Matisse Thybulle Drops 4-Word Message to Fans as Sixers Finalize Multi-Team Deal

matisse thybulle philadelphia 76ers

Getty Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Sometimes rumors are simply that: rumors. Smoke. For the Philadelphia 76ers, though, this year’s trade season smoke was backed up by fire. As Thursday’s trade deadline drew near, the Sixers shipped off a player many expected: Matisse Thybulle.

After the deal, Thybulle took to social media to make his peace with the move and his time in Philadelphia. Though he’s spent his entire career in the City of Brotherly Love, Thybulle kept his farewell short and sweet.

“Thank you for everything,” Thybulle wrote on Instagram.

Ultimately, the Sixers sent Thybulle packing to the Portland Trailblazers, netting Charlotte Hornets wing Jalen McDaniels in what went on to become a four-team deal. The deal drew praise from NBA circles afterward.

Though an excellent defender, Thybulle never developed much of an offensive game as a Sixer. Indeed, his career figures in Philadelphia — 4.4 points, 1.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game on 44.8% from the field — underscore a player who was, at best, incomplete.

The hope now is McDaniels can help fill the defensive hole left behind in Thybulle’s absence. He was averaging 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks this season with the lowly Hornets, not too much of a far cry from Thybulle’s numbers.

Thybulle Nearly Jettisoned to Dallas Mavericks

Thybulle is headed to a team that could desperately use his defense. The Trailblazers are 26th in defensive efficiency this season, sandwiched between the lottery-bound Hornets and Utah Jazz.

However, following the announcement of the deal, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Thybulle was almost traded somewhere else.

According to Pompey, Thybulle was nearly traded to a very busy deadline deal broker.

“The Sixers came close to trading Thybulle to the Dallas Mavericks,” Pompey wrote. “One source said that deal was 95% completed.”

So why didn’t a deal get done? With Kyrie Irving now in tow, the Dallas Mavericks likely boast one of the league’s most potent offenses. But Dallas also ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency. A stopper like Thybulle could have masked some of those defensive woes while the Irving-Doncic combo masked the former Sixer’s offensive limitations.

As Pompey noted, the hangup for Dallas came in draft compensation:

“The only holdup was the Sixers’ insistence on receiving a first-round pick as part of the package for Thybulle. So, after the Mavs finally balked, the Sixers turned their attention to finalizing a deal with Charlotte.”

Before hashing out a deal, Sixers star Joel Embiid offered his own take on Thybulle’s future in Philadelphia.

Embiid Wanted Thybulle to Stick Around

Speaking to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid expressed some hope that Thybulle wouldn’t be moved before today’s trade deadline.

“Personally, I would love to have him,” Embiid said. “I think he’s one of our better defenders, especially on the perimeter. We don’t have a lot of guys that cause steals or blocks, and all that stuff, extra possessions. That takes extra possessions from the other teams.

“He’s someone that fits on every NBA team based on his defensive skill set. I think he helps us a lot. But then again, I don’t make the decisions.”

It’s unclear how badly Embiid wanted Thybulle to stay in Philadelphia. But his ominous “I don’t make the decisions” feels somewhat like a message from the two-time MVP runner-up.

The Sixers will take the floor again Friday against the Knicks in what should be a revenge game after Philadelphia’s embarrassing loss earlier in the week.

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