Joel Embiid has remained eerily quiet this offseason as trade rumors envelop the Philadelphia 76ers. He has been watching the Tokyo Olympics with a rooting interest and threw his support behind one Australian teammate on Saturday. Maybe not the one you think.
Matisse Thybulle totaled 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals in 30 minutes during Australia’s 107-93 win over Slovenia to take home the bronze medal. The performance capped a dominating Olympic run for Thybulle who finished 12th in NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2021.
He averaged 7.8 points, 2.5 assists, 3.0 steals, 3.3 rebounds per game for the Boomers while showing his usual brand of suffocating defense. After Friday night’s bronze medal win, Embiid proclaimed the 24-year-old “elite” and that prompted everyone on social to believe Thybulle was now untouchable in trade talks.
Remember, he had been heavily mentioned in packages to send Ben Simmons — another Aussie star on the Sixers — on a one-way ticket to Golden State or whichever other team is willing to match the Sixers’ “preposterous” asking price. Scratch that. It seems as if Embiid wants Thybulle to return next season.
“When you got Matisse in the game, that’s our best defense,” Embiid told reporters after a February win over Houston. “I think he has the potential to be the best defender in the league. Just the way he moves and the way he played on defense, and he’s got great hands.”
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Simmons Open to Trade to Calfornia Team
New reports suggest that Simmons’ relationship with the Sixers’ front office is damaged beyond repair and he has cut off communication with the organization. Not a good sign as summer league action heats up around the country.
And, according to NBA reporter Jason Dumas, Simmons would prefer to be traded to one of the California teams: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers. (Editor’s note: we’re going to go ahead and rule the Sacramento Kings out). Also, the All-Star point guard doesn’t want to be dealt to the Toronto Raptors or Portland Trail Blazers, per Dumas.
He’s [Simmons] reading the tea leaves like everyone else. He sees Toronto. He sees Portland. Just to be frank, the young socialite he is, he’s not really trying to go to any of those situations. He’s open to the California teams, is what I’ve been told.
Summer League Slate Set to Start
The Sixers will begin their summer slate on Monday (Aug. 9) at 4 p.m. against the Dallas Mavericks in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Their 15-man roster includes top draft picks Jaden Springer, Charles Bassey, Filip Petrusev, along with young up-and-comers Paul Reed, Tyrese Maxey, Rayjon Tucker.
Philadelphia has three other games on the docket: Aug. 12 versus Atlanta Hawks, Aug. 14 versus Boston Celtics, Aug. 15 versus Minnesota Timberwolves. Sixers assistant Brian Adams is coaching the squad in Las Vegas.
“The goal is to definitely give guys opportunities,” Adams told The Inquirer. “That kind of goes from the guys we’ve had in camp, you have [Tyrese] Maxey, Isaiah [Joe], Paul [Reed], [Rayjon Tucker] Tuck. They’ve all been with us.”