jordan clarkson

NBA trade deadline: 6 trade targets for the Sixers

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USA Today Images/AP Images

NBA trade deadline: 6 trade targets for the Sixers

We've reached Dec. 15, a significant date in the NBA calendar. It's the first day that most players who signed this summer are eligible to be traded

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick and Noah Levick look at six players who might make sense for the Sixers to target. The trade deadline is Feb. 6. 

Josh Hart, G/F

Most basketball fans in Philadelphia will be familiar with the name. Hart had an impressive career at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to a national championship. After starting his career with the Lakers, he was part of the Anthony Davis trade and wound up in New Orleans. With a Brandon Ingram extension likely, it would be a cost-cutting move for the Pelicans

Hart can do a little bit of everything. He’s athletic, has a decent handle, is a strong rebounder at 6-foot-5 (7.8 per 36 minutes) and is shooting the ball decently (36.5 percent on 6.1 attempts). He’s still just 24 so it’s reasonable to suggest he could get better — especially if he’s surrounded by players like the Sixers’. His defensive versatility and ability to hit shots are likely the most attractive qualities he has.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, G

The 2014 first-round pick is playing some of the best basketball of his young career over the last few weeks. He can create off the dribble and navigate pick-and-rolls well as a ball handler and is even better moving off the ball. While the jumper will stand out (38.6 percent on 6.9 attempts a game), he’s also an excellent passer, averaging 3.9 assists a night.

The defensive end is where you worry about Bogdanovic, but there are signs he may be improving in that regard. He has good length at 6-foot-6 and decent feet. With the Sixers’ defensive prowess, it could help mitigate those concerns. 

So, why could such a useful player be available? Money and fit. Multiple players on the Kings have gotten paid and De’Aaron Fox is up next. With Fox and Buddy Hield, it's hard to see his long-term fit.

Alec Burks, G/F

As a low-risk/high-reward signing, Burks was expected to add a scoring punch to the Warriors’ bench as they looked to cost effectively retool their roster. Instead, Golden State has been crushed by injuries and finds itself with the worst record in the NBA. Burks has been solid in stepping up into a larger role. He looks recovered from the injuries that plagued him over the last several seasons.

Still just 28, Burks can flat out score. He hasn’t been the most efficient player (43.2 percent from the floor, 35.7 from three), but just has a knack for creating and scoring — not skills prevalent on the Sixers’ roster. Though it’s not the sexiest skillset in today’s NBA, Burks excels in the midrange and is an excellent free throw shooter (89.7 percent). Like Bogdanovic, Burks isn’t the best defender, but offers good size and length.

Davis Bertans, F

Bertans was involved in a complicated situation during free agency in which he was dealt from the Spurs to the Wizards with the understanding that San Antonio would then sign Marcus Morris. At the last minute, Morris reneged on his agreement and decided to sign with the Knicks. 

“That was an unfortunate situation that was handled unprofessionally on a couple of different levels,” Gregg Popovich told reporters in September. “We made that move to make the signing that we did and got blindsided. Davis was a special player, as we all know. He’s young and getting better and better. We hated losing him.”

In his fourth NBA season, the Latvian forward is having an elite shooting year. He’s averaging 15.7 points per game, is ninth in three-point percentage among players with at least 45 attempts (45.6 percent) and is 12th in three-point shots taken per game (8.5).

Outside shooting hasn’t been a significant problem for the Sixers, at least in terms of efficiency — they’re hitting 37 percent from three. Bertans, though, would provide some of the off-ball movement, respect from opposing defenses and ability to hit tightly contested jumpers that the Sixers lost in JJ Redick. 

Bertans’ salary for this year is $7 million, and he’ll be a free agent after the season.

Jordan Clarkson, G

According to SI.com’s Sam Amcico, the Sixers are “supposedly among those with interest” in Clarkson.

The 27-year-old Clarkson is averaging 14.3 points and 2.5 assists in 22.6 minutes per game for the 6-20 Cavs. He’d be able to give the Sixers scoring and shot creation off the bench.

However, it seems like it would be difficult for Elton Brand to acquire Clarkson for an appropriate price because the 6-foot-4 guard has a salary of close to $13.5 million for 2019-20.

Langston Galloway, G

Galloway, the No. 2 scorer in St. Joe’s history, could be a decent fit with the Sixers.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reported during the preseason that the Pistons were “very open” to trading Galloway

Through the Pistons’ first 26 games, Galloway, who’s in the final season of a three-year, $21 million contract, has boosted his value a bit. He's averaging career highs in points (11.9), field goal percentage (44.8) and three-point percentage (42.9). 

