The NBA schedule is out and it’s ripe with juicy matchups all around the league.
There will be plenty of intriguing games for the Sixers, including their matchups with rival Boston and both L.A. teams, but there are also a few games that will have some sentimentality.
Here are the Sixers’ “reunion” games for the 2019-20 season. (All times listed below are local start times.)
Jimmy Butler — Sixers vs. Heat, Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m.
This may be the one return that’s not so ceremonious. There have been conflicting reports about whether the Sixers offered Butler a max deal. In any case, it appears Butler chose South Beach over South Philly. The crowd reaction alone will be fascinating. It’s unlikely either side will offer up much in the pre- and postgame availabilities, but you never know. It’ll also be Josh Richardson’s first chance to “kill” his former team.
T.J. McConnell — Sixers vs. Pacers, Nov. 30, 7 p.m.
This may actually get the fan base more excited than any return. McConnell was the ultimate underdog, joining the team as an undrafted free agent and earning an unlikely roster spot every season. The team and McConnell chose to go in different directions as the Sixers brought in veterans Raul Neto and Trey Burke to handle backup point guard duties.
JJ Redick — Sixers vs. Pelicans, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.
Redick had arguably the best two seasons of his NBA career with the Sixers. The two-man game with Joel Embiid and Redick was lethal. In a way, the Sixers signing Redick was similar to when the Phillies signed Jim Thome. Redick wasn’t the caliber player Thome was, but it symbolized Philadelphia being a destination again. It will also be our first peek at No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.
Boban Marjanovic — Sixers vs. Mavericks, Dec. 20, 8 p.m.
The Tobi and Bobi Show gets another day in the sun. Marjanovic became a fan favorite pretty much immediately in Philadelphia when he arrived in a trade with his best friend, Tobias Harris. The massive Serbian got a standing ovation the first time he checked into a game at the Wells Fargo Center as a Sixer. I imagine the reception will be quite warm this time around as well.
Robert Covington — Sixers vs. Timberwolves, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.
Covington was traded last November, but missed both matchups against his former team last season. RoCo was one of the more underappreciated players the Sixers have had because his shooting ran so hot and cold. He should be warmly received this time around. The Butler trade didn’t work out exactly how the team would’ve liked, but it did ultimately net the Sixers Richardson.
Dario Saric — Sixers vs. Suns, March 27, 7 p.m.
Well, at least Saric got himself into warmer weather. He’ll also be reunited with former Sixers assistant Monty Williams, who took over as head coach in Phoenix. Those are really the only positives about Saric landing with the Suns. Always a fan favorite, Saric will be coming over to Philadelphia to a rousing ovation.
Markelle Fultz — Sixers vs. Magic, April 5, 1 p.m.
This one might be intriguing. Do we believe the hype around the latest Markelle Fultz shooting videos or do we think it’s the same story as last offseason? Fultz was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason, but obviously has yet to live up to anywhere near that lofty status. The crowd reaction could get ugly — especially if Fultz rediscovers his jumper and plays well.
Carsen Edwards — Sixers vs. Celtics, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Bruno Fernando — Sixers at Hawks, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Sure, there will be intrigue with Al Horford taking on his former teams, but let's face it: We all love to second guess every move ever. These games fall into the “what could’ve been” category. Edwards and Fernando were both acquired with picks originally held by the Sixers. General manager Elton Brand valued the roster spot/cap space more than drafting either player. It’s fair to note that Brand later re-signed Furkan Korkmaz to a deal. Would he have been better off selecting one of these two players? We’ll see.
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