Kelly Oubre

Sixers Rumors: Maxey, Reed, Offseason Targets, Harris, Hield, Oubre

While the Sixers are disappointed by how quickly their playoff run ended this spring, there are reasons for optimism going forward. For one, guard Tyrese Maxey showed this season that he’s an impact player capable of becoming a legitimate second star alongside center Joel Embiid, according to Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“He was amazing this year,” Embiid said of his teammate, per Mizell. “One of the 10 best players in the world this year. … He’s gotten so much better. I think there’s another step he can even take.”

Maxey will be a restricted free agent this summer, but that’s just a technicality — he will count against the Sixers’ cap for just $13MM until he signs his new contract. After using up their cap room, the 76ers will be able to go over the cap to lock him up to a maximum-salary deal that projects to be worth at least $35MM in 2024/25 — or up to $42.3MM if Maxey makes an All-NBA team.

Because the Sixers didn’t win a playoff series, Paul Reed‘s $7.7MM salary for ’24/25 will remain non-guaranteed, which means the club could potentially enter free agency with only Embiid’s salary ($51.4MM) and Maxey’s $13MM cap hold counting toward team salary. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), Philadelphia could have up to $64.9MM in cap room with just those two players on the books. That number would be closer to $55MM if the 76ers retain Reed and their first-round pick.

What might the Sixers do what that cap room? Sources tell Bontemps that Jrue Holiday was a top target until he signed an extension in Boston. OG Anunoby is also on their wish list, per Bontemps, though he’s considered likely to re-sign with the Knicks. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up (Twitter video link), Brian Windhorst identified Paul George as Philadelphia’s No. 1 priority and said he thinks the team will make George a maximum-salary offer, assuming he hasn’t re-upped with the Clippers before free agency.

If no top-tier free agents are available, Daryl Morey and the Sixers figure to turn to their trade market, since they’ll have several first-round picks available to move and won’t have to send out matching salary. Windhorst mentions Heat swingman Jimmy Butler and Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram as a pair of possible trade targets for the Sixers.

On the other hand, it’s not necessarily a star-or-bust summer for Philadelphia, according to Bontemps, who says one other potential path for the club would be to pursue a series of role players who complement Embiid and Maxey, like the Nuggets have done around Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. In that scenario, the Sixers could explore re-signing a few of their own free agents, such as Kelly Oubre, De’Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum, and/or Kyle Lowry. League sources expect Tobias Harris to be playing elsewhere next season though, per Bontemps.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • A reunion with Butler feels like a long shot, but David Aldridge of The Athletic argues that the former Sixer is exactly the kind of “alpha” the team needs to complement Embiid and Maxey. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) suggests that he can’t imagine the Heat accepting a trade package heavy on draft assets for Butler unless they planned to flip those assets for another star.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) and Mark Deeks of HoopsHype shared their Sixers offseason previews, taking a closer look at the decisions facing the franchise.
  • Veteran sharpshooter Buddy Hield, who will be an unrestricted free agent, said that he would like to return to Philadelphia, tweets Mizell. Hield scored 20 points in 21 minutes in Game 6 on Thursday but had only scored two points and had a pair of DNP-CDs in the five playoff games before that.
  • Oubre also expressed interest in re-signing with the Sixers, suggesting that he feels like he has “unfinished business” after the first-round loss. “I just wanna be loved,” Oubre said of his priorities in free agency, according to Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “I don’t know about the business side of it. I mean, I do, but I can’t tell you what I know because I represent myself right now. At the end of the day, I wanna go somewhere where they respect and they love me. It’s been nothing but love here, of course.”
  • Taking a bigger-picture view, Danny Chau of The Ringer considers what another early playoff exit means for Embiid and his legacy.

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Oubre, Hield, Payne

The toughness that Joel Embiid displayed in Game 3 will have to continue for the Sixers to have any chance to win their series with New York, writes Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Despite dealing with the pain of a surgically repaired left knee and the difficulties brought on by a mild case of Bell’s palsy, Embiid set a career playoff high with 50 points in Thursday’s crucial victory.

