76ers

Sixers' Wilson Chandler out 2-3 weeks with right quad strain

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Sixers' Wilson Chandler out 2-3 weeks with right quad strain

Updated: 3:18 p.m.

It seems like Wilson Chandler has been snakebitten this season.

The veteran combo forward will miss the next two to three weeks with a right quad strain that was revealed by an MRI taken Friday. He is likely to return after the All-Star break (Feb. 17).

Chandler has already missed 16 of the team’s 52 games this season with injuries to his left hamstring and right quad and an upper-respiratory infection. The 32-year-old also hasn’t quite looked like himself in the games he has played.

With Chandler out, Brett Brown is in a tough spot. Two choices to replace Chandler in the starting lineup are rookies Landry Shamet and Jonah Bolden. There are issues with doing that with either player.

First of all, both players have given the bench a boost. They were huge in the Sixers’ win over the Warriors the other night. Both young guys seem to have settled into their roles and you might not want to disturb their rhythm.

If you start Shamet, you’re losing something on defense — though he’s much improved on that end of the floor. With Bolden you’re losing something on offense — though Bolden has hit an unsustainable 56 percent from three over his last seven games.

It’s possible that Brown could opt to use T.J. McConnell in the starting lineup and use Ben Simmons more at the four. Brown could also use Mike Muscala, who’s done better at the four than the five and does stretch the floor next to Joel Embiid.

Then there’s Corey Brewer. Brewer started three games while Jimmy Butler was out. With that said, even with Chandler leaving Thursday’s game early, Brewer played just 9:48 vs. Golden State. But what’s made Brewer so valuable is how quickly he was able to go from playing superheroes with his kids to guarding James Harden. Inserting him as a starter would keep the rest of the rotation as is.

For Saturday night against the Kings (10 p.m./NBCSP), Muscala will start in place of Chandler and Shamet gets the nod for JJ Redick (rest).

Two-way player Shake Milton, who just joined the team in Sacramento, is another player to keep an eye on. He has intriguing tools and was impressive in the Sixers’ loss to the Nuggets last Saturday. It’s to a point where Milton is — and should be — above Furkan Korkmaz on the depth chart. 

Milton’s two-way status limits him to 45 days with his NBA team. While the exact number of NBA service days isn’t known, it seems pretty unlikely that Milton will reach that limit. Once the Blue Coats’ season ends in late March, he’s free to join the Sixers for the rest of their season.

The good thing for Brown and the Sixers is that they have options. They could have even more with the trade deadline and buyout market looming.

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Ever wonder why Allen Iverson is called 'The Answer'?

Ever wonder why Allen Iverson is called 'The Answer'?

Some might have called him “Bubba Chuck.” Others simply “A.I.”

But the nickname that stands out above all others when talking about Allen Iverson is “The Answer.”

Ever wonder how Iverson got the nickname? The origins are still a bit unclear.

We all know Iverson for his signature cornrows and tattoos, but when Iverson arrived in Philadelphia, he had one tattoo: A bulldog with “The Answer” written above it. Iverson’s original sneaker with Reebok was called “The Question.” Each subsequent sneaker was called “The Answer.”

In 2003, Iverson was actually sued over the use of the nickname by Jamil Blackmon, a family friend from Virginia. Blackmon claimed that he gave Iverson the nickname in 1994 and the two had reached an agreement on Blackmon’s pay out for any money the nickname netted Iverson.

Putting together the pieces, the answer may be as simple as Iverson being “The Answer” to the Sixers’ and NBA’s problems.

For more on Iverson’s nickname and why play-by-play announcer Marc Zumoff never called him it, check out the video above.

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2020 NBA mock draft: Trading up for Kira Lewis Jr. in this Sixers-only mock draft

2020 NBA mock draft: Trading up for Kira Lewis Jr. in this Sixers-only mock draft

It looks like we’ll be waiting a while for the NBA draft, which was originally scheduled for June 25. The New York Times' Marc Stein reported that some teams now expect the draft to be held in September. For the time being, we’ll continue to consider possibilities for the Sixers, who would have picks No. 22, 34, 36, 49 and 59.

In this Sixers-only mock draft, the team moves up in the first round to take a point guard and selects a combo guard early in the second. 

16. TRADE — Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama 

We have the Sixers trading No. 22 and 34 to the Timberwolves for No. 16. With Lewis, it feels obligatory to list his sophomore averages: 18.5 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Those per game stats are slightly inflated because he played 37.6 minutes a night, but they’re impressive nonetheless.

The Sixers might think about Lewis as a trade-up option primarily because of his ability as a shot creator. While he sometimes played a loose style at Alabama, turning it over 3.5 times per contest last season, he has a natural talent for sizing up a defender and blowing past him. He is extremely fast, which makes him a threat in the open court and also means he doesn’t need to gain a tremendous edge on his man with a dribble move to beat him — a sliver of space is often enough. 

When he gets into the paint, however, Lewis isn’t the most reliable finisher. At 6-foot-3, 165 pounds, his size makes life more difficult for him around the rim. His weight is likely a larger concern defensively, although Lewis is capable of working over ball screens — something he’d be asked to do often in the Sixers’ scheme — and his speed is an asset when he’s trailing the play or jolting into a passing lane.

Lewis’ shooting numbers are positive, too — 36.6 percent from three-point range and 80.2 percent from the foul line — though he has a low release point he might have to tweak for the NBA. He just turned 19 years old in April and will need to add muscle, but with Lewis’ college production, it’s not as if the Sixers would be banking purely on potential.

36. (via New York) — Jared Butler, G, Baylor 

Butler’s game matches the Sixers’ needs well. He’s an advanced ball handler, full of behind-the-back, between-the-legs and spin moves, and confident in the pick-and-roll. While he’d be undersized for an NBA shooting guard at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Butler is dangerous both on and off the ball. He hit 38.1 percent of his three-point attempts this season on 6.7 attempts per game. 

In the NBA, it’ll be interesting to see if Butler is able to guard multiple positions effectively. He has a sturdy build, is a good lateral mover and had 2.2 steals per 40 minutes for a Baylor team that finished 26-4, all of which is encouraging. 

TRADE — No. 49 for Memphis’ 2021-second round pick and cash considerations 

The Sixers have been very willing to sell second-round picks in recent years, and with the team projected to be in the luxury tax, it would not be remotely shocking if they did it again. In this deal, they’re at least getting back a future pick in addition to the cash. 

59. (via Lakers) — Killian Tillie, C, Gonzaga 

Tillie endured a slew of injuries at Gonzaga, which is one reason he might be available this late in the draft. The 6-foot-10 Frenchman has a lot of skill for his size and shot 44.4 percent from three-point range in college. He has real stretch four/stretch five potential in the NBA, especially with his ability as a passer. 

For the Sixers, his diverse skill set would have to be intriguing here. They don’t have any young backup big men on the roster, and Tillie has the tools to be a productive rotation player — if he stays healthy. That caveat would be worth accepting with the 59th pick. 

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