Embiid, Harris react to the acquisition of James Harden

On Thursday, the 76ers sent Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2027 first-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for James Harden and Paul Millsap.

Harden will not play this weekend for the 76ers, and there is no word on when he will be available for Philadelphia.

Following their 100-87 victory over the Thunder Friday night, Joel Embiid, who had 25 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and five blocks, talked Harden.

“It’s James Harden,” Embiid said. “First of all, sucks to lose some of my teammates, Seth [Curry] did such a great job for us the year-and-a-half he was here; Drum [Andre Drummond] was as good as any backups that we’ve had in Philly since I’ve been here. So, you know, it sucks to lose him, but you know it’s James Harden, and he is one of the best players in the league, MVP. I don’t know. I am pretty excited; you add someone like that, your chances to win a championship get even bigger, so I’m just excited to get on with it and try to figure out how to put it all together as a team and go from there…

Yeah, I talked to him, just a lot of excitement, you know, just excited. You talk about guys that I’ve played with [and] he’s probably going to be the best yet from what he has accomplished in his career so far, so it’s just about getting everybody the same page and finding how everybody plays, but we already have a system in place, and we’ve just gotta bring him along and try to get comfortable. It’s a bunch of new stuff, but a bunch of new stuff that he’s good at and then just put it all together.”

Tobias Harris, who also had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, reacted to the acquisition of Harden and Millsap.

The addition of James [Harden] is going to be huge for us, just how dynamic he is as a player, playmaker; his ability to score the basketball just putting a presence out there on the floor at the point guard position is going to be big for us, so the whole team is just excited to get him in here,” Harris said. “Paul Millsap, as well, will be a leader for our group as well, so we are excited to see how this thing comes together.”

If the 76ers want to win a title, Embiid believes the will players have to do everything in their power to make it happen.

“We’ve all gotta give up ourselves if we want to win,” Embiid said. “As you look the teams that have won in the past, whether you look at the Golden State teams. Even the Lakers or Milwaukee last year, they just move the ball. They play with each other. As I’ve been watching James [Harden], you put him in the pick and roll, and he’s probably up there as far as the best playmakers out of that pick and roll, so obviously you’ve got to add that even more to our offense because that’s what he’s good at. But like I said, we’ve all got to give up ourselves. I gotta become more of a, whether it’s a pick and roll player or pick and pop. Just to help my teammates to help him. Just like himself, he has to become off the dribble, three point shooter. But I get doubled a lot, so to be able to go against those double teams, you’ve got to be able to fire up threes off the catch, which is something he’s gonna have to do. But, it’s a work in progress. He’s my teammate. 

‘Like I always push them to let it fly because I know that if we take those, and we make them, it’s gonna make other teams stop doubling me. It just opens up everything. So I think it’s all about everyone has to give up themselves to bring it all together. The focus is everybody’s on the same page about winning. It’s all about winning the championship. It doesn’t matter if I go out there and score 40 and someone scores 10. Or if someone else scores 40 and I score 10 or 20 points. It doesn’t matter as long as we get the win. And as long as everybody understands, that’s good. When you’ve got a team on the same page, that’s driven by winning a championship.”

it’s championship or bust for Philadelphia this season, and hopefully for them, Harden can be the missing piece.

76ers’ Morey on Drummond: ‘We’re excited to add a veteran player of his caliber to our roster’

With Dwight Howard returning to the Lakers, the 76ers had a void at the backup center spot. On Wednesday, they officially filled that spot. Philadelphia announced that they had signed two-time All-Star Andre Drummond.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a one-year deal for the veteran minimum. 

Last season, Drummond played for the Cavaliers and the Lakers. He appeared in 46 games (all starts) last season, posting averages of 14.9 points and 12.0 rebounds along with 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks. He was one of three NBA players, including new teammate Joel Embiid, to average a point-rebound double-double as well as one steal and one block last season. 

“Andre is a great addition to the 76ers family,” President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey said via a press release from the team. “He is a two-time NBA All-Star who has consistently been one of the NBA’s very best rebounders and rim protectors,” Morey said. “We’re excited to add a veteran player of his caliber to our roster and look forward to the impact he’ll make this season.” 

In nine seasons, Drummond holds career averages of 14.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. His career 13.7 rebounding average ranks seventh all-time in NBA history among players who have appeared in at least 250 contests.

In essence, the 76ers swapped Drummond for Howard. The 27-year-old Drummond is probably an upgrade over the 35-year-old Howard. He’s younger, a better rebounder, scorer, and a guy looking to get another big contract, which could bode well for Philadelphia.

Drummond will wear No. 1 for the 76ers. 

76ers acquire second-round pick from Pelicans

Philadelphia 76ers have acquired the number 53 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft from New Orleans in exchange for cash considerations, the teams announced today.

The 76ers will enter the draft with picks 28, 50, and 53.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, the pick gives the Sixers flexibility and options. They can use the pick to move up in tonight’s draft. They can use it to help acquire a veteran or to acquire future picks.

The pick originally belonged to Dallas and was acquired by the Pelicans on March 25, 2021. 

The NBA Draft will take place tonight from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


Philadelphia trades Josh Richardson to Mavericks for Seth Curry

The Philadelphia 76ers and new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey were very busy on draft day in the NBA. According to reports, the team will send Al Horford and picks to the Thunder for Danny Green. On draft night, Philly sent Josh Richardson and