Rich Paul — agent for Ben Simmons and CEO of Klutch Sports — traveled to Philadelphia where he had lunch with Philadelphia 76ers’ brass. The two sides hashed out possible trade scenarios, but their efforts were to no avail. The Simmons’ stalemate rages on, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
That saga doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. However, Paul stuck around Philly on Wednesday night and took in the Sixers-Hornets game from a courtside seat. Maybe president Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand wanted him to see the great chemistry the team has without Simmons. Or perhaps Paul just wanted to show support for two other clients playing: Tyrese Maxey and Miles Bridges.
Whatever the case, Sixers fans were quick to identify Adele’s boyfriend and roll out the red carpet. Paul was treated to harmless heckling and funny taunts (sadly no video) throughout the contest, a disappointing 109-98 loss by the home team. It snapped a seven-game winning streak for Philly. Meanwhile, the Hornets had lost 16 straight to the Sixers dating back to November 2, 2016. Crazy.
“I think it was a big win for us, certainly we mentioned it [the losing streak], talked about it before the game,” Hornets forward Gordon Hayward said. “I think it was a big win for us but it was just one win, our job’s not finished.”
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Tobias Harris Addresses Trade Rumors
Tobias Harris’ name surprisingly surfaced in trade rumors earlier this week as part of a proposed Simmons’ deal. The Sixers might want to dump his salary in order to lure a bigger name in a three-team blockbuster. Those two guys are on the books for $80 million combined for this season alone. Harris briefly touched on the trade talk after Wednesday’s game but preferred not to dwell on it.
“Honestly, it’s something I’d rather not talk about,” Harris said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “That already took too much energy out of me yesterday and today. And now I just move on from that, but it’s my 11th year in the NBA, it’s not my first rodeo, not the first time I’ve been in trade rumors and probably won’t be the last so that’s that.”
Harris has been hearing it from Sixers fans in recent weeks due to poor play. His numbers are down across the board following a career year in the 2020-21 season. He went 6-of-14 from the field against Charlotte for 17 points, along with eight rebounds and five assits.
Andre Drummond, Joel Embiid Play Together
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers decided to try a new experiment with his team trailing most of the game. He threw his two towering big men – Andre Drummond (6-foot-11) and Joel Embiid (7-foot) – out on the floor together for healthy stretches. The strategy worked wonders during a 116-106 win over Orlando on January 6.
Against Charlotte? Well, it worked in doses. Drummond scored two points in 20 minutes, compared to Embiid’s 33 in 31. They did gel defensively to get stops and rebounds.
“We were awful and let’s try something. It’s part of what you do as a coach,” Rivers said. “You try to shake it up, see if we can get something. Actually, it looked okay. Defensively, we got some stops and rebounds. But, it’s one of those nights where nothing was going and you try to just throw stuff in. I do like that lineup. I don’t necessarily like it against that team, but it wasn’t bad for us.”
It was just a bad night all around for the Sixers, except for Embiid who joined Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain as the only Sixers players to score 30+ points in eight straight games. Too bad it came in a loss.