The Sixers are unhappy with the exclusion of rookie defensive standout Matisse Thybulle from the 2020 All-Star Game’s Rising Stars rookie-sophomore game, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I feel like he’s… having a real impact on a winning team,” big man Al Horford said of the 6’5″ wing from the University of Washington. “I’m disappointed about that.”
Sixers coach Brett Brown had similar sentiments: “Just look at the numbers. I think that he should have been in the game.”
Thybulle, the No. 20 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, ranks 13th in the league in steals at 1.56 a night, a category in which he also leads all rookies.
There’s more out of Philadelphia:
- The Sixers are in search of an offensive reserve upgrade. Their bench production as of January 31 was 29.0 PPG and 5.7 APG, third-worst in the league. Three realistic targets that have been floated are Pistons guard Derrick Rose, former Sixer and current Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, and Wizards stretch four Davis Bertans. Unfortunately, the current asking price for these targets is a too-steep request of the impressive and cost-effective Thybulle and a future first-round pick, sources tell The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.
- Horford continues to adjust to his awkward fit on his new team next to current All-Star center Joel Embiid, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. The 33-year-old former All-Star big man was signed to a four-year, $109MM contract ($97MM guaranteed) this summer thanks to his offensive versatility and defensive moxie. Horford, generally a center at his last stop with the Celtics, has been featured far more at power forward for the Sixers. 32% of his minutes have been played at the position this season, as opposed to just 9% during 2018/19 with Boston. He has also been relegated to a spot-up shooting role more frequently than in years prior.
- With the trade deadline around the corner, little-used second-year Sixers shooting guard Zhaire Smith could be an intriguing trade target for other teams, David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. But would the Sixers be giving up on Smith too soon if they moved him in a trade for veteran help? The 2018 first-rounder has played just 10 games in his two seasons with Philadelphia.