With two days to rest before the series resumes Sunday, Embiid is embracing the challenges of playoff basketball, no matter what physical ailments he has to overcome.

“I want to play as much as possible. I only have about, maybe, eight years left. So I have to enjoy this as much as possible and I want to win,” he said. “I’m just trying to keep pushing. I’m not going to quit. If it’s on one leg, I’m still going to go out there and try, but that’s not an excuse. Got to keep playing better, and better, and better.”

After Game 3, Embiid called the Bell’s palsy “an unfortunate situation” and told reporters, including Tim Bontemps of ESPN, that it started with migraine headaches shortly before Philadelphia’s play-in game last week. He explained that the condition sometimes causes blurred vision, and he frequently has to put drops in left eye to keep it from drying out.

“It’s pretty annoying, you know, with the left side of my face, my mouth and my eye. So yeah, it’s been tough,” Embiid said. “But I’m not a quitter, so gotta keep fighting. But yeah, it’s unfortunate. That’s the way I look at it. But it’s not an excuse. Gotta keep pushing.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Kelly Oubre responded to the Knickscomplaints about officiating after Game 3, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. In addition to a free throw disparity, New York players were upset about a Flagrant 1 foul that Embiid committed when he grabbed Mitchell Robinson‘s leg, with Donte DiVincenzo calling it a “dirty play.” Oubre said he has been on the receiving end of that type of contact and doesn’t consider it dirty. He also called for a focus on basketball instead of threats of retaliation. “It’s like, let’s just hoop,” Oubre said at today’s practice. “Let’s go out there and play hard and nobody’s gonna fight. This ain’t WWE. So at the end of the day, stand on the stuff that’ll say so we’ll see tomorrow how they react.”
  • Philadelphia police are conducting an internal investigation into whether Oubre received preferential treatment following his auto accident early Tuesday morning, tweets Michael J. Babcock of TMZ Sports. Oubre, who is accused of running a red light and hitting another car, wasn’t cited or given a sobriety test or breathalyzer.
  • Buddy Hield played just four minutes in Game 3 and appears to have been replaced in the rotation by Cameron Payne, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hield didn’t get off the bench after the first quarter, while Payne contributed 11 points and three assists in nearly 16 minutes. Hield has been a disappointment since being acquired from Indiana at the deadline, and Pompey suggests the Sixers would probably rather have Marcus Morris, who was shipped to San Antonio in the three-team trade.

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Oubre, Knicks Series

Sixers superstar Joel Embiid has been treated for a mild case of Bell’s palsy for the past week, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The condition began during the play-in game against Miami, but according to Wojnarowski, Embiid kept it a secret to not allow for distractions.

There’s been some speculation circling about why Embiid was wearing sunglasses and if that was related to an eye issue, but Wojnarowski (Twitter link) reports that it’s because of Bell’s palsy, which is an episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis.

According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Embiid said dealing with the condition has been “pretty annoying” (Twitter link). “It’s unfortunate … got to keep pushing,” Embiid said.

Embiid hasn’t let it prevent him from making an impact in the series — he dropped a playoff career-high 50 points to lead the Sixers to a win over the Knicks in Game 3. As the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy writes, Embiid was physical and efficient in the game, connecting on 13 of his 19 shot attempts. He had 18 points in the third quarter.

We have more from the Sixers:

