Matisse Thybulle’s Grueling Off-season Routine Included Working Out With Two All-Stars

Matisse Thybulle, Sixers

Getty Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers steals the ball from Caris LeVert #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center.

The NBA offseason has finally come to a close as the Philadelphia 76ers are set to start training camp this week. One player who is looked at to be heading into a make-or-break year is Matisse Thybulle. The former 20th overall pick will be entering the final season of his rookie contract and the team will be forced to make a decision on his future moving forward. While the two-time second-team All-Defensive team member can make eye-popping plays on the defensive side of the ball, the lack of growth on offense has been discouraging.

With trade rumors circling and the possibility of an extension on the table, Thybulle has a lot to prove this season. Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey have each showered the Washington product with praise for the offseason work he has put in. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Thybulle even worked out with DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls and Dame Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers in his effort to improve.

The Offseason Work

Weeks ago a video surfaced of Thybulle working on his ball-handling in a unique drill. Many questioned if this was the most effective training method considering his role on the team. With James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Joel Embiid all ball-dominant in their styles of play, Thybulle will rarely be asked to put the ball on the floor.

According to Pompey, this ball-handling drill was done in a workout alongside DeRozan and under the training of Johnny Stephene. The skills trainer often goes by Dribble2Much or HandleLife Johnny, but is known for his ball-handling abilities and instructions.

Thybulle targeted improving his ball-handling and finishing around the basket with Sephene and DeRozan and also traveled to Portland to address other areas of his game. Alongside Dame Lillard and with the help of famed shooting coach Phil Beckner, the Sixers wing looked to improve his perimeter shooting ahead of the season’s start. This has been labeled as the area with the biggest need for improvement and can make or break how much Thybulle can stay on the floor moving forward in his career. He is a career 32.4% three-point shooter and has been unable to replicate the 35.7% rate he connected on as a rookie.

Thybulle’s Future With the Sixers

So far in his career, Thybulle has spent all three seasons in Philadelphia. He played a valuable role as the fifth starter on the team last year that outscored opponents by 19.4 points per 100 possessions. While his offensive deficiencies are notable, they can be greatly covered up by the effective play of the talented weapons around him. If the defensive glove can develop on the offensive side of the ball he truly could become an elite three-and-D role player.

The Sixers roster currently has 17 guys for 15 spots, meaning two players will be unable to make the regular season roster. While many would expect a former first-round pick who has already made two all-defensive teams should be a roster lock, it is not as clear for Thybulle. One would assume he is safe from being cut, but the defensive standout is one of the team’s best trade chips if Morey is still looking to make improvements.

Morey and the rest of the front office brought in several new rotation pieces during the offseason that are expected to play roles this year for the team. Whether this is in place of Thybulle or just competition for him to fight for minutes on is still to be determined. The 25-year-old has vocalized that he would love to stay in Philadelphia and he will be looking to solidify his long-term future by putting forth a strong training camp.

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