Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has been known for being aggressive over the years. His track record would seem to suggest that a big blockbuster deal at the trade deadline isn’t out of the question.
In fact, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski expects the Sixers to make a move for either a power forward or center that can shoot the ball. He appeared on NBA Countdown on Friday night to ponder some trade options for Philly and referenced Morey’s track record in Houston. Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica is a name that makes a lot of sense. Wojnarowski offered the following (via Harrison Grimm of Liberty Ballers):
Daryl Morey, their president, has been active [on the trade market]. He’s always looking for the big blockbuster deal — that may not be available at this trade deadline. Two areas where the Sixers would like to improve, I’m told: getting a 4/5 man, a power forward or center that can shoot the ball. Perhaps a player like Sacramento’s Nemanja Bjelica, who is available in this marketplace.
Sixers Fall to Toronto Raptors Again
The Sixers lost 110-103 to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night in the opener of a two-game series. Philadelphia has now dropped 25 of the last 30 meetings against Toronto, with some of that futility dating back to that crazy Kawhi Leonard playoff dagger in 2019. The rivalry has been completely one-sided.
Joel Embiid finished with 25 points in this one as the big man moved closer to matching Allen Iverson’s mark. The All-Star center has now scored at least 25 points in 14 straight games, something Iverson did in 27 consecutive games in 2001. Ben Simmons chipped in with 28 points versus Toronto, with Tobias Harris adding 13.
Numbers aside, the Raptors used a punishing, trapping brand of defense — credit former Boston Celtics pest Aron Baynes — to bottle up Embiid who shot 6-of-20 from the field.
“I thought he put his body on him just enough,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of Baynes. “He got called for some, but that’s OK.”
Simmons Aggressive, Getting to Foul Line
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers had plenty of positives to point to following their first loss in three games. The most notable was Simmons’ fearlessness in driving to the hoop and drawing fouls. The star point guard went 10-of-14 from the charity stripe while dishing out five dimes.
“He’s aggressive. He’s getting to the basket and making plays,” Rivers said. “He’s forcing double teams with his feet and our goal before the year was to get to the foul line 10 times a night and he did that.”
Rivers also credited second-round pick Isaiah Joe (49th overall) for his continued development. He saw increased minutes as the coaching staff gives him an extended “look” over Furkan Korkmaz off the bench. Korkmaz is the better shooter, but the Sixers needed Joe’s defense which he provided all night. Korkmaz played just two minutes to Joe’s 12 versus Toronto.
“Defensively, he was absolutely fantastic and that’s what we needed,” Rivers said. “This is not football. You got to be a basketball player and play both ways, offense and defense.”