  • Kelly Oubre was involved in a car accident after Game 2, according to TMZ. The wreck happened in the earlier hours of Tuesday morning, with police saying Oubre “disregarded a red traffic signal” and ran into another car. No one reported any injuries, but both cars had to be towed from scene. Philadelphia Inquirer’s Gina Mizell confirmed the TMZ report (Twitter link).
  • Before Philadelphia’s Game 3 victory, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps explored reasons why the 2-0 deficit wasn’t as dire as it seemed. Bontemps identified several keys for the rest of the series, including the impressive play of Tyrese Maxey and Embiid’s ability to play through injuries. In addition, Cameron Payne delivered 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench in Game 3 after Bontemps pointed out Philly’s role players had been somewhat limited in the first two games.
  • Despite expressing displeasure with how Game 2 was officiating, Philadelphia didn’t file a formal protest and instead let the deadline pass, Bondy writes in a separate piece. In the playoffs, a protest “must be filed not later than midnight of the day of the game protested.” For what it’s worth, reporting after Game 2 didn’t indicate that the 76ers would formally protest the outcome of the game — just that they’d contact the league with their concerns about the officiating.
  • Embiid and Mitchell Robinson got tangled up in Game 3, resulting in Embiid being issued a flagrant 1 foul. According to the pool report, crew chief Zach Zarba said there wasn’t excessive contact, and that’s why it didn’t rise to a flagrant 2 (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Fred Katz). “The crew was unanimous along with the replay center official in Secaucus that this foul was unnecessary but did not rise to the level of a flagrant 2,” Zarba said.

Atlantic Notes: Melton, Brunson, Sixers Comeback, Tatum

The Sixers may have another rotation player available for Game 3 of their first-round series with the Knicks tonight. De’Anthony Melton practiced on Wednesday and could suit up on Thursday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“I’m feeling good,” Melton said after the practice. “I’m ready for the game tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.”

Melton averaged a career-high 11.1 points per game this season and is a strong perimeter defender. He has played only seven games since Dec. 30 due to a spinal injury.

“I think for me, the little things, rebounding, boxing out, getting deflections, getting steals,” Melton said of the impact he could make.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite his team being up 2-0 in the series, Knicks star guard Jalen Brunson isn’t happy with his production. He’s shooting 29.1% from the field during the first two contests, with the Sixers sending extra bodies to force tougher shots. “The easy answer is I need to adjust and I need to be more poised, just understand what they’re doing and just flat-out be better,” Brunson said, per Peter Botte of the New York Post. “There’s no gimmicks to it. It’s just, ‘Jalen, you need to be better.’ And it’s that plain and simple.”
  • Their ability to keep Brunson in check with Kelly Oubre Jr. as the primary defender is one of the reasons why the Sixers should be optimistic about rallying in the series, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps writes. The fact that Joel Embiid has been able to effectively play through a sore knee is another reason to believe a turnaround is coming.
  • Following their 111-101 home loss to the Heat on Wednesday night, Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum said it’s his team’s turn to counter Miami’s adjustments, Brian Robb of MassLive.com relays. “I think we’ve gotta be more creative,” Tatum said. “The playoffs are about making adjustments game to game, and they did that. They’re not just going to let us catch the ball, they’re not just going to let us throw it to (Kristaps Porzingis) easy. They’re supposed to try to mess things a little up, and make it a little bit tougher. So it’s our job to react in real time, as well as make our adjustments going from game to game.”

Atlantic Notes: Brunson, Bridges, Oubre, Porzingis

Jalen Brunson isn’t going to be named this season’s Most Valuable Player, but the Knicks point guard deserves real consideration for the award, or at least a spot on voters’ five-man ballots, writes Steve Popper of Newsday (subscription required).

Brunson eclipsed the 40-point mark for a second consecutive game on Tuesday in Chicago, racking up 45 points and eight assists in a victory that gave the Knicks sole control of the No. 3 seed in the East with three games left to play. Asked about the star guard placing sixth in ESPN’s final MVP straw poll, head coach Tom Thibodeau joked that he wanted a recount.

