When last February’s trade went down between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, the majority of the talk revolved around the two headliners, James Harden and Ben Simmons. Could Simmons regain his All-Star form getting a fresh start in a new environment? (Signs point to no.) How will The Beard co-exist with Joel Embiid and how much does he have left in those legs after a decade-plus in the league? (Pretty darn good, and plenty so far.)
However, the two other players the Sixers included in the deal were pretty impactful as well. Andre Drummond was the team’s best backup center in years. He signed with Chicago as a free agent over the summer and now Sixers fans are stuck wondering if Doc Rivers will ever pull the plug on the Montrezl Harrell experiment. Even Ben Simmons isn’t afraid to attack the basket against Trez, and Ben probably couldn’t pick the rim out of a lineup these days the way he rarely looks at it.
Ben Simmons has been dominating Montrezl Harrell pic.twitter.com/9S8Ph1yxjM— Siddharth (@JasonSidd) January 26, 2023
But Seth was probably an even bigger loss. He was a fixture as a starter ever since the 2020 draft night heist that brought him over from Dallas for Josh Richardson and the 36th overall pick. Curry replicated much of the old Joel Embiid-JJ Redick DHO sets, and was the team’s top perimeter marksman, averaging 13.6 points per game and shooting 42.6 percent from three-point range across his season-and-a-half in Philadelphia. So it probably had to sting to get traded away, particularly when head coach Doc Rivers is his own father-in-law.
Wednesday night was Seth’s third contest against the Sixers since the trade, and while he certainly acquitted himself well in the first two meetings, scoring 24 and 14 points, respectively, this latest meeting was the big “revenge game” for Curry, during a playoff-like atmosphere that had all the drama of the first Joel vs. Ben matchup. Seth finished with 32 points, five off his career-high of 37, shooting 11-of-20 from the field, including 7-of-10 from downtown, and adding four assists. He scored 10 points in the fourth quarter alone to help the Nets climb back into a tie game after being down by as many as 17 points.
Seth Curry on fire, now with 32 points and 7 threes pic.twitter.com/DZekJ2RWDi— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 26, 2023
Doc Rivers joked after the game that Seth dismantling his team’s defense might have disrupted family time later this week.
"I wanted to just smack him. I'm not kidding either. I was going to go over and see my grandkids on Sunday, and now I'm rethinking that now from that performance"— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 26, 2023
- Doc Rivers on his son-in-law Seth Curry's 32-point performance off the bench tonight pic.twitter.com/xKpEvkQ9GI
But ultimately, Doc knows what kind of competitor his son-in-law and former player is:
“He was great. He made every shot cause you know that’s how players are. When they come back and play against teams that they were playing for. No matter if it was a good trade, bad trade they want to kill you and he did that tonight, so I get that.”
Speaking of family affairs, it was arguably the biggest night for the Curry brothers as a tandem in the Association.
Wednesday was the 162nd time that Steph and Seth Curry have played on the same day (regular season and playoffs).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2023
It was the first time they've each scored 30.
Steph: 34 Pts
Seth: 32 Pts pic.twitter.com/FCqC7t6DSl
For Philadelphia fans, they can be happy for Seth’s continued success, while being glad that their Sixers were still able to come away with the victory Wednesday night. As for Curry, he is in the last year of a 4-year, $32 million contract signed with Dallas back in 2019. Given the Sixers’ cap situation, a reunion would seem unlikely, but fans in the greater Delaware Valley would sure like to see Seth back hitting those daggers in a red, white, and blue uniform. I’m sure it would make for a more harmonious combined Rivers-Curry household, as well.