andre drummond

NBA trade deadline: What Andre Drummond trade talks could mean for Sixers

NBA trade deadline: What Andre Drummond trade talks could mean for Sixers

With the report that the Pistons are having discussions on big man Andre Drummond, it appears that Detroit may be open for business.

The Sixers need some bench help and GM Elton Brand said at his media availability on Christmas that he’ll “always look at opportunities to improve the team.”

With that in mind, we take a look at a few Pistons that could realistically interest the Sixers.

Luke Kennard 

Kennard could be one of the players Detroit would like to hold on to, but it’s certainly worth a phone call. The 2017 lottery pick can offer the one thing the Sixers desperately need: Shooting. The 23-year-old is hitting just a tick under 40 percent on 6.5 attempts from three a game this season. He also offers a little bit off the bounce and isn’t a bad passer (4.1 assists a game). If he can play passable defense, he’d be a great get and an obvious upgrade. He's in just the third year of his rookie deal so it could be tough to pry him away.

Langston Galloway

Galloway is taking 5.1 catch-and-shoot threes per game, and he’s making 40.7 percent of them. The St. Joe’s product, who’s in the final season of a three-year, $21 million deal with Detroit, would boost the Sixers’ shooting and scoring off the bench. He has much more of an NBA track record than Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton. 

Derrick Rose 

In 2016, Rose and two friends were found not guilty of sexual battery, battery and trespassing in a civil trial. The allegations, what Rose had to say in his deposition, and the fact that smiling jurors posed with Rose after the trial are all worth noting. 

As far as basketball is concerned, the 31-year-old Rose is a player the Sixers might consider because of his shot creation abilities. Rose, the MVP for the 2010-11 season, is averaging 16.7 points and 5.9 assists.

Markieff Morris 

A Philadelphia native, Morris is having a career-best season from three-point range (41.1 percent on 4.2 attempts per game). The 6-foot-8 forward has a $3.2 million salary this season and a $3.36 million player option for 2020-21. Morris was a teammate of Mike Scott with the Wizards and would bring a similar skill set and no-nonsense disposition. He'd be an upgrade over Scott. 

Allen Crabbe 

No, Crabbe does not currently play for the Pistons, but his contract could be used by the Hawks in a deal to match Drummond’s money. If that does happen, Crabbe would be a decent buyout candidate. The 27-year-old has had his struggles over the past couple seasons but was a standout for Portland when he first broke into the league. He’s a 38.9 percent career shooter from three. On a minimum deal for the rest of the season, he could be worth a flyer.

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A career-high for Ben Simmons and a big scoring night for Tobias Harris in Sixers' win over Pistons

A career-high for Ben Simmons and a big scoring night for Tobias Harris in Sixers' win over Pistons

BOX SCORE 

Bring on the Bucks.

The Sixers will head into their Christmas matchup against Milwaukee on a two-game winning streak after a 125-109 victory over the Pistons on Monday night at Little Caesars Arena. 

Tobias Harris scored 35 points (14 of 21 shooting), his most as a Sixer, Ben Simmons registered his second triple-double of the season (16 points, a career-high 17 assists and 13 rebounds), and Joel Embiid had 20 points (7 of 9) and eight rebounds. 

Here are observations on the win: 

Harris’ timely contributions 

Harris helped ensure the Sixers didn’t overlook this game, scoring 10 of the team’s first 19 points with nice variety — a runner, a mid-range jumper and two threes.

He’s had some games in which he’s been a peripheral figure, but Harris has often given the Sixers offense when they’ve needed it this season, whether it’s at the start of a game, during what could be a dangerous run, or late in a static stretch of the fourth quarter.

The Sixers had a few lax periods Monday that might have cost them the game if not for Harris. 

He was involved in an altercation with Blake Griffin in the fourth quarter which resulted in both players receiving technical fouls.


Faried and Kanter? More like Ben Simmons

Brett Brown had said Saturday that he thought Simmons could have the greatest impact against zone defenses through channeling players like Kenneth Faried and Enes Kanter, “relentless” offensive rebounders.

The Pistons played mostly man defense, and Simmons and the Sixers looked comfortable against it. With all due respect to Faried and Kanter, Simmons is so much more threatening when he can fully use skills besides his offensive rebounding. 

Embiid vs. Drummond entertainment … eventually 

The matchup between Embiid and Andre Drummond was delayed for an unusual reason. Thon Maker started instead of Drummond because Detroit’s normal starting center had missed shootaround.

