Sixers center Joel Embiid knows that teammate Matisse Thybulle has been mentioned in trade rumors leading up to Thursday’s deadline, but the All-Star big man praised Thybulle’s defensive abilities and said he’d like to see the team hang onto the fourth-year wing, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Personally, I would love to have him,” Embiid said. “I think he’s one of our better defenders, especially on the perimeter. We don’t have a lot of guys that cause steals or blocks, and all that stuff, extra possessions. That takes extra possessions from the other teams. He’s someone that fits on every NBA team based on his defensive skill set. I think he helps us a lot. But then again, I don’t make the decisions.”
There are a handful of reasons why Thybulle has been mentioned as a trade candidate. His offensive limitations have been exposed in past postseasons, he’s headed for free agency this summer, and the Sixers are only slightly above the luxury tax line, so moving off a small amount of salary could save them a significant amount of cash at season’s end.
Here’s more from around the East:
- The Heat have explored trading forward Duncan Robinson, but Robinson’s pricey long-term contract and uncertainty about his status following finger surgery have decimated any value he might have, per Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. According to Jackson and Chiang, potential trade partners have sought multiple first-round picks in talks involving Robinson, so the Heat are more focused on discussions centered around Kyle Lowry, with the Clippers still in the mix.
- The Celtics‘ trade offer for Jakob Poeltl consisted of guard Payton Pritchard, injured forward Danilo Gallinari, and multiple future second-round picks, reports Brian Robb of MassLive.com. While that proposal would’ve given the Spurs a promising young player in Pritchard, it fell well short of what Toronto was offering in terms of draft compensation.
- Fred Katz of The Athletic explores how Josh Hart will fit in with the Knicks and explains why New York wanted him, noting that he’s a classic Tom Thibodeau sort of player. Katz also notes that the protection terms on the team’s traded 2023 first-round pick (it will turn into four second-rounders if it lands in the lottery) will allow the Knicks to remain flexible with all of their future first-rounders this offseason and beyond.
- The Pistons have reportedly set a high asking price for veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, who are both under contract for next season, and head coach Dwane Casey understands why the front office has taken that stance, as Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscriber link) relays. “(Burks) and (Bogdanovic) are the perfect fit for our rebuilding program, and we’re ready to take off and go forward next year,” Casey said. “Those two guys are just important pieces now and also going forward.”