“He’s earned that. It’s not like some hype,” Thibodeau said, per Popper. “If you look across the board, I think it’s a byproduct of the winning and what he’s done. More importantly they’re not empty stats. It’s impacting winning in a great way. And so to be a leading scorer in the league, to do it with the amount of pressure that he’s had on him in terms of double teaming. We’ve had a lot of guys out, got a number of guys with minute restrictions and everything else and this guy has delivered night after night.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Nets forward Mikal Bridges admits that it’s “not fun at all” to be missing the postseason for the first time since 2020, but he’s still looking forward to a future in Brooklyn, as Peter Botte of The New York Post relays. “Yeah, 100 percent. I don’t think I look at anywhere else,” Bridges said. “I don’t think about my contract at all. Just try and come back, and my biggest thing this summer is to be better than I was this year. Take a lot from what I learned. Obviously it was not what I wanted and what we wanted as a team, but you can’t really sulk about it.”
  • Kelly Oubre has significantly outplayed the one-year, minimum-salary deal he signed with the Sixers last summer and put himself in line for a raise in free agency, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription required). After averaging over 20 points per game in Charlotte last season, Oubre has been more of a two-way force this season, Pompey writes, making more of an impact defensively while still being a threat on offense. “Kelly has been phenomenal the last two months since I’ve been here,” teammate Kyle Lowry said. “He’s been phenomenal shooting the ball, driving the ball, making aggressive takes to the rim. He’s just been phenomenal.”
  • Jay King of The Athletic takes an interesting look at how big man Kristaps Porzingis has transformed himself into a far more efficient post-up player than he was during his days in Dallas and how Porzingis’ post-up ability could be a difference-maker for the Celtics‘ offense this postseason.

Sixers Notes: Oubre, Embiid, Hield, Harris, Melton, Covington

Sixers small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is reveling in Philadelphia’s new outlook on playoff life with the return of superstar center Joel Embiid, per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It’s like the first day of school again,” Oubre said after the team beat the Thunder 109-105 Tuesday, in part thanks to Embiid’s 24-point, seven-assist, six-rebound night. “You’re kind of coming back from spring break or winter break, and you know you’ve got your friend back. He’s the cool guy in class that we’ve definitely been missing… But that’s our team. We built this team around him, and we have to continue to just polish the pieces around it so we can be a well-oiled machine.”

The Sixers followed up Tuesday’s victory with a big win over Miami on Thursday, pulling within a half-game of the Heat for the No. 7 spot in the East and one game of Indiana for No. 6.

In his two games back, Embiid is averaging 26.5 points, 5.5 assists and five rebounds. Embiid had been away from the club for eight weeks following a meniscus injury, and in that time the Sixers have fallen from the top of the Eastern Conference into the play-in tournament bracket.

There’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Sixers swingman Buddy Hield, who joined the team at February’s trade deadline, is looking forward to developing his chemistry with Embiid, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I just think he does provide open looks,” Hield said. “He’s just so good in the short roll, and his big body, and he’s always [being double-teamed, so] teams overlook guys and you just have to be ready for the catch-and-shoot.”
  • Sixers forward Tobias Harris, who hurt his left knee late in the win over the Thunder, missed the team’s matchup against the Heat tonight due to that knee injury, per Pompey (Twitter link). Pompey tweets that imaging indicated Harris incurred a bone bruise, but he may only be sidelined for a game or two, a source tells The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • The Sixers are still hoping that two key role players will, like Embiid before them, return to the hardwood before the end of the season, writes Pompey in another piece. Starting shooting guard De’Anthony Melton has been on the shelf for the club since February 27 with lumbar spine bone stress. Combo forward Robert Covington hasn’t played since December 30 due to a left knee bone bruise. “I think we’re still trying,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “I think they’re getting on the court. That’s always a good sign so I think they’re still a little ways away… I don’t think we’ll rule them out unless we absolutely have to for good, but we’ll see.”

Sixers’ Nick Nurse, Kelly Oubre Fined $50K Apiece

The NBA has fined Sixers head coach Nick Nurse and forward Kelly Oubre $50K each, the league announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

According to the NBA’s statement, Nurse was fined for “aggressively pursuing and verbally abusing” game officials, while Oubre got his fine as a result of “verbally abusing and directing an obscene gesture” toward game officials.

The incident in question occurred at the end of the Sixers’ one-point loss to the Clippers on Wednesday. With Philadelphia down 108-107 in the final seconds of the game, Oubre drove to the basket and appeared to draw contact with Paul George as the Clippers’ forward impeded his path to the rim (Twitter video link).

No foul was called, however, allowing the Clippers to hang onto their lead and leave with the victory. Nurse and Oubre both expressed their displeasure over the non-call to the referees following the buzzer, with Oubre in particular appearing to do so in colorful terms (Twitter video link).

