Georges Niang

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Nets, Niang, Celtics

Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was a recent guest on ex-NBA star Gilbert Arenas’ podcast Gil’s Arena, and told Arenas that he was very much looking forward to his future in Brooklyn.

“I’m super excited,” Dinwiddie said (hat tip to Nets Daily for the transcript). “I’ve been with the Nets six years out of my nine, roughly. I’ve been there for many different forms of the Nets, from when we were kind of the young upstarts — [D’Angelo Russell] and stuff. Then we had the max guys — [Kevin Durant] and Kyrie [Irving]… but now kind of like a more mature, kind of a ready-to-win core that probably needs a guy but probably within that range.”

Dinwiddie is owed $18.9MM through the 2023/24 season. The vet will hit unrestricted free agency that summer if he doesn’t ink a veteran extension with Brooklyn next season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets generated an $18.1MM traded player exception from their Durant trade with the Suns. ProfessorB of Nets Daily unpacks how Brooklyn could use its TPE going forward, identifying several intriguing players whose salaries would fit into that exception.
  • Sixers forward Georges Niang wrote his final “diary entry” of the 2022/23 season, as logged by Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, about his impending free agency and the end of Philadelphia’s playoff run. “Obviously, you want to go to a place where you’re appreciated — and I’ve always felt appreciated in Philadelphia,” Niang wrote. “Other than that, I don’t know anything else. The teams that I played on before, where I was appreciated, those teams are totally different now. I’m thankful that the place that I have most recently played appreciates me for who I am and what I stand for and what I can bring to the table. But free agency, stuff happens so quickly. Someone said it best to me: It’s almost like musical chairs. You don’t want to be the one that doesn’t have a chair to sit in.”
  • Conversations the day before the Celtics’ Game 4 win in their ongoing Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Heat helped galvanize Boston, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Just coming together, talking it out,” All-Star swingman Jaylen Brown in explaining the content of the team’s pregame chats. “And like a lot of times when you get to this point down 3-0, you see locker rooms and teams start to go in the other direction… We wanted to make sure that we looked each other in the eye and came out today and put our best foot forward, and I’m proud of our group for doing that because you see teams with their back against the wall and you see they just collapse.”

Sixers Notes: Coaching Search, Rivers, Niang, Offseason

During his end-of-season media session on Wednesday, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey told reporters taht it may take the team some time to pick its next head coach, according to Kyle Neubeck of

“We’re taking a careful process with the coach, we do not think it will move quickly,” Morey said. “We’re going to look at all the candidates, we’re already very encouraged by the candidates that reached out. We have an MVP player, we have a great roster that lots of players want to play with, lots of coaches want to be with.”

According to Morey, the Sixers are seeking a candidate who prioritizes accountability and who can build great relationships with star players and recruit stars (Twitter link via Gina Mizell of Philadelphia Inquirer). While the team also wants to hire a tactically sound coach, Morey suggested that won’t be his primary goal.

“I actually think people put too much importance on that, like it ends up being a much smaller part of the game than people expect,” Morey said. “Relative to you know, working with star players, recruiting star players, things like that. It is an important element, but it tends to get overvalued…it can only be one part of the puzzle.”

Interestingly, as Neubeck writes, Morey said the Sixers’ star players won’t have “direct input” on the hire. Morey also acknowledged that MVP center Joel Embiid was “shocked” by the club’s decision to move on from Doc Rivers, per David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

“It’s my job to help convince him that the new head coach is someone he’ll have a great relationship as well,” Morey said.

