On this edition of “where are they now,” we take you to Philadelphia 76ers castaway Matisse Thybulle, who appeared in his first NBA game since being traded away from the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday.
And crushed it.
The former Washington Huskie showed no signs of struggle from deep in his debut with the Portland Trailblazers, recording four triples en route to Portland’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sixers fans might be right to scratch their heads. Where has this player been? As ESPN’s Kevin Pelton noted, Thybulle only matched that feat once in his entire Sixers tenure: his rookie season.
In addition, Thybulle’s 14 points on the evening is his second-highest total this season. Back in December, Thybulle went two of three from deep, finishing with 15 points total.
That’s the sort of production Philadelphia had been hoping to see from Thybulle on a consistent basis in a Sixers jersey. But after years of little growth on that end, Philadelphia cut bait with Thybulle, instead going forward with Jalen McDaniels of the Charlotte Hornets.
McDaniels Lauds Sixers’ ‘Atmosphere’
Fret not, however, Sixers fans. McDaniels projects to be an offensive upgrade over Thybulle, even if he’s a slight downgrade from the two-time All-Defensive wing.
Against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, McDaniels received significant minutes with Philadelphia safely putting the game away before the fourth quarter. In 27 minutes of work, McDaniels managed eight points and five rebounds, finishing with a plus-nine net rating.
McDaniels appears to be settling nicely into Philadelphia. Having come from the rudderless Charlotte Hornets, McDaniels has found the transition to winning basketball a fun one.
“Definitely exciting,” McDaniels said, per Justin Grasso of Sports Illustrated.
“This is a great atmosphere,” he said. “Everybody’s competitive, playing to win, honestly. That’s the biggest thing I noticed; everybody is playing to win. With that energy, it can only bring the best out of you. I found a good new home.”
How McDaniels fully integrates into a team with expectations remains to be seen. The former San Diego State stud has spent his entire career with the Hornets and was averaging a career-high 10.5 points off the bench this season with Charlotte.
His strong performance on the glass Tuesday suggests he could go a long way toward curing Philadelphia’s rebounding woes; the Sixers are 28th in the league in rebounding this season.
Sixers Not Finished Making Moves?
Though Philadelphia pulled off the minor Thybulle-McDaniels three-teamer at the deadline, the Sixers failed to find a serviceable backup for Joel Embiid come playoff time.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers finally got their man in the form of former Miami Heat big man Dewayne Dedmon:
Dedmon was traded to the San Antonio Spurs at the deadline in a salary-dumping move. The Spurs then waived Dedmon, making him a free agent.
Dedmon will likely compete with Montrezl Harrell for the lion’s share of backup big minutes. Harrell is averaging 5.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this season. Known more for his offense than defensive ability, Harrell is a serious potential playoff liability for Philadelphia, necessitating the signing of Dedmon.