The Philadelphia 76ers weren’t supposed to be this good after trading the malcontent James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers. But the 76ers, behind the superb play of Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris, sit in third place in the Eastern Conference just a touch halfway through the season.
Philadelphia 76ers Rumors: Sixers To Be Without 2 Rotational Players For Foreseeable Future, How They Replace Them?
Philadelphia sits at 29-13 on the season as the 76ers embark on a six-game road trip, starting tomorrow in Indiana. The 76ers have won six in a row. The Sixers own the highest road winning percentage at .632 (12-7) and the league’s top road scoring margin (+6.2).
Some Sixers injury updates [1/2]
– De’Anthony Melton (lumbar spine stress response) has completed an offloading period and will begin ramping up to return to play. He will travel on the road trip, but is currently listed as out, and will be re-evaluated in approximately one week
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) January 24, 2024
De’Anthony Melton Out For Atleast Another Week
Melton has been out of action since injuring his back against Sacramento on January 12. As Bodner tweeted, Melton is ramping up his workouts but won’t be cleared to participate in full practice until he is re-evaluated in a week.
Kelly Oubre Jr. has started in place of Melton for the past five games. Oubre has struggled a little bit in these past five games, scoring in double figures twice during this stretch. While Oubre will remain in the starting lineup, he has played better when coming off the bench. However, he has shot better while in the starting five.
In 19 starts this season, Oubre averages 12.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists over 29.1 minutes. He has compiled a shooting slash line of .474/.407/.659.
Meanwhile, Patrick Beverley will likely see the majority of time off the bench in the backcourt as he appears to be healthy. Beverley had missed the 76ers’ previous two games with an illness, though he is not on the Sixers’ injury report against the Pacers. But he was healthy in the last four games; Beverley saw an uptick in minutes as he averaged 27 minutes.
Danuel House Jr. also could see an increase in playing time. House saw 25 and 27 minutes in the past two games with Beverley out. Now that Beverley is back in the fold, House may see less playing time despite playing well. House averages less than 14 minutes a game.
However, Harris is questionable for tomorrow due to an illness. If Harris has to sit out his second game of the campaign, House will likely get some of Harris’ minutes. KJ Martin, who saw 17 minutes for the second time this season with the 76ers, and possibly Furkan Korkmaz could see an increase in playing time.
Robert Covington Remains Sidelined
While Melton appears semi-close to returning, Bodner reports that Covington continues to receive treatment to address inflammation and a bone bruise in his knee. Covington has been out since the beginning of the New Year and will be re-evaluated in approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
Since Covington’s injury, Nic Batum and Marcus Morris Sr. have seen an uptick in minutes. Morris is dealing with a foot ailment but is expected to go tomorrow and has been given a probable designation.
In other news, Mo Bamba has also been declared out for the game against the Pacers. This is the sixth straight game that Bamba has missed with a knee injury.
Embiid’s 70 points on Monday was a franchise record. He has scored 30-plus points in 21 consecutive games.
Maxey has met the starter’s criteria as he heads towards restricted free agency, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
Tyrese Maxey has started 41 games this season and has met the starter criteria:
– 41 starts this season or;
– An average of 41 starts over the past 2 seasons
His one-year Qualifying Offer for 2024-25 is now $8,486,620.
Maxey is a restricted FA once the QO is tendered.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 23, 2024
However, it is expected that Maxey will get a max contract. Maxey has improved in each of his last three years. He is putting up career numbers, averaging 25.8 points, 6.7 assists,3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 threes.
Trade Rumors Roundup
Shams Charania doesn’t expect the Sixers to make a serious run at Atlanta Hawks’ Dejounte Murray despite being considered one of his top suitors.
“There’s going to be options for them [Sixers] in the summer, they have a bunch of assets, remember they got two first round picks from the Clippers.”@ShamsCharania on if the Sixers will look to add front court depth.
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) January 17, 2024
Likewise, the 76ers are not expected to pursue Toronto Raptors’ wing Bruce Brown, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Meanwhile,NBA Insider Marc Stein says that the Sixers are willing to trade Martin. Martin has played much since coming over from the Clippers in the Harden trade. But the 23-year-old wing does have two-way ability.