Embiid’s status was in question leading into the game because he was dealing with an illness, though one imagines he didn’t want to miss another chance to play Drummond after missing the Sixers’ game in Detroit on Oct. 26 with an ankle sprain. The two have a contentious history heavy on trash talk and social media jabs. 

Their early exchanges were high on intensity and jostling in the post, and low on defensive success — Drummond made his first four field goals, Embiid his first five. 

Drummond just doesn’t have the agility to consistently hang with Embiid.

The leading rebounder in the NBA, Drummond grabbed nine vs. the Sixers, who had a 48-30 team advantage on the boards over Detroit. The Sixers are now 21-4 this season when they win the rebounding battle and 1-6 when they lose it. Their rebounding has often appeared to correspond with their level of effort and engagement. 

Without Thybulle, Korkmaz sets a career-high 

The Sixers will have to adjust to life without 3-and-D whiz kid Matisse Thybulle, who’s sidelined with a right knee sprain and bone bruise.

Brown didn’t insert anyone new into his rotation Monday, sticking with James Ennis and Furkan Korkmaz as his first two players off the bench. He also used Trey Burke, who went scoreless in 11 minutes, as his backup point guard for the third straight game. 

Korkmaz scored a career-high 21 points on 9 for 16 shooting. The Sixers will hope Korkmaz can maintain a high standard of three-point shooting and scoring to offset the defensive drop-off from Thybulle.

A reassuring performance by Horford 

Al Horford was the sharpest he’s been defensively since returning from left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness last Sunday. His instincts and reaction time in defending the pick-and-roll were noticeably better.

He’s said that he’s fine physically, and he indeed looked more like himself Monday night. In contrast, Griffin was obviously nowhere close to his best and shot 2 for 14.

It was also encouraging to see Horford knock down an open three, something he hasn’t been doing very often recently. He entered Monday 4 of his last 26 on threes, with 22 of those attempts “wide open” looks, per NBA.com/Stats. 

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Sixers at Detroit Pistons: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Sixers at Detroit Pistons: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Updated: 12:07 p.m.

After beating Boston in their regular-season opener, the Sixers hit the road seeking their first 2-0 start since the 2013-14 season.

Below are the essentials for Saturday night’s game against the 1-1 Detroit Pistons:

When: 7 p.m. ET (Sixers Pregame Live begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Little Caesars Arena
Broadcast: NBCSP+
Live stream: NBC Sports Philadelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch: 

Significant injuries

The crowd at Wells Fargo Center gave a loud cheer Wednesday night when PA announcer Matt Cord said the Sixers had no injuries. That’s no longer the case. 

Joel Embiid (right ankle sprain) is out and Mike Scott (left ankle sprain) is probable for the Sixers (see story).

For Detroit, All-Star Blake Griffin is out with a knee injury and guard Reggie Jackson is questionable because of lower back soreness. Rookie Sekou Doumbouya (concussion protocol) is also out for the Pistons. 

Ready to run? 

When asked Friday what he saw as possible areas for improvement after the Sixers’ win over the Celtics, Brett Brown didn’t highlight half-court offense or three-point shooting. Even though the Sixers shot 7 for 29 from three-point range vs. Boston and 31.7 percent from three during the preseason, he insisted last Friday that the Sixers are a better shooting team “than the marketplace believes.”

Brown instead chose to comment on the Sixers’ early offense. 

“I think that offensively, we didn’t really do much in open court,” he said. “We were inefficient in open court, we were turnover-prone in open court. Some of that is just coming to jump stops or not making wild passes or doing a better job of spacing the floor. I feel like we need to do a better job as it relates to scoring opportunities in open court, the first 4-6 seconds.”

The Sixers had 14 fast break points Wednesday after finishing the 2018-19 season with 15 fast break points per game. As the process of acclimating to new teammates continues, it will likely take some time before open-floor decisions are effortless and instinctive. 

A test on the boards 

Andre Drummond has been among the top-two in the NBA in rebounding each of the last six seasons. He grabbed 191 more rebounds than any other player in the league last year, and Brown and Tobias Harris both said Friday that they’re wary of Drummond’s offensive rebounding.

The Sixers, who finished last season fourth in the league with a 51.7 rebounding percentage, started very well on the glass. The team had 62 rebounds in its regular-season opener, its most in a game since Nov. 29, 2017, and had a league-best 55.4 rebounding percentage during the preseason. 



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