Landry Shamet

Landry Shamet recalls ‘whole spectrum of emotions’ after trade from Sixers to Clippers

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Landry Shamet recalls ‘whole spectrum of emotions’ after trade from Sixers to Clippers

When Landry Shamet first arrived in Philadelphia, he seemed mature beyond his years, confident that he would be a successful NBA player without feeling the need to boast about it.

He’s now a year removed from the trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Clippers, which means he’s spent another year learning how to be a professional. Part of that job is answering questions from the media. What he learned from JJ Redick, a mentor for Shamet during his rookie year, has apparently been a popular one.

“I’ve answered that question a million times,” Shamet said Tuesday before the Clippers’ walkthrough at Wells Fargo Center, “but yeah, we just talked yesterday. He’s just a friend. He’s somebody I’m glad to have a relationship with, glad I got to play with when I did. Learned a lot from him as a rookie. He kind of taught me how to work, what that looks like — being a pro. He was great.”

Tuesday night’s game will be Shamet’s first against the team that drafted him No. 26 in 2018. Since then, he’s adjusted to life on a different coast, shot 42.1 percent from three-point range and capped a 31-point playoff comeback.

He recalled Tuesday how he felt when he learned of the trade that shipped him to Los Angeles and brought Tobias Harris to Philadelphia. 

A lot. Everything. When it happened, it was a whole spectrum of emotions. But ultimately, I ended up where I’m supposed to be. I have a great situation, great people around me. I’m happy about it. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s just part of my big story. 

Shamet said he keeps in touch with former teammates Redick and T.J. McConnell, as well as Monty Williams, who left the Sixers to take the Suns’ head coaching job.

“I’ll see faces tonight that I haven’t seen in a while,” he said, “and it will be cool to kind of reconnect a little bit.”

With Shamet returning, it’s natural to reflect on what was, and to wonder what might have been if general manager Elton Brand hadn’t pulled the trigger on that deal. Most teams in the NBA would be happy to take a 40-plus percent three-point shooter, though it's of course not that simple. Outside shooting has been a season-long concern for the Sixers, who are 17th in three-point percentage and 23rd in attempts.

Harris has been positive for the Sixers in a variety of ways — averaging nearly 20 points per game, improving his defense this season and being a genuine, well-liked presence.

“The basketball we know, but he’s one of those sunshine guys,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said of Harris. “He’s just a great guy. He really is a fantastic guy to have around. There’s never a darkness when you’re around him. It’s just light. He’s extremely coachable. He’s a good one, for sure.”

His outside shooting, however, has not met expectations. He’s gone from a 42.6 percent three-point mark with the Clippers to 35.3 percent since joining the Sixers.  

There's obviously much more than three-point shooting, but it’s an increasingly important part of the game, and it’s Shamet’s specialty. For him, there’s nothing to be gained from fixating on the past.

Shamet’s last game at Wells Fargo Center was against the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors and current teammate Kawhi Leonard. Late in the fourth quarter that night, he curled around a Joel Embiid screen, sunk a three off a Ben Simmons’ inbounds pass and, lying on the ground next to cheering Sixers fans, looked poised for a four-point play opportunity after contact from Pascal Siakam. Instead, Shamet was called for an offensive foul and the Sixers’ comeback effort lost steam.

It’s an unusual final memory, but it's not what Shamet had on his mind Tuesday.

“Yeah, it is cool, walking around Philly, going to eat, just seeing a lot of places that I was familiar with,” he said. “It’s a different feeling. It’s my first time experiencing coming back to a city after being traded. I have nothing but love for the city and the people here. A lot of good memories. I’m just excited to play tonight.”



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Boban Marjanovic destined to be Sixers fans' next cult hero

Boban Marjanovic destined to be Sixers fans' next cult hero

Once upon a time, before Chukwudi Okafor wanted to slap the you-know-what out of me and before I met my girlfriend at the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade, I was known as the Dario Saric Guy. I woke in the wee hours of the morning to watch him play overseas for two years. I sung his praises and foretold his future playoff heroics. Once those moments came last spring, I was elated, but he became a necessary casualty in the franchise-altering Jimmy Butler trade this past fall.

Rookie Landry Shamet appeared to be the newest fan favorite in Philadelphia after Saric’s departure. Spearheaded by the @CookieHoops Twitter account and podcast, a truly bizarre, yet absolutely hilarious, meme began that compared Shamet to Waluigi, the arch-nemesis of Luigi in the Super Mario universe. Did it make any sense? Well, maybe their moustaches looked a little alike, but it’s only something that could’ve existed in a post-ironic community deep down in Sixers Twitter. It didn’t matter if it made sense, though, when Shamet proved himself to be a sweet-shooting deep threat who was fearless enough to pull up from anywhere on the court against any opponent.

Shamet is now gone, a key piece in the Sixers’ massive trade with the Clippers that brought Tobias Harris to Philly. Who will take up the mantle now as Sixers fans’ cult hero?

Boban.

Boban Marjanovic, tied for the tallest player in the NBA at 7-foot-3 and the league’s heaviest man at 290 pounds, is thicc in every sense of the word. He doesn’t fit the Sixers’ immediate needs of a backup center in the form of stretching the floor or the ability to defend in space, but he’s an elite backup offensive big man who averages 12 free throws per 100 possessions this year (Joel Embiid averages 14.2, just for reference). He’s also a competent enough rim protector based on his sheer height and girth alone. I’m in awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit.

If you like playing with meaningless stats in small sample sizes, here’s a wild one:

Marjanovic’s career Win Shares per 48 minutes number is .267 in 1514 career minutes. That’s not a lot of time on the court given that he’s a career backup who has averaged 9.3 minutes per game in four seasons. Nevertheless, that mark of .267 is the highest by any player ever in NBA history who’s played at least 1500 minutes, per Basketball-Reference. It’s a career rate higher than that of Michael Jordan, David Robinson, George Mikan and Wilt Chamberlain, who all round out the top 5.

So, yes, the Sixers essentially acquired the greatest player to ever pick up a basketball (the worst player to ever do so? Anzejs Pasecniks, who the Sixers also hold the rights to).

Marjanovic’s basically as good offensively as your one uncle thinks Jahlil Okafor is while also being a guy who is going to get slaughtered in pick-and-roll situations defensively by the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry and D’Angelo Russell in the playoffs. I’m not even sure to what degree he’ll crack Brett Brown’s rotation. It’s a wash!

The most important part of Marjanovic being a Sixer, however, has nothing to do with what he provides on the court and everything he does off it.

He’s a villain taken straight out of a John Wick movie. No, not in the way lanky, goofy Eastern European players are said to look like villains from high-octane action movies. He’s quite literally a villain in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, which comes out in May:


Just think: You might be able to watch the Sixers win an Eastern Conference Finals game and the very next day go see one of the team’s players kick Keanu Reeves in the sternum on the big screen.

Look at this man:


Imagine him chanting, “STOP, DROP, SHUT ‘EM DOWN, OPEN UP SHOP” in a Serbian accent while circling the Wells Fargo Center concourse. He needs to link up with the Phillie Phanatic and Meek Mill to do an ATV race around the warning track of Citizens Bank Park on Opening Day. He needs to lead the championship parade down Broad Street in that four wheeler while holding a can of Miller Lite that looks comically small in his hand as if he’s Andre the Giant. He needs to do everything.

Boban isn’t the cult hero Sixers fans always imagined they were getting, but he’s the one they need right now and certainly the one they deserve.

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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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