Sixers Notes: Embiid, Harden, Morris, Covington, Green, Harris

Responding to James Harden‘s claim that the Sixers had him “on a leash” last season, Joel Embiid said on Thursday that he didn’t get the sense his former teammate was unhappy with his role, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic and Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Embiid also questioned the idea that the 76ers’ game plan held Harden back in any way.

“In my opinion, we gave him the ball every single possession, because he’s really good. He’s an amazing player,” Embiid said. “Obviously being that great of a passer, we gave him the ball. If you watch the game we gave him the ball every single possession to go out there and do his thing. From there he had to make decisions as far as getting guys open or looking out for himself.

“I thought he did a pretty good job of just getting us into the offense and just passing the ball, getting guys open. That’s the reason why he won the assists title last year. I think maybe that might have been a discussion between coaches and him, but from our point of view I think we allowed him to have the ball every single possession.”

Speaking to reporters after the Sixers’ win over Toronto, Embiid added that he was happy the situation got resolved and that Harden got what he wanted, joking that he hopes the Sixers get to beat the Clippers in the NBA Finals next spring.

Asked about what move the 76ers might make next to strengthen their roster and make them a legitimate title contender, Embiid deferred to the front office, stressing that he has no complaints about the current roster.

“That’s not my job,” Embiid said, per Bontemps. “My only job is to try to win. I just want to make that clear. I just want to be in the best position to win. I’m always going to believe in myself anyways. It doesn’t matter who I play with. I love the guys that we have. We’re going to go and fight every single night like we’ve been doing, and we’re always going have a chance to win.”

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Veteran forward Marcus Morris, who had fallen out of the rotation in Los Angeles, is thrilled to be joining his hometown team in Philadelphia and said he didn’t feel like himself on the West Coast, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Me coming here is like everything for me,” Morris said.
  • A Sixer from 2014-18 during the “Process” years, Robert Covington expressed excitement about returning to Philadelphia and beginning a second stint with the club, according to Pompey. “This is where I put my name on the map,” Covington said. “It feels great to be back. I’ve been in this building (the Sixers’ practice facility) when it first opened. Seeing the amount of hours spent into the development here, it’s just amazing to be back.”
  • Danny Green was “disappointed by how the final days of his tenure” with the Sixers played out, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT (Twitter link). However, Haynes says the two sides still have an affinity for one another and haven’t ruled out the possibility of the veteran swingman returning to the team. Green’s contract originally called for him to receive a $500K partial guarantee if he made the opening night roster, but he agreed to reduce that figure to $200K and then was waived before November 10, when his guarantee would have increased to $500K.
  • As good as Tyrese Maxey has been in the early going this season, Pompey believes forward Tobias Harris has actually been the biggest beneficiary of Harden’s absence so far. Through four games, Harris is shooting 63.8% from the floor and is averaging 20.5 points per game, which would be a career high.
View Comments (6)