Referee crew chief Kevin Scott admitted in a pool interview after the game that a foul should have been called on George on the game’s final play, while Oubre apologized to the officials during his post-game media session for “losing his cool.”

Sixers Notes: Harden, Melton, Covington, George

In the days leading up to his return to Philadelphia on Wednesday, James Harden wasn’t eager to speculate about how he might be received by his former home crowd, as Law Murray of The Athletic writes, telling reporters that he “didn’t care” and that he was more concerned about helping the Clippers get out of their recent slump.

Harden accomplished what he set out to on Wednesday, finishing with 16 points and 14 assists in a 108-107 win over the Sixers. He was on the receiving end of plenty of boos from the Philadelphia faithful over the course of the evening and admitted after the game that it didn’t come as a surprise. However, he also contended he didn’t understand the motivation for those boos.

“I expected it,” Harden said, according to Murray. “They don’t know what it was about. But I expected it. So it is what it is. I don’t even know why they were booing, I don’t think. You ask them. They probably don’t know why they were booing.

“… For me, personally, I feel like I did everything I needed to do in the sense of, in the year prior, taking myself off of the max to help the team get better,” Harden continued. “For this city, you know what I mean? And for myself, obviously. But to win a championship. So things didn’t work out. I wanted to get paid. They weren’t talking. So it is what it is. You move on, everybody’s happy, life is good. And I mean, everybody’s looking forward.”

Harden accepted a $33MM salary rather than picking up his $47MM player option in 2022/23, but the boos on Wednesday suggest that move didn’t earn him enough goodwill in Philadelphia for Sixers fans to forgive and forget his decision to demand a trade a year later.

Harden, who blasted Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey last summer due to his belief that Morey failed to keep certain promises, replied, “Hell no” on Wednesday when asked if he believes he’ll ever reconcile with the veteran executive, per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harden also said he hasn’t stayed in touch with 76ers star Joel Embiid.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • The Sixers’ loss on Wednesday was a controversial one, with referee crew chief Kevin Scott admitting after the game that a foul should have been called on a drive to the basket by Kelly Oubre on the game’s final play, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Oubre and head coach Nick Nurse expressed their frustrations to the game’s referees after the final buzzer and had to be pulled away by assistant coaches (Twitter video link). Oubre apologized to the refs during his post-game media session for “losing his cool.”
  • Nurse told reporters prior to Wednesday’s game that he’s optimistic that both De’Anthony Melton (back) and Robert Covington (knee) can return before the end of the regular season, tweets Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports. Of the two, Covington is closer to getting back on the court, according to Nurse.
  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer is skeptical that the Sixers’ reported interest in Paul George will result in the star forward ending up in Philadelphia, writing that it looks more like a leverage play as the free-agent-to-be discusses a new deal with the Clippers.
  • In case you missed it, Nurse also discussed Embiid’s recovery from knee surgery on Wednesday.

Sixers Notes: Harden, Maxey, Harris, Oubre

The James Harden trade saga is a distant memory for the Sixers as they prepare to face the Clippers on Sunday, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harden began the season with Philadelphia, but he demanded a trade after a falling out with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey over what Harden considers to be broken promises in contract negotiations. After publicly blasting Morey multiple times, disrupting training camp and threatening to hold out, Harden was shipped to L.A. in a November 1 deal.

“I don’t know if anybody’s even mad anymore,” coach Nick Nurse said. “Are they?”

In addition to a reunion with Harden, this weekend in Los Angeles is providing a homecoming for two of the players the Sixers received in the trade, Pompey adds. KJ Martin told reporters he still considers the city to be his home, and Nicolas Batum spoke to a group of French media members following Friday’s game with the Lakers. Robert Covington didn’t make the trip as he rehabs a bone bruise in his knee, and Marcus Morris was traded again in February and later signed with Cleveland.

One Sixers player who’s especially excited to face Harden is Tyrese Maxey, who said he learned a lot during the time they were teammates.

