Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown admitted on Monday that “It’s been an incredible surprise to have our team intact this late in the year.” From the sound of things, he might not want to get used to that feeling.
The NBA trade deadline is right around the corner, and the Sixers figure to be prominent players when the deals start going down. Liberty Ballers reports that eight teams spoke to Philadelphia about potential swaps in the month of January alone, and if the rumblings are to be believed, that number could be on the rise.
As of now, much of the talk is swirling around Evan Turner. The second-overall pick from the 2010 draft is being shopped around according to multiple outlets, with the Charlotte Bobcats said to be the most recent team showing interest according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Sean Deveney for the Sporting News writes that the Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns are also known to have interest.
The Thunder and Suns appear to be the most compelling potential partners right now based on the asking price for Turner. Deveney says general manager Sam Hinkie is focused on netting a draft pick in return, but the feeling right now is that may be too rich for 17.9 and 6.0 per game.
Still, as Deveney points out, the Thunder and Suns are probably in the best position to make it happen.
The Thunder, who will own Dallas’ draft pick this year if it is outside of the Top 20, expressed interest in Turner earlier in the year. A source said, too, that Phoenix—which potentially has four first-round picks in the 2014 draft and would be willing to part with at least one—discussed Turner with the Sixers, but nothing solid resulted.
Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes are on the block as well, although their availability isn’t grabbing as much attention.
We all understand what’s happening here. The Sixers are sellers and are going to do whatever it takes to continue building toward the future. Even Turner admits he won’t be surprised if he’s no longer in Philadelphia by the end of the month. Expect the rumor mill to continue heating up as we inch closer to the deadline.
>> SN sources: Sixers pushing Evan Turner trade [Sporting News]
>> Turner: I don’t follow trade rumors [Courier Times]
Ben Simmons is on track to return to the Sixers in January, Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday.
Previous reports indicated that Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in the Sixers' final training camp scrimmage on Sept. 30, would be out three months. Friday's news jives with that, but this is the first time the Sixers have given a timetable.
"It's not doom and gloom," Brown said. "Ben is coming back in January. We are still trying to find information on Jerryd (Bayless). Jahlil (Okafor) is still trying to touch the court in his first preseason game."
With long-term ramifications in mind, there had been some speculation that Simmons' camp wanted him to sit all season.
This is rather encouraging news and it means the Sixers may avoid watching another of their top picks miss his entire first year.
Playoff soccer is returning to Chester for the first time in five years, and while fans prep for the Union’s first postseason games since 2011, there is no shortage of seating options for Union tickets on the primary market.
Perhaps most importantly, fans won’t have to break the bank to be on hand as the Union compete for their first MLS Cup in franchise history. Union field level seats are available for both the team’s final home regular season game against the New York Red Bulls and the Eastern Conference Semifinal on October 30 should they advance past the knockout round.
The team’s official website lists feet-on-the-pitch seating starting from $155 per ticket for this weekend’s game against the Red Bulls. The first-place Red Bulls head to Talen Energy Stadium with a first-round bye secured, but Union head coach Jim Curtin expects them to bring the pressure with them on Sunday. Fans can look on up close – and for relatively cheap - as the Union look to hand the Eastern Conference leaders their final loss of the regular season.
The Union will take on either New York City FC or Toronto FC in the knockout round either next Wednesday or Thursday. Pending a victory on the road, they’ll return to Talen Energy Stadium to host an Eastern Conference Semifinal game on October 30. Field level seating is still widely available for the team’s first home playoff game since 2011 and start from $178 per ticket.
2016 marks the franchise’s second MLS Cup Playoffs berth in its seven-year existence. They clinched a first-round bye in 2011 but fell to the Houston Dynamo by a 3-1 aggregate in the Conference Semifinals. The Union bring a much different vibe into the playoffs this season, however, after a formidable stretch from September on nearly drowned their postseason hopes. The team won its last game on August 27 against Sporting Kansas City, losing four games and drawing in two others since.
Despite the team’s recent struggles, there is a sense of renewment that will carry them into the MLS Cup Playoffs. Records are cast aside and the slate is wiped clean, beginning a new path on the long and often tumultuous road to a national championship.