There were some hurt feelings the last time Doc Rivers coached his son in the NBA. Not from the family unit, but from teammates when the two worked together for the Los Angeles Clippers.
The word “entitlement” was thrown out there and caused Chris Paul to “despise” Rivers, according to reports. Would the 59-year-old coach want to bring his 28-year-old son to the Philadelphia 76ers and risk another awkward scenario? Maybe.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger speculated on a Rivers’ reunion in Philly on Monday when he said “don’t be surprised” if the Sixers call the New York Knicks about the veteran guard. The Sixers seemed determined to add shooters to the roster and the younger Rivers can certainly do that. He is shooting 36.4% from deep this year in the Big Apple while averaging 7.3 points per game in a reserve role. It wouldn’t be a flashy transaction, but it could be a good one for depth.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 7, 2021
Then again, the elder Rivers might not want to risk fracturing team chemistry. The Sixers’ front office wanted to make the move in the offseason but the head coach advised his son to sign elsewhere. He didn’t want any distractions.
“He was high on Philly’s list before I took the job,” Rivers told Marc Berman of the New York Post last December. “It was one of the guards they wanted. When I took the job, I said, ‘You don’t want that. You got too many other things we have to deal with.’ For Austin, it’s better. He’s his own player. Unfortunately for him, me being the dad, he’s just an easy guy to target.”
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Wayne Ellington, Another Option for Sixers?
Wayne Ellington’s name is always going to be connected to the Sixers due to his Philly ties. He grew up in Wynnewood, PA and played his high school ball at Episcopal Academy before heading off to North Carolina. The 33-year-old wing player seems to be on the move every year — nine different teams in 14 seasons — and Bleacher Report already proposed a trade sending him home.
Ellington, a first-round pick in 2009, is now playing for the Detroit Pistons and back on the trade market. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Pistons are only asking for a second-round pick in exchange for one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Literally, all Ellington does is hit treys. He is shooting 42.2% from deep this year (second-best career mark) and averaging 10.6 points per game. He has attempted 2,881 career three-pointers (38.1%).
Sixers Used to Missing Guys, Still Winning
Dwight Howard told reporters last week that he didn’t think the Sixers needed to make any trades. He was confident in the guys on the roster, a pretty tough thing to argue after the way they played without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
They own the top record in the Eastern Conference and just walloped the San Antonio Spurs by 35 points. After the game, Sixers forward Tobias Harris chimed in on their “next man up” mentality.
“Every game we go into we are expected to win, that’s our mentality,” Harris said. “We would love to have the full team but we also understand we’re not a better team without those guys [Embiid, Simmons] like we’re a great team when we have everybody. This team needs everybody but obviously, circumstances are what they are. We’ve had to play at certain times this year with different guys out of lineups and we’ve been having to adapt, and I think it’s a learning experience but also for us is a confidence booster for a lot of guys.”
Tobias Harris (23 PTS, 9 REB, 7 AST) led the way in the Sixers' big win 👏 pic.twitter.com/RWLPjWLT0w
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 15, 2021