Reports of tension between Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler and coach Brett Brown were apparently taken seriously enough that a few teams decided to try to see if the star player was available via trade.
According to Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report, some opposing general managers called the 76ers to ask if Butler might be available via trade. They were turned aside, and a Sixers source said that dealing Butler hasn’t even been considered by the front office.
With the NBA trade deadline a little over a month away, the Philadelphia 76ers are taking all the necessary precautions.
Speaking with The Athletic’s Jackson Frank this week, Sixers guard JJ Redick revealed a funny superstition that the team has. Redick said that the last four players to sit next to guard TJ McConnell on the team flights all got traded, so he now sits next to McConnell on flights since he has veto power over trades.
Last night, JJ Redick told me he started sitting next to TJ McConnell on flights after the Jimmy Butler trade because the last 4 guys to do so got traded and he can veto any trade.
While Redick did not specify which players were victimized by the seat next to McConnell, Philly’s trade for Jimmy Butler in November sent Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Jerryd Bayless packing. Justin Anderson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot were also dealt in a trade for Mike Muscala this summer.
Don’t count on seeing Markelle Fultz traded anytime soon, a new report says.
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, there is no urgency within the Philadelphia 76ers’ organization to trade Fultz quickly. Part of this is down to the player’s trade value being at an all-time low, and the team is not keen on receiving little of value in exchange for the former first overall selection.
In addition, some members of ownership are not enthusiastic about trading Fultz at all. There is some belief that they should exercise patience and give him a chance to find himself, especially after the Sixers traded up to select him.
Fultz’s shooting has been the main problem, but doctors believe they’ve found the root cause of his struggles. From the perspective of maximizing value, trading him right now doesn’t make sense. By keeping him, however, the 76ers run the risk of further ruining Fultz’s trade value if he fails to recover quickly or make any progress with his shot.
Markelle Fultz is scheduled to see a shoulder specialist next week and will not take part in team activities until after he is evaluated, and all of this sounds like it is news to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers, confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday that he — not the 76ers — advised Fultz to meet with a specialist. Fultz played seven minutes during Monday’s win over the Phoenix Suns before being benched in favor of TJ McConnell, but head coach Brett Brown mentioned nothing about the point guard’s shoulder after the game. While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, both Brown and 76ers GM Elton Brand said they were caught off-guard by the demand from Fultz’s agent.
Elton Brand is being clear that the organization is supportive of Fultz, but he was clearly surprised by the call he got from Fultz's agent this morning
Fultz is averaging 8.2 points per game this season on 42 percent shooting from the field. He dealt with a shoulder injury throughout his rookie season last year and was limited to just 14 games, but he declared himself fully healthy in training camp and there had been no talk of him experiencing complications prior to Tuesday.
Carmelo Anthony is expected to see his brief tenure with the Houston Rockets come to an end in the near future, but he may not be unemployed for very long.
With the Rockets having reportedly informed Anthony that they plan to waive him, sources told Chris Sheridan of GetMoreSports that the Philadelphia 76ers have interest in adding Anthony. Philly traded forward Dario Saric as part of their deal to acquire Jimmy Butler, and big man Mike Muscala is their only other option at power forward. Muscala is currently out with a face laceration.
Sheridan adds that there is some concern that Anthony would disrupt the flow of the 76ers’ offense, which is designed to continuously move the ball. That typically has not been Carmelo’s style, but perhaps he can become a catch-and-shoot player at this point in his career.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the team has every intention of working out a long-term deal with Butler.
Jimmy Butler and the Sixers fully expect to reach a deal on a long-term contract this summer, league sources tell ESPN. Sixers made deal with plans to add Butler to a Big Three with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
That ends a late summer and training camp filled with drama over the Timberwolves’ refusal to part with their disgruntled star for less than they saw suitable. The Houston Rockets were most prominently linked, but instead, Butler will be the key cog in a young team that features Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons playing in a wide-open Eastern Conference.
It was unclear what, exactly, the elder Muscala posted or whether it was deleted before the Sixers released their statement. Some on social media speculated that there was racist content involved, but it seems odd for the organization to draw attention to a matter that nobody seemed to notice to begin with.
That said, the Sixers have spent an entire offseason dealing with Twitter drama. It perhaps makes sense that they, more than any other organization, would be particularly eager to get out in front of offensive social media posts made by anyone even nominally associated with a member of the organization.
The Philadelphia 76ers have finally found their new general manager, and it’s a name familiar to NBA fans: Elton Brand.
Brand is being promoted internally by the Sixers from his previous post as the team’s VP of Basketball Operations. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news, says Brand made a strong impression on ownership and head coach Brett Brown.
Philadelphia has hired Elton Brand as general manager, league sources tell ESPN. Brand will be elevated from VP of Basketball Operations. He made strong impression on ownership and Brett Brown in process, beating out several inside and outside candidates.
Brand, 39, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Chicago Bulls. He spent most of his prime with the Los Angeles Clippers, though he played with the 76ers from 2008-2012 and again in 2016. He last played in the NBA for the 76ers at the end of the 2016 season, so his rise to GM happened quickly.
Rather than trusting The Process, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is making it clear that he very much doubts it.
Speaking with fans and season ticket holders at an event this week, Ballmer said that the Clippers would not be tanking for a high draft pick this season and got in a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers while he was at it.
“That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” said Ballmer of bottoming out, per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years.
“I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in,” he continued. “How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”
To be fair, the Sixers only actively tanked for four years as part of The Process, the brainchild of former general manager Sam Hinkie. The gambit also helped them put together an elite young core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and others, a group that won 52 games last season. But the cost of that was a combined 253 losses over those four seasons and a totally unwatchable product on their floor for their fans for all that time.
The Clippers, meanwhile, are now facing a talent vacuum that could see the losses pile up for them in a similar fashion over the next few years. However, Ballmer has always been one to try to keep his team as relevant as possible, so a Hinkie-esque total free fall seems quite unlikely for them.