“I tell him all the time [that] he did a lot for me in his short time here,” Maxey said. “Not just for my basketball skills, but for my basketball mind and my basketball confidence. I’m already a confident person. But when James Harden — as somebody who’s an MVP, scoring champ, assist champ, all those things — believes in you [and] he wants you to go out there be ultra-aggressive, even when he’s on the court and Joel (Embiid)’s on the court, you can’t do anything but appreciate that.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • With Harden gone and Embiid sidelined due to meniscus surgery, Maxey is seeing much different looks from opposing defenses than he did at the start of the season, observes Mark Medina of Sportskeeda. Teams are focusing their coverage on Maxey, who said he studies other players to see how they deal with it. “I watch a little bit of Donovan Mitchell, a little bit of Jalen Brunson and a little bit of Kyrie Irving when he was in Boston,” Maxey said. “I’ve watched guys that were either primary or secondary scorers that have gotten trapped, blitzed and different things like that. … They’re able to manipulate the defense and get their teammates open.”
  • In a separate story, Tobias Harris talked to Medina about the ups and downs he has faced this season and the challenge of trying to remain competitive without Embiid. “The big thing is weathering the storm and figuring out ways that we can get better and continue to build off the positives on what we’ve been able to show,” Harris said. “We have to hold the fort down until we get the big fella back and all of our pieces are all together. Hopefully we get (De’Anthony) Melton back as well.”
  • Kelly Oubre has embraced Bruce Lee’s “be water” philosophy as he adapts to a constantly changing role, Pompey adds in another piece.

Knicks Notes: Offensive Struggles, Anunoby, Randle, Milton, Rotation

The Knicks played their worst game of the season and posted their lowest offensive total in nearly six years in Sunday’s 79-73 loss to Philadelphia, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. It was the fewest points scored by any NBA team in 2023/24, barely eclipsing the 74 points that New York held Orlando to Friday night, and Knicks players were honest about their performance.

“We played like [expletive],” Josh Hart said. “I mean, we obviously didn’t shoot the ball well. Turnovers bad. I think I had six or seven myself … But we’ve got to try to flush it. Got them again on Tuesday. Try to come out and play better.”

The Knicks shot 32.5% from the field and committed 19 turnovers, with All-Star Jalen Brunson going just 6-of-22. The game had a late-1990s feel to it, Popper observes, including a fourth quarter altercation between Donte DiVincenzo and Kelly Oubre that led to a shoving match involving several players.

DiVincenzo refused to comment on the scuffle, but Oubre said, “All of that stuff’s funny to me. I don’t know why. I just laugh, because nobody’s gonna fight.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Coach Tom Thibodeau said OG Anunoby will travel with the team when it departs for the West Coast on Thursday, per Ian Begley of SNY (Twitter link). There’s hope that Anunoby will be able to return soon from a right elbow injury that has sidelined him since January 27. Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson will also make the trip, but there are concerns about why Randle still hasn’t been cleared for contact, Begley adds.
  • Randle missed his 18th game of the season Sunday night, which means he won’t receive a $1.28MM bonus for appearing in 65 games, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Randle’s contract includes the same bonus for next season, which will now be considered unlikely. His cap hit will be adjusted to $28.9MM and the team will receive a $1.28MM tax variance credit for this season, Marks adds.
  • Shake Milton has only played one minute in three games since signing with the Knicks last week, but Thibodeau is urging him to be patient, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. “Just fit in and stay ready. Trades are hard in the middle of the season. You gotta learn the system,” Thibodeau said. “But I like what I’ve seen from him in terms of his attitude, his approach. He’s been very, very good.”
  • In a separate story, Popper examines what the Knicks’ rotation might look like if everyone is healthy. He notes that a potential starting five of Brunson, DiVincenzo, Anunoby, Randle and Robinson hasn’t played together yet. If that’s the starting unit, Popper expects Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein and Miles McBride to be the first three reserves. It’s tougher to determine who’s next in line, as Precious Achiuwa, Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Jericho Sims and Milton will all be competing for limited minutes.