  • In a separate story for, Neubeck takes a closer look at the six head coaching candidates who have been linked to the 76ers so far, breaking down the pros and cons of each one.
  • Doc Rivers posted a parting message to Sixers fans on Instagram, writing that he “really enjoyed” his time in Philadelphia and respected how “tough” and passionate the fans were. League sources tell Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report (Twitter link) that Rivers has a desire to continue coaching if the right opportunity arises.
  • Sixers forward Georges Niang, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, admits he doesn’t know what his future holds, but he sounds like a player who would happily re-sign in Philadelphia, writes Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “Obviously, I love it here in Philly,” Niang said after the team’s season came to an end. “Like I said, I haven’t really wrapped my head around everything, but I really enjoyed being here and the guys, the camaraderie, the organization, it’s been amazing.”
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype and Bobby Marks of (Insider link) previewed the Sixers’ offseason, observing that the team faces several big decisions beyond hiring a new coach and resolving Harden’s future. Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton are among the players eligible for contract extensions, while Philadelphia needs to find a way to improve its bench depth.

Sixers Notes: Harden, Harris, Tucker, Dedmon, Niang

To be serious title contenders, the Sixers will need the version of James Harden that they got Saturday night, writes Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Facing one of the league’s best defenses, Harden turned in a performance reminiscent of his MVP days in Houston. He had 38 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists and led a fourth-quarter comeback as Philadelphia snapped the Bucks’ 16-game winning streak.

“That’s what I do, man,” Harden said. “I’m just very comfortable in those situations whether it’s playmaking, whether it’s scoring. I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

Harden has been in the news this week for his upcoming free agency and persistent rumors that he will strongly consider a return to the Rockets. Hofmann states that Harden has been playing at an All-Star level throughout the season and his immediate focus is helping Philadelphia get by the other top teams in the East.

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • The team has two injury concerns coming out of Saturday’s game, Hofmann adds. Tobias Harris didn’t finish the game because of tightness in his left calf, while P.J. Tucker suffered back spasms and was moving gingerly in the locker room, according to Hofmann.
  • Even though he didn’t play, Dewayne Dedmon was in uniform on Saturday night, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The veteran center signed with the Sixers on February 14 after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs following a trade from the Heat. Dedmon is ready for a fresh start after the way his time in Miami ended, but hip soreness has delayed his debut with the Sixers. “At the end of the day, it’s not about motivation,” Dedmon said. “I got mental clarity. For myself, that’s the biggest thing that I need moving forward in my life and my career. I need mental clarity and stability. For me to get traded from there was my mental clarity and my stability.”
  • Georges Niang has seen his playing time reduced recently because of a shooting slump, but he drained 5-of-6 shots from beyond the arc Saturday. Before the game, he told Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer that the best cure for a slump is to keep shooting. “I just got to get out there and let it fly,” Niang said. “I don’t know how many games it is now, but I’ve had the feeling of getting out there and being like, ‘Oh, I want to get my elbow tucked. I want to do this.’ But I’ve been shooting my whole life. I’ve just got to go out there and let it rip.”

Sixers Notes: Niang, Simmons, Embiid, Harden, Dedmon

Sixers players have been careful in their comments about how Ben Simmons‘ holdout affected the team, but Georges Niang addressed the issue Friday in a radio appearance, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. As a guest on The John Kincaid Show, Niang said the atmosphere has been much better this year without the distractions that Simmons caused.

“When you … are building rosters. I’m talking from a general manager standpoint, I don’t know how much he makes but it’s a max contract, so you immediately take that off the books (when Simmons says), ‘I’m not playing,’” Niang said. “Now, you have to figure out where other role players have to set up and replace passing, dribbling, rebounding, defense.”

Simmons’ dispute with Sixers management began during the 2021 offseason and lasted until he was shipped to the Nets at last year’s trade deadline. In addition to not having one of their supposed team leaders on the court, Niang said players were concerned about who else might be included in a potential Simmons deal.

