaq and Simmons previously, but O’Neal wasn’t checking in on his Tiger brother and ensuring he was OK: “I DM’d him and I was like, ‘why are you saying this if you don’t even know the story?’ ‘Cause he always wants to say like yo, we’re LSU brothers, you’re my brother, all this, that. If you’re my LSU brother you would’ve reached out by now and it’s been months since I’ve been dealing with this. You ain’t reached out once and said like, ‘hey, you OK? Like, what’s going on.’”
Thybulle’s goal was to have the Sixers see for themselves the work he put in and the offensive improvements that he’s made. And it worked. “Matisse has been the most consistent player in Camden this summer, putting in countless hours on his game that will for sure pay dividends going forward,” said Daryl Morey, the Sixers president of basketball operations. “We are excited about his future.”
“I’m really proud of what I did,” Thybulle said of his offseason. “I’ve worked harder than I’ve worked. “And I had a meeting with [Sixers coach Doc Rivers] early this week and was telling him I feel more bought in than I’ve been before.” Don’t get it twisted. Thybulle didn’t lack effort in the past. “It’s just a different feeling you feel when you can see how much more of yourself when you are giving to your craft,” he said, “and to the team and surrendering to the work and living to whatever the outcome can be.”
After making the post that defended Udoka on Thursday night, Barnes said that he got a call from some that “had all the details – this [expletive] is deep.” “I try to report and talk with facts and honesty and I clearly have to say last night without knowing all the facts,” Barnes said in an Instagram post Friday. “I spoke on Ime Udoka’s defense. After finding out the facts after I spoke, I erased what I posted because this situation in Boston is deep, it’s messy, it’s 100 times uglier than any of us thought. That’s why I erased what I said.”
“Kobe said he was gonna set the tone to start the game and he said, ‘I’m running through Pau’s chest’,” LeBron James revealed in the documentary. “First play of the game I’m running through Pau Gasol.’ And we was like, ‘What?'” Dwyane Wade added. “He said, ‘First play of the game, I know what they’re gonna run.’ And he knew Pau was gonna be the last screen and he said ‘I’m running through him.'” As predicted, Bryant intentionally ran right through Gasol hard on Spain’s first possession and received a defensive foul. The entire US team started believing Kobe’s words instantly, James recalls. Gasol himself revealed that Kobe visited the Spanish national team in the Olympic Village before the game. The big man believes it was a part of the plan to soften both Pau and the entire Spanish squad.