Tonight’s Sixers contest was a familiar one to the process-era Sixers fan, not a game like we’ve seen in recent weeks, where the team is unpredictable and exciting, but in recent years, where the team is nominally in the game for a long stretch of time, but simply suffers from being the second-best team on the floor, and on the road half of a back-to-back on top of it.
It’s not a particularly fun game to watch, and it’s the kind of game that fades into the background. It’s the type of game where even the Hawks fans get bored with the opposing team, in addition to their own, and start doing the wave in the third quarter.
It’s the type of game where you just say, “it happened,” and move on.
For those who didn’t watch, the Sixers lost 110-93, as they generally do in games where Joel Embiid doesn’t play (2-10 in games without Embiid). Ersan Ilyasova led the team in scoring, and obviously, shots. Dario Saric, while being an effort machine, continued his shot-making struggles. You didn’t miss much. It’s not a game anyone’s going to look back on with fondness.
So let’s instead talk about a rare speaking engagement from Sixers President of Fine Suit Operations Bryan Colangelo, who joined Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby at the broadcast table to
remind people that he’s a part of this success chat about the squad.
First, he did give a brief injury update on Joel Embiid, saying that the injury he suffered in Friday’s win over Portland does not appear to be a serious one, but one the team will be cautious with.
“We’re not certain how long he’ll be out, if at all,” Colangelo said. “We’re doing some further testing to see how long it’s going be.”
He also gave an update on Ben Simmons, saying that the top overall pick will undergo a scan and final tests on Monday on his injured foot.
“We’re gonna have a real good idea where his foot is in the process of him coming back from this,” he said.
Colangelo said the acclimation process of getting Simmons to NBA-level conditioning would include bringing him along slowly, but that Simmons is “antsy” and wants to compete.
“He’s coming along, doing more and more basketball activity every day.” Colangelo said. “Soon enough. Without a date, it’s coming soon.”
Colangelo talked about continuing forward with a patient approach, but also (likely terrifying the anti-Colangelo faction of the fanbase) talked about the recent success perhaps accelerating the process with the large collection of assets the Sixers possess.
“We may be one of the the only teams in the league that’s prepared, with the resources and assets, to make a large transaction for a star-level player.”
By law, anytime Bryan Colangelo steps in front of a microphone, he is required to discuss trading one of Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel, and Saturday night was no exception.
“I don’t want to give someone away, I don’t want to let someone walk, but either one of those things might happen just by virtue of our circumstances,” said Colangelo of the situation, contradicting a prior statement that he “would not make a bad deal” for one of the two.
Colangelo said he has had dialogue with “a lot of teams” and that there is interest in both Okafor and Noel, but he wants a deal that has both short-term and long-term positive impact for the Sixers.
Colangelo also revealed that Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Furkan Korkmaz, drafted 24th and 26th in the 2016 NBA Draft, were ranked #12 and #18 on the Sixers’ draft board.
The revelation raised some eyebrows on Sixers’ Twitter, a hardened group of warriors trained in the Art of Hinkie, studiously opposed to any tidbits of information finding their way outside of Camden.
Personally, I don’t mind. The Sixers drafted them, so I think teams have a pretty good idea that they may have them valued more highly than others. It’s not like either TLC or Furkan, drafted in the late 20’s, would be stunned by their ranking. We always make fun of the Celtics leaking that they had Draymond Green ranked third in a draft where they had two first round picks and picked Fab Melo ahead of him, and this is the other end of that.
To me, it’s pretty harmless. Ultimately, this was the only takeaway from the interview where I learned a piece of new information that’s actually interesting, so from that respect, thanks Bryan!
Anyway, the Sixers will be back in action Tuesday at THE CENTER against a shorthanded Clippers squad, without Chris Paul or Blake Griffin.