Joel Embiid wished Jahlil Okafor well following his trade to the Nets as only Embiid does.
"I made sure to let him know that I was going to kick his a--," Embiid said. "We play them four times a year. I made sure to let him know that every year, four times, I'm going to kick his a--."
A promise of a butt-kicking actually is a sign Embiid cares. He similarly told former teammate Nerlens Noel he was going to "cook his a--" when they faced off as opponents for the first time in November. Embiid, Okafor and Noel all played through the center logjam together.
"That's my close friend," Embiid said of Okafor. "I was really happy for him and excited."
The trade also hit close to T.J. McConnell. He had developed such a strong friendship with Nik Stauskas that Stauskas was a groomsman in his wedding this past summer. Okafor also was a guest.
"The kind of ups and downs that me and Nik have gone through, and Jahlil, being here for 10-win seasons and hanging out and just doing what friends do, it's crappy to have two of them go at the same time," McConnell said. "I love those guys to death and I'm going to miss them."
The Sixers will welcome Trevor Booker when he joins the team. Booker had been in Mexico with the Nets when he was traded to Philadelphia.