“Then the trade deadline is coming up, and everybody is walking in like, ‘Who’s being attached to him that’s going (into a trade)?’ So you had that uneasy feeling,” Niang said. “So now (this season) it’s like we did trade Matisse (Thybulle in a four-team deal). We got Jalen (McDaniels). But you know who you’re going to war with every single night.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers carry a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s game with the Celtics, but Joel Embiid says they shouldn’t be focused on trying to prove anything to the team with the NBA’s best record, Pompey writes in another Inquirer story. “We’re not worried about Boston or Milwaukee,” Embiid said. “We are worried about ourselves. We can get better every single night.”
  • President of basketball operations Daryl Morey didn’t provide a direct answer when he was asked about James Harden‘s future during an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter (video link). Harden is expected to turn down his player option this summer, and there have been rumors that he is considering a return to the Rockets. “I know he’s just focused on this season and not the offseason, but I know that he’s focused on winning the championship,” Morey said. “He’s going to be wherever he feels like he has the best chance. Obviously his pairing with Embiid is very, very good and we feel like it’s the best pairing for the long term.”
  • Backup center Dewayne Dedmon has been ruled out for Saturday’s game with soreness in his left hip, tweets Sixers reporter Derek Bodner. Dedmon hasn’t played since signing with Philadelphia 11 days ago.

Sixers Notes: Trade Deadline, Fultz, Niang, Milton

The Sixers are hoping to land a reliable backup center before next week’s trade deadline, sources tell Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed have been filling that role, but Harrell hasn’t been strong defensively and the coaching staff doesn’t fully trust Reed, according to Neubeck.

Neubeck states that the front office is willing to add another big man even if it can’t get rid of Harrell or Reed in the same deal. He mentions former Sixer Andre Drummond, whom the Bulls are reportedly open to trading, as an example of the type of traditional center the team wants to acquire.

Several teams have contacted the Timberwolves about Naz Reid, but Neubeck doesn’t expect him to be an option for Philadelphia. He also says the decision could wait for the buyout market, although it could be tough to find a long-term solution who’s content to be a backup for Embiid.

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House and Jaden Springer are the best candidates to be moved in the type of deals the Sixers are considering, Neubeck adds. He hears from sources that Matisse Thybulle would likely be included in a “higher-end” trade, with the Kings among several teams that have shown interest in the fourth-year guard. Shake Milton, who’s headed for free agency after the season, could be useful as a trade sweetener, according to Neubeck.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz had 12 points and 10 assists Monday night while playing his first game in Philadelphia since being traded to Orlando in 2019, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers had hoped Fultz would be part of their foundation after drafting him first overall in 2017, but a combination of injuries and shooting difficulties led to him playing just 33 combined games in his two seasons with the team. “I’ve always been a big fan,” Embiid said of his former teammate. “When we traded him, I was disappointed because I felt like we were giving up on him too early.”
  • Georges Niang and Milton believe too much was made about an on-court argument they had during Saturday’s nationally televised game, per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Niang was upset about not getting a pass from Milton on a two-on-one break, but they both joked about the incident afterward. “I just told both of them to let it go, that we had a [expletive] game to win,” Embiid said. “I think it’s also good for the team, not a bad thing. Guys get into each other, that makes us better. … After the game, we’re all laughing.”

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Niang, Maxey, Luxury Tax

Joel Embiid turned in an MVP performance Saturday afternoon while matched up with Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who has beaten him out for the award the past two seasons, writes Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Embiid posted 47 points, 18 rebounds and five assists and made several big plays late in the game to help the Sixers win the battle between two of the NBA’s best teams.

Embiid was a bit too focused on his individual matchup with Jokic early on, Neubeck observes, but he began to take over the game in the second quarter, showing off his full offensive arsenal. Many of Embiid’s points came via a two-man weave with James Harden that resulted in prime scoring opportunities.

