The Sixers’ Ben Simmons Won’t Play This Season

Ben Simmons

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Another big man will miss the entire season for the Sixers.

Ben Simmons, the overall number-one pick last summer who broke his foot in the preseason, will not play this season. Sixers president Bryan Colangelo announced the news at a press conference this morning. Read more »

Sixers Trade Nerlens Noel to Mavericks

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Nerlens Noel, the first player drafted in the Sixers’ rebuild nearly four years ago, is leaving Philadelphia.

According to a report from NBA trade-master Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers are sending Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick, center Andrew Bogut, and guard Justin Anderson.

The Mavericks are currently tied for the sixth-worst record in the NBA. The pick, per ESPN’s Marc Stein, is protected 1-though-18. That means the pick will not convey this year; it’s not yet known if the pick could convey in later years or what protections are on it in 2018 and beyond.

Per TNT’s David Aldridge, the Sixers are likely to trade Andrew Bogut — possibly to Boston. ESPN’s Marc Spears reported the Sixers were still unsure what to do with him; they may buy him out if they can’t find a trade partner. Bogut, the first overall pick in the 2005 draft, was traded from Golden State to Dallas this offseason after the Warriors signed Kevin Durant. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: T.J. McConnell’s Stirring Sixers Speech

Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It would be hard to say which is more chaotic at the moment: the Trump administration or the Sixers’ front office. Between Joel Embiid’s striptease, Jahlil Okafor’s in-and-out, Ben Simmons’s healed/not-healed foot and Bryan Colangelo’s — hell, who knows what Colangelo is doing? — these guys are managing to make Team Trump look organized. Which is why it warmed our hearts to hear T.J. McConnell stand tall after the Sixers spanked Charlotte on Monday — in a game in which Hornets guard Nicolas Batum had guaranteed victory — and announce to the world: “We don’t mean any disrespect, but you’re not gonna overlook us. We’re not a guaranteed victory for the other team, and you know, if you guarantee something, you better back it up. So we’re a damn good team, and we just gotta keep fighting.” And then he got a haircut. Mic-drop. Done.

Sixers Rise in Rankings of the Most Valuable NBA Teams

Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 25 points in their 93-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 25 points in their 93-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So just how much are the Sixers worth? Forbes’ yearly ranking of NBA teams puts the Philadelphia 76ers near the bottom—they’re ranked 25th out of 30 teams.

Forbes placed an $800 million value on the Sixers franchise, with annual revenue of $140 million and a profit of about $18 million.

The NBA’s most valuable franchises according to the list are the New York Knicks ($3.3 billion) and the Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion). Following behind are the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls both valued at $2.6 million. The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion.

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Sixers Post Is Coming to an End

Over the last two years here at Philadelphia magazine I’ve had the freelance opportunity of a liftetime, given the leeway and the freedom to craft a somewhat different method of covering your favorite NBA team. I knew I was at the right spot when, in my first week, I asked Brian Howard, my editor at the time, whether I could run an article talking about the Sixers’ Expected Effective Field Goal Percentage. Likely not knowing what the stat was, but without blinking an eye, Brian gave me the green light and let me run with it.

That kind of flexibility allowed me to experiment in ways that, quite honestly, were the reason I reached out to Philadelphia magazine in the first place. Admiring the unique gem Sheil Kapadia and Tim McManus had built with Birds 24/7, I viewed Philadelphia as the place that I could build something similar. From the moment I came aboard my editors, from Brian to Tim Haas to Tom McGrath, put their faith in me, and gave me all the freedom and flexibility I could ever hope in looking to craft something unique. For that, I cannot thank them enough.

You can continue to follow me on twitter, @DerekBodnerNBA, to keep up with my thoughts on the Sixers and the NBA.

Meet Sachin Gupta, The Driving Force Behind Many of Sam Hinkie’s Trades

Left: Joel Embiid (Cal Sport Media/Associated Press); right: Ben Simmons (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Joel Embiid (Cal Sport Media/Associated Press) and Ben Simmons (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images) were acquired as a result of the Sixers’ rebuild. Was it worth it?

The Philadelphia 76ers — winners of 11 of their last 16 games, sitting just 4.5 games of the playoffs, and, most importantly, led by the kind of generational superstar that promises to make them relevant for the foreseeable future — have started to capture the imagination of the Philadelphia sports fan in a way almost nobody could have predicted just a few short months ago.

