Sixers Notes: Bamba, Maxey, Embiid, Trade Options

Tonight will mark the first trip to Orlando for Sixers center Mohamed Bamba since the Magic traded him in February, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bamba was the sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, but he never developed into the starting-caliber center that Orlando hoped he would be. He was shipped to the Lakers at last year’s trade deadline and signed with Philadelphia this summer, but he remains close with his former Magic teammates.

“Yeah, that’s family over there, you know, all those guys,” Bamba said after Monday’s game. “I’m probably going to stop by Jalen Suggs’ mom’s house tomorrow just to kick it. But that’s family, Cole (Anthony), Wendell (Carter Jr.), Kelle (Markelle Fultz). Those are guys that I can say I grew up with in the league.”

The Lakers hosted the Magic in March, but Bamba wasn’t able to play because of an injury. He’s expected to see plenty of minutes tonight with Joel Embiid sidelined by an ankle sprain, and he’s coming off his best game of the season with 18 points, six rebounds and two steals Monday at Miami.

“It’s just a matter of getting out there and trying not to be the game, throwing out the game,” Bamba said. “You don’t get enough minutes to be out there throwing away minutes, feeling out the game. But I got an opportunity to feel them out (during the first stretch), came back, made some changes and tried to be a little more aggressive.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • Philadelphia has lost all four games that Embiid has missed this season, and the other players have to figure out how to win without the reigning MVP, Pompey states in a separate story. He notes that Embiid’s absence has been particularly tough on Tyrese Maxey, who was limited to 12 points Monday and is averaging just 20.3 PPG while shooting 37.5% from the field and 17.3% from three-point range when Embiid hasn’t played.
  • Embiid has been ruled out for tonight, but his status for Friday’s game at Houston hasn’t been determined, Pompey adds. Coach Nick Nurse is optimistic that his ankle sprain won’t be a long-term issue. “We have a very deep roster of people who can play at a high level,” Kelly Oubre said. “It’s about consistency. … So tomorrow’s a new challenge for us to show we can win without Jo. And we’ll see what happens.”
  • Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks of ESPN look at the options for president of basketball operations Daryl Morey as he tries to add another star to the Sixers’ lineup. Morey’s ability to make a deal will expand on January 1 when aggregate restrictions are lifted for Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris and KJ Martin, who were acquired from the Clippers in the James Harden trade. The ESPN authors examine the pros and cons of trying to land a big name or some smaller pieces before the trade deadline or waiting until the offseason to make significant moves.
View Comments (9)