Evan Turner, 76ers trade rumors heating up

Evan Turner, 76ers trade rumors heating up

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]

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."