Almost nobody.

Much of that excitement is predictably centered around Joel Embiid, the third-year rookie taking the NBA by storm. Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.5 blocked shots per game, despite having his playing time limited to just 25.4 per contest as he works his way back from two missed seasons because of an injury to the navicular bone in his right foot. Despite the limited playing time Embiid has showcased the diversity of skills that could, perhaps should, make him one of the best two-way players of his generation.

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Joel Embiid Is Not An All-Star, And That’s Okay

Joel Embiid's 20 points and 7 rebounds weren't enough as the Sixers fell to the Thunder 103-97 | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid was not selected as an All-Star reserve | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the NBA announced the 7 reserves for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Joel Embiid was not one of them.

Fellow Eastern Conference coaches selected John Wall, Kemba Walker, Isaiah Thomas, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, Kevin Love, and Paul Millsap to round out the All-Star roster.

Embiid came in 3rd among all Eastern Conference frontcourt players in the fan vote, with his 922,714 votes narrowly edging out Kevin Love‘s 909,488. In previous years, this would have earned Embiid a starting spot on the All-Star team.

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Joel Embiid Is Single-Handedly Changing the Sixers’ Outlook

Joel Embiid celebrates late in the 4th quarter during the Sixers 101-94 victory over the Miami Heat | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid has captured the attention of Philadelphia sports fans. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“I’ve said many times you don’t want it to be a coach driven formula. Ultimately it needs to be player coached team, a player driven formula. The players determine the behavior. The players determine the culture. Where somebody will say that’s just not good enough. That’s not how we act. That’s not how we guard. We show up on time. That’s not respectful. Whatever it is. …And through discussion I have with Joel I’m trying to achieve that.”
— Sixers head coach Brett Brown, speaking to the media before the season.

That statement by head coach Brett Brown, at a media luncheon with reporters prior to the start of the season, seemed patently absurd at the time, made less than a year after Joel Embiid was the subject of a scathing report from Sports Illustrated alleging chronic insubordination, immaturity, and a ballooning midsection.

Rather than have Embiid lead the franchise, conventional wisdom said at the time, Embiid needed to have a strong personality alongside him to show him the way.

Under normal circumstances, that may have been true. But Embiid is no normal 22-year-old rookie.

Read more »

Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Their Wildly Separate Paths to the Sixers

Left: Joel Embiid (Cal Sport Media/Associated Press); right: Ben Simmons (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Left: Joel Embiid (Cal Sport Media/Associated Press); right: Ben Simmons (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Ben Simmons wears the face of a kid getting dragged to Sunday school when he’d rather settle in for a Call of Duty marathon with friends. He looks the part, too, a neatly buttoned white dress shirt and skinny black pants clinging to his lanky six-foot-10-inch, 20-year-old frame. His teammates on the 76ers are within arm’s reach, laughing and joking as they go through a pregame practice in gray t-shirts and blue shorts at the Wells Fargo Center.

Simmons wants to be out there with them, but for the moment he can only hover at the edge of the court and stare at the gleaming maple floor and the UFO-size Sixers logo. Pockets of fans who show up early for this mid-December matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers start to notice him standing there — the savior in the flesh. Ben. Ben. Hey, Simmons! Bennnn! He turns and walks down a tunnel to the locker room, frustrated, injured, alone. Read more »

Sixers Defense Leads The Way to 93-92 Win Over Blazers

Sixers center Joel Embiid congratulates Robert Covington, mid-interview, for his game winning basket | John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers center Joel Embiid congratulates Robert Covington, mid-interview, for his game winning basket | John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most jarring aspect of the Sixers recent winning ways — which was extended to an 8-2 stretch of play after last night’s 93-92 victory over the visiting Portland Trailblazers — is the confidence the team has inspired from fans late in close games.

Defined over the last few years by their complete inability to execute down the stretch, the Sixers have flipped that script entirely over the last few weeks. As Kevin Pelton of ESPN pointed out last night, the Sixers went 4-22 in games decided by five or fewer points from October 2015 to December 29th, 2016. They’ve won five of their past six such contests since.

“Our guys, to their credit, they’re feeling good about themselves. They’re winning here at home, and we found a way to, again, win ugly,” head coach Brett Brown said after the game. “I think you have to give our guys, without Joel (Embiid), a lot of credit, a lot of credit, to be able to find a way to win at home under the circumstances we were in.”

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