The Sacramento Kings keep inching forward as the lead horse in the race to land Ben Simmons. The Western Conference team has done its “due diligence” on Simmons, as well as Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle. The latter part of the equation seems to be the sticking point.
The Philadelphia 76ers are unwilling to trade Thybulle, per The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. And the Sixers don’t seem keen on including any of their young players (see: Tyrese Maxey) in a package deal, even if it netted them a king’s ransom in return. One proposed trade has Sacramento sending Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes and two first-round picks in exchange for Simmons, Harris, Thybulle. That won’t get it done, according to Pompey.
“The source added that none of those talks have involved Thybulle or any of the Sixers’ other young players,” wrote Pompey. “Speaking of Thybulle specifically, the source added the second-team All-Defensive selection is close to being untouchable.”
Thybulle has turned into a game-changer on the defensive end where he routinely guards the opposition’s best scorer. Ask Seth Curry about that. He also has the ability to impact outcomes with the way he clogs the lane and tracks down blocked shots from behind, like a neighborhood Spiderman. Thybulle finished 12th in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season.
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Thybulle Dealing with Shoulder Soreness
The Sixers are going to have to generate lock-down defense without Thybulle for the foreseeable future. An MRI revealed a right shoulder sprain for the third-year guard who took a nasty fall during Friday night’s win over Boston.
Predictably, Thybulle made a gorgeous steal before streaking down the other end for a dunk. He crashed hard to the floor and winced in pain after hanging above the rim for dear life. The injury is expected to sideline him for at least one week when he’ll be re-evaluated.
“He took a hard fall, obviously,” head coach Doc Rivers said on Saturday night in Miami. “He’s not on the trip so it’s obviously more serious than we want it to be. But I have no idea how long that means.”
Seth Curry Evaluates Sixers’ Spot in Standings
Philadephia is coming off a disappointing 117-98 loss to Washington on Monday afternoon but there’s no reason for panic. The Sixers have been on fire ever since Christmas, winners of nine of their last 11 games while moving up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference at 25-18.
It seems like a lot of players are hoping the team stays the course instead of trading Simmons and possibly halting their momentum. And chemistry.
“I think we’re at a solid place in the East right now,” Seth Curry said. “Could be a lot better, but could be worse. So we’ve just gotta grind it out, keep getting better as we go along. Guys get healthy. I know guys are a little banged up right now, once again, but that’s how it is around the league so you’ve gotta keep bringing it every night.”