Afterward, Embiid said he doesn’t have a personal rivalry with Jokic, but he felt it was “a little disrespectful” that he wasn’t named a starter when the results of this year’s All-Star voting were announced Thursday, relays Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“I’m used to it,” Embiid said of the snub. “It’s not the first time. I think it’s more of a motivation to go out and win the whole thing. That’s the only way I’m probably going to get that respect.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Georges Niang is headed for a sizable payday in free agency this summer, Neubeck adds. Niang contributed 14 points in about 18 minutes off the bench today, shooting 4-of-7 from three-point range. Neubeck calls Niang one of the NBA’s best bench shooters and expects a lot of teams to be interested when he hits the open market.
  • Tyrese Maxey has adapted well to a reserve role since the Sixers changed their starting lineup earlier this month, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer states in a mailbag column. Coming into today, Maxey was averaging 22.4 points and shooting 41.9% on three-pointers in his first five games off the bench. However, Pompey views Maxey as a long-term starter and says he needs to improve his defense this summer so he’ll be a better fit alongside Harden.
  • Luxury tax concerns will affect the Sixers’ strategy heading into the trade deadline, Pompey adds. Philadelphia is currently about $1.1MM over the threshold of $150.3MM, so Furkan Korkmaz or Jaden Springer could be unloaded to avoid the tax.

Atlantic Notes: Sims, Hartenstein, Nets, Raptors, Niang

Knicks reserve big men Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein have seen their roles expand following starting center Mitchell Robinson‘s recent thumb surgery, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post.

Sims had been out of the Knicks’ rotation in the five games leading up to Robinson’s thumb injury last week, while Hartenstein was playing backup center minutes. After Robinson went down, Sims was elevated to starter, while Thibodeau kept Hartenstein in his reserve role.

“I feel good about both guys,” New York head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “What gives us the best chance to win? It may change based on matchups… Jericho and Isaiah have been in the rotation, and that was one of the things that stood out when we were acquiring those guys was the rim protection. We felt both were capable.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Though the Kevin Durant drama may have been taking the lion’s share of headlines as far as the Nets were concerned this summer, the team made some excellent under-the-radar roster moves that are now paying off in a big way, per James Herbert of CBS Sports. Herbert singles out Brooklyn’s re-signing of Nic Claxton, its free agent additions of Yuta Watanabe and T.J. Warren, and its trade for Royce O’Neale.
  • As the Raptors continue to slide in the Eastern Conference standings, team president Masai Ujiri should look to move on from some of its best assets and begin a full-on rebuild around second-year forward Scottie Barnes, opines Bruce Arthur of The Toronto Star. Arthur believes that Toronto players OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam could each net at least three first-round draft picks in trades, writing that at least one team previously offered three first-rounders for Anunoby.
  • Sixers reserve power forward Georges Niang is striving to play better defensively, and seems to have truly improved on that end this season, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “People try to knock me, and not give me credit because I don’t look like someone that can defend,” Niang said. “I believe if I’m out there on the court, I’m going to make it tough on anybody that I have to guard.. That’s kind of the narrative that I’m trying to spin the other way.”

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Niang, Trent Jr., Barnes, Young

Sixers star center Joel Embiid is listed as questionable for Tuesday night’s home game against the Pistons, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Embiid has missed the past three games with a sore left foot, including Philadelphia’s road win over Detroit on Sunday. P.J. Tucker is probable with a sinus infection after missing Sunday’s game.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers forward Georges Niang hopes he’ll get an invitation to participate in the 3-point contest on All-Star weekend, according to Pompey. “The three-point contest, obviously, if you’re an NBA fan, you’ve paid attention to it and watched it,” Niang said. “If you ever get a chance to be a part of that, it would be an honor.” Niang is a career 40.7% 3-point shooter and has made 42% of his attempts this season.
  • It’s no lock that the Raptors will deal Gary Trent Jr. before the trade deadline, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange said on “The Raptors Show.” (video link). After a rough patch, Trent has averaged 25 points per game in his last seven contests. Trent came off the bench for a stretch during a shooting slump. “He’s earned a lot of respect for how he’s handled himself as a pro and you look at his profile, his age, those guys are hard to find,” Grange said. However, Toronto will explore all options. “I don’t think it’s a certainty they’ll trade him. but I think it’s a certainty they’ll listen,” Grange added. Trent has an $18.56MM player option for next season.
  • Scottie Barnes and Thaddeus Young exchanged words during halftime of the Raptors’ game against Portland. They downplayed the incident, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. “It was just a little disagreement. It was nothing serious,” Barnes said. “You have some disagreements but it was nothing serious.” Young said, “We just had a disagreement. No different than brothers going back and forth, especially when we’re both passionate about the game.” (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Tatum, Brunson, Niang

An eight-game winning streak has the Nets feeling extremely good about their place in the NBA’s hierarchy, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn has moved into fourth in the East after a slow start and can climb into third with a win tonight at Cleveland.