“Langston is a pro," Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said, per The Athletic's James L. Edwards III. "He’s a security blanket. He’s always doing the right thing, whether he makes a shot or misses a shot. He’s always making the right play. The other side of Langston (is) his defensive ability. If you notice, we put him on the hot players because he’s a tough guy, he’s consistent and persistent. His shooting is the ultimate crown on top.”

Sounds like someone who could help a contender.

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Future summers might be filled with international commitments for Sixers' players

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AP Images/USA Today Images/NBCSP

Future summers might be filled with international commitments for Sixers' players

The hard-fought battle finally paid off for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson. 

After the NBA initially rejected Clarkson’s request to compete for the Philippines during the Asian Games, the league reversed course and allowed him — along with Houston’s Zhou Qi and Dallas’ Ding Yanyuhang — to take part in the event. Not only was Clarkson given permission to play, he was also chosen as the Philippines’ flag bearer for the opening ceremony.

“It was probably one of the happiest days I've had in my career, in my life,” Clarkson, whose mother has Filipino roots and has had his own passport for the country since age 12, said to reporters after the ceremony in Indonesia.

With six international players on the current roster, the Sixers could have multiple guys experience the feeling of representing a country on a world stage in the near future. Several of them make up the core of the up-and-coming group, which means the team will likely be holding its collective breath the entire time.

Dario Saric is no stranger to international competition. The forward has suited up for Croatia long before joining the Sixers and continues to do so. He logged big minutes for Croatia during the 2016 Olympics and, even earlier this summer, the 24-year-old played in a couple of contests for the country during the FIBA Basketball World Cup European Qualifiers.

Another Sixer in line to play for his national team is Ben Simmons. The Australian native has shared his desire to take the floor for the “Boomers” on several occasions, although the Rookie of the Year isn’t exactly sure of when that dream will come to fruition.

“I definitely want to represent Australia in the Olympics, in the future,” he said, via The Age, earlier this week at the Ben Simmons Basketball Camp in his home country.

That falls in line with the aspirations of fellow Aussie Jonah Bolden. The Sixers rookie hopes to carve out a spot for himself on an Australian roster sure to be filled with NBA talent.

“I was talking to someone today about how this could be one of the best Australian teams come 2020,” Bolden said to ESPN earlier this month.

“My goal right now is obviously Philly but no doubt I'm thinking about 2020 and then Olympics.”

The path to the Olympics is less clear for Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid. 

The center was born in Cameroon, a country that has never sent a men’s basketball team to the Olympics or the FIBA World Cup. Embiid could spearhead a push along with mentor and Clippers forward, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam to help Cameroon reach the highest level of international hoops.

However, Embiid has options as he has been recruited for years by other NBA players such as France’s Nicolas Batum. That would require Embiid becoming a nationalized citizen of that country, which he hadn’t publicly entertained until this year.

“I think it’s an opportunity,” Embiid said earlier this year when the Sixers faced Boston in London, per Eurohoops.net, in response to a question from French RMC Sport. “You never know. I might play for the French national team but I might also play for Cameroon. I have a lot of relatives in France.”

And like relatives in any other family, the Sixers will watch proudly from afar and cheer. All the while, holding their breath and hoping each player returns home healthy.

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Dario Saric didn't need to apologize to Cavs, according to old LeBron James quote

Dario Saric didn't need to apologize to Cavs, according to old LeBron James quote

Jordan Clarkson and LeBron James have only been teammates for a short while so it may take some time until they get on the same page.

Clarkson took exception to Dario Saric throwing down a dunk in the waning seconds of last night's Sixers victory over the Cavs on the road in Cleveland. He threw the ball at Dario's back and got ejected from the game.

Clarkson defended his actions after the game, "If anybody says different or they want to think they would’ve done something different or anything else, they’re lying, especially if it was that point in the game."

"They know what's up. That's it," Clarkson said.

Let's take a trip back to last season when Warriors rookie Jordan Bell threw down an impressive dunk against the Mavs in garbage time to which Dallas coach Rick Carlisle took exception. LeBron spoke out about it.

"Play hard to the final buzzer," James said then.

Chris Webber agreed on the TNT telecast. 

"That's wack," Webber said of Clarkson. "Win the game."

"In my head, the Cavaliers should play some D. How 'bout that?"

Saric apologized after the game, as you can see above, but he didn't need to.