76ers

NBA trade deadline: Could Sixers have a reunion with Robert Covington or Andre Iguodala?

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USA Today Images/Brace Hemmelgarn

NBA trade deadline: Could Sixers have a reunion with Robert Covington or Andre Iguodala?

With under a month until the Feb. 6 trade deadline, names are swirling around, hypotheticals are being floated and various levels of interest are being reported.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Sixers have “inquired about” Robert Covington and “expressed interest” in Andre Iguodala.

Both players will be familiar to those who follow the Sixers. 

Covington was a key part of the Sixers’ trade last season for Jimmy Butler. He rose from undrafted to D-League standout to “Process” success to First Team All-Defense for the 2017-18 season. 

Iguodala was the No. 9 pick in the 2004 NBA draft, spent the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia and was the MVP of the 2015 NBA Finals. The 35-year-old was dealt from the Golden State Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies this summer but hasn’t played a minute in 2019-20 — Memphis denied his request for a buyout, so both sides are hoping they can find a satisfactory trade.

Logistically, is a trade for either player reasonable?

Covington is making $11.3 million this year, so the Sixers’ offer would likely need to center around multiple bench players. 

According to O’Connor, “Minnesota could have so many bidders for Covington that the price will be too high for Philadelphia to make a reunion a reality.”

He reports 2018 first-round pick Zhaire Smith is “the young player they’re most willing to part with.” The 20-year-old Smith, who was sidelined for most of his rookie season by a broken foot and complications stemming from a severe allergic reaction, is averaging 13.5 points (50.7 percent from the floor, 31.4 percent from three-point range), 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in the G League.

With Iguodala’s $17.4 million salary, it would appear very difficult for the Sixers to make an equitable trade with the Grizzlies. For instance, though the salaries would work, the Sixers presumably wouldn’t offer Josh Richardson and a couple of bench pieces to Memphis.

In the case of Covington, he would help fulfill Brett Brown’s desire for a higher volume of three-point attempts — he’s taken 6.6 per game over the past six seasons and made 35.9 percent — and he’d be a disruptive defender. Covington seemed to be a polarizing figure among the Sixers’ fanbase, but he’s clearly a player with well-defined skills that could help a contending team.

He’s one of many names worth monitoring as we inch toward Feb. 6. 



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Matisse Thybulle is a much better defender in real life than in NBA2K

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Matisse Thybulle is a much better defender in real life than in NBA2K

Matisse Thybulle is known for his defense in real life. In NBA2K, that is definitely not the case.

With the NBA season suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak, Thybulle and the Suns’ Mikal Bridges played each other in 2K on Friday night and streamed the action on Twitch.

Though Thybulle gave Bridges a little bit of a scare with a big third quarter, the virtual Suns beat the virtual Sixers, 75-64. 

While the intensity obviously didn’t compare to a typical game night at Wells Fargo Center, both Thybulle and Bridges — a Villanova product and a Sixer for about 20 minutes before a draft-night trade two years ago — were very into it.

Thyulle decided to sub himself into the game after just 28 seconds, and Bridges did the same 30 seconds later. 

“Which one’s shoot again?,” he asked. “Square?” 

As his team fell behind, Thybulle had some stern words for his players.

“Al, you’re better than that,” he said when Al Horford bit on a pump fake. “You’ve been in the league too long to be making those mistakes.” 

When Ben Simmons had a floater blocked, Thybulle wasn’t thrilled. 

“Ben, you’re 7-foot,” he said. “Just dunk it.” 

And a Mike Scott lay-up early in the third wasn’t what Thybulle was hoping to see. 

At one point, he tried begging for mercy from Bridges.

“Stop running pick-and-roll, I don’t know how to guard it,” he said. “Please. Come on, man.” 

Unfortunately for Thybulle, Bridges did not stop and the rookie left with a loss, albeit an entertaining one.

“I apologize to the Sixers, to my family, my friends, the people of Philadelphia,” he said. “This is not acceptable.” 

After personally finishing with no points on 0 for 3 shooting, Thybulle promised he'll be practicing.



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Josh Richardson bests Devin Booker in Sixers' NBA2K simulation win over Suns

Josh Richardson bests Devin Booker in Sixers' NBA2K simulation win over Suns

Even in a video game, the Sixers’ dominance at home continues.

Thanks to some stifling fourth-quarter defense, the Sixers took down the Suns, 76-62, in a simulation on NBA2K Friday.

Led by Josh Richardson and Al Horford, the Sixers went on a 13-4 run in the final period to seal the victory.

Here are observations from the virtual win:

J-Rich outduels Booker

Richardson was given the defensive assignment of trying to contain the high-scoring Devin Booker. Booker, who hung 40 on the Sixers in a real-life game in Phoenix back in November, got off to a hot start.

But so did Richardson.

The difference was the fourth quarter where Booker appeared to be laboring … at least that’s what the little Gatorade cup that popped up next to him would indicate.

It was Richardson’s strip on a Booker drive and lay in on the other end that sparked the Sixers’ fourth quarter run and helped put the game out of reach.

While Booker posted a game-high 27, he wasn’t very efficient, going 10 of 24 from the field. Richardson, on the other hand, had a team-high 22 points on 8 of 12 from the field and 3 of 3 from three. He also added four assists and two steals.

Embiid quiet offensively

If the Sixers deployed the offensive strategy in real life that they did in this sim, Brett Brown would have a lot of explaining to do.

The Sixers never really looked for Joel Embiid in the post until late in the game, where the All-Star center provided two big buckets. He only scored 10 points, but pulled in 15 rebounds and challenged a ton of shots at the rim.

Embiid’s speed rating must be like a 10 because he had trouble getting back on defense all night. There was also a moment where 2K color analyst Greg Anthony compared Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton to Embiid … which certainly is a take.

Horford and Harris solid

Al Horford pounded the Suns’ bigs early, make 4 of his 5 shots from the field. He cooled off a little in the third, but buried a hook shot over former teammate Aron Baynes to extend the Sixers’ lead to seven before the period ended.

It was on the defensive end down the stretch where Horford shined in this one. He came up with a big steal and rumbled down the other end for a layup to give the Sixers’ their first double-digit lead. A couple possessions later he came up with a big block on Ayton which led to an Embiid bucket on the other end to put the Sixers up 12. Horford finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

Harris scuffled early and wasn’t really aggressive and looking to score. In the second half, he started cutting to the basket and looking for shots around the rim. He ended up with 16 points on 6 of 11. He also came up with two on-ball blocks after being switched onto Booker.


Sorry, Dario

Former Sixer and fan favorite Dario Saric had a tough night dealing with his former mates. Going up against the likes of Embiid and Horford, Saric scored just two points in 17 minutes.

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