76ers

6 prospects Sixers could target in 2018 NBA draft

6 prospects Sixers could target in 2018 NBA draft

After Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, we know the Sixers will hold pick Nos. 10 and 26 (see story). Here are six prospects that could interest them at those spots.

At No. 10
Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova

Bridges offers great size, length and athleticism. Those traits will allow him to guard one through four at the next level. He’s an ideal fit for the Sixers, who love to switch on everything. His shot and overall scoring improved each year he was at Villanova. He’ll need to diversify his offensive game a bit to earn more minutes at the next level.

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
The other Bridges is an explosive athlete with a thick frame. He’ll earn his money in the NBA on the defensive end of the floor. His shot is a bit inconsistent (38 percent from three) but his form is solid. The Celtics threw a whole bunch of athletes at the Sixers defensively during the Eastern Conference semifinals. Bridges could help the Sixers get on their level.

Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF, Missouri
Chances are Porter won’t be there at 10, but it’s a possibility. Porter was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school. A back injury that required surgery forced him to miss all but three games during his freshman season. If teams are scared off by the injury, it could be an opportunity for the Sixers to swoop in. Porter will be too big for wings to guard and too athletic for big men. His jump shot is strong, but he’ll need to develop his feel for the game at the next level.

At No. 26
Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State

Coming from Boise State, questions will arise about Hutchison’s level of competition, but this kid looks like a player. He’s a long athlete that’s added muscle to his frame every year. He’s seen tremendous growth as a shooter and driver. He needs to develop his left hand a little more and could still stand to add a little more weight, but Hutchison is an intriguing prospect in the back end of the first.

Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami
Brown profiles more as an athlete than a basketball player at this point. His shot actually regressed in his sophomore season (35 percent to 27 percent from three), but the freshman year shows there may be potential there. Brown has proven to be a decent facilitator (four assists per game) and rebounder (7.1 boards per game). Like Miles Bridges, he’s an athlete that will add something on both ends.

Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova
DiVincenzo grew every season for the Wildcats, culminating in earning the Most Outstanding Player in the championship game. DiVincenzo is a tremendous athlete that provided Villanova instant offense and unbelievable energy off the bench. While his value will likely never be higher, the Michael Jordan of Delaware may choose to come back and help defend the Wildcats’ title. With that said, he probably has the tools to help an NBA team off the bench next season.

Sixers vs. Cavs: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Sixers vs. Cavs: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Before they have a chance to get one back on the defending champion Raptors Sunday night, the Sixers have a game to play Saturday at Wells Fargo Center.

Here are the essentials for the matchup between the 15-7 Sixers and 5-16 Cavs.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 7 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center 
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

And here are three storylines to watch:

It’s not rest this time

Joel Embiid has yet to have a “rest” game since saying load management is “BS.”

He’s out Saturday with a left hip contusion. A team source told NBC Sports Philadelphia that Embiid reported discomfort after the Sixers’ 119-113 loss Thursday to the Wizards and is being treated for the injury.

Embiid had played in 11 straight games since sitting the last game of a back-to-back on Nov. 13 in Orlando. 

After tonight, he’ll have played in 18 of the Sixers’ first 23 games, and 30.4 minutes per night. He played every one of the team’s first 23 games last year, averaging 34.6 minutes. 

Missing the ‘dot connector’ 

Before the season, Brett Brown called Josh Richardson the “mortar” for the Sixers. On Nov. 20, he labeled him a “dot connector.” 

The Sixers have managed a 5-1 mark in games Richardson has missed — he’s out again Saturday with right hamstring tightness — but they’ve been much worse with him off the floor. The team has a plus-10.6 net rating with Richardson on the court, minus-0.6 with him off it.

Much of that can be attributed to him being paired with Embiid, who has similar on-off numbers and tends to boost the net ratings of whoever he’s playing with, but that disparity does suggest Richardson’s value. 

At a minimum, splitting up the Richardson-Embiid pairing has hurt the Sixers. 

Drama with the Cavs 

Three anonymous players were quoted in a story in The Athletic by Shams Charania and Joe Vardon about new Cavs head coach John Beilein. The players voiced their frustration with, among other things, the former Michigan coach’s emphasis on fundamentals and extended film sessions. And, according to the report, “all the team’s screens, cuts, and pivots are named after wild animals. A curl is a 'polar bear' in John Beilein's system.” That reportedly hasn’t resonated with a few of the Cavs’ veteran players.

Several players then responded to the report and spoke out in support of Beilein, including Tristan Thompson. 

“Y’all better find them names ‘cause I’ll pull up on ‘em right now,” Thompson told reporters. “You can’t do that s---. At the end of the day if you’re going to build a culture and a family, you can’t have that Chatty Patty s--- going on. That s--- is whack to me.”

That wasn’t the only notable news involving the Cavs on Friday. The team is prepared to listen to offers for Kevin Love, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The five-time All-Star missed Cleveland's 93-87 loss Friday to the Magic because of an illness. 

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Sixers Injury Update: Joel Embiid, Josh Richardson out for Saturday's game vs. Cavs

Sixers Injury Update: Joel Embiid, Josh Richardson out for Saturday's game vs. Cavs

The Sixers will be down two starters Saturday night when they return to Wells Fargo Center to play the Cavs.

Josh Richardson will miss his fifth consecutive game with right hamstring tightness, while Joel Embiid is out with a left hip contusion.

A team source told NBC Sports Philadelphia that Embiid reported discomfort after the Sixers' 119-113 loss to the Wizards on Thursday night and is being treated for the injury.

Embiid had 26 points, 21 rebounds and eight turnovers Thursday.

Richardson and the Sixers have been cautious with his hamstring. He told reporters in Washington, D.C., that this is the first hamstring injury he's dealt with and admitted that it's been a frustrating process.

“A hamstring is one of those things where you can think that you’re fine and then you take a wrong step and it’s a week or two-week setback," he said. "I don’t really want to get into that whole cycle. ... It’s just one of those things where I just don’t really know where I’m at most of the time. It always feels like I’m tiptoeing, trying not to do too much.”

The Sixers' preferred starting five of Embiid, Richardson, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford have played just 102 minutes together this season, posting a plus-21.3 net rating. 

Furkan Korkmaz has started the past four games in place of Richardson. Without Embiid, the Sixers will need to plug in another spot starter and perhaps search for further big man depth. Kyle O'Quinn hasn't played since Nov. 23, but he might be called upon vs. Cleveland.

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