“We’re coming for everybody, man,” Nic Claxton said after the Nets routed the Bucks on Friday night. “We’ve had a lot of disappointment over this season, these past few seasons. But things are rolling. We’ve just got to keep it going.” 

Part of that confidence comes from a defense that has clearly improved, Lewis adds in a separate story. Having Ben Simmons alongside Claxton and Kevin Durant gives Brooklyn three starters with seven-foot wingspans and plenty of options to handle high-scoring wings as well as big men.

“Yeah, I think we answered a lot of those questions,” coach Jacque Vaughn said Friday. “Being able to have multiple bodies like we talked about around Giannis (Antetokounmpo), seven turnovers for him.” 

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum may be the clear frontrunner in the MVP race after a 41-point outburst in Sunday’s win over Milwaukee, states Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Tatum told reporters, including Jamal Collier of ESPN, that he enjoys the Christman Day spotlight. “I’ve said many times how much I love being here and what it means to play on Christmas — sixth year in a row and something I never want to take for granted,” Tatum said. “As a kid, that was part of the tradition: Eat, be with family, watch all the games and try to envision myself playing out there one day. Now I get to do that.”
  • The injury that Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson suffered late in Sunday’s game could prevent him from playing in Tuesday’s return to Dallas, per Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. Brunson appeared to be holding his right hip before he exited the game with 4:42 left in the fourth quarter, but the team didn’t provide any details. Brunson didn’t talk to the media afterward, and coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t able to offer any information other than saying he doesn’t believe it’s an injury that Brunson was dealing with prior to the game.
  • Sixers forward Georges Niang credits a verbal jab from coach Doc Rivers for inspiring his 12-point fourth quarter in Sunday’s win at New York, according to Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. After Rivers asked Niang if he would ever “make a freaking shot … or are we just on vacation?” he responded by hitting four three-pointers in that final frame. “We have a good friendly banter, going back and forth,” Niang said. “I think when you have a coach that can challenge you to continuously be better, that kind of motivates me to continue to keep digging deeper and being better.”

Eastern Notes: Niang, Sixers, Nets, Pistons

Georges Niang was excited to get back on the court for the Sixers on Sunday after missing two games due to right foot soreness, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “I feel a lot better,” he said. “I’m excited to get there and play today. So I’m feeling good.”

Niang, an unrestricted free agent after this season, has been a key piece for the Sixers off the bench. He’s averaging 9.7 points and shooting 43.1% on 3-point attempts.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Sixers beat the Lakers in overtime on Friday after squandering a nine-point lead in the final 34 seconds to snap a three-game losing streak. Pompey breaks down the team’s recent struggles, noting that turnovers have been a major issue. “Sloppy, but good win for us,” Tobias Harris said after the Lakers win. “So we’ll take it. Obviously, we didn’t want it to happen that way, but we’ve got to learn from it and figure it out in those moments. especially when teams are presenting that type of pressure.”
  • The Nets found a way to beat the Pacers without eight rotation players on Saturday. They’ll be close to full strength when they face the Wizards on Monday, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, Seth Curry, Kyrie Irving, Nic Claxton and T.J. Warren are all expected to be in uniform. Royce O’Neale, who missed the Indiana game for personal reasons, is still not with the team.
  • Cade Cunningham‘s shin injury has dealt the Pistons a major setback through the one-third mark this season but there are silver linings, Keith Langlois of writes. Killian Hayes has begun to blossom in his third NBA season and rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren have shown major talent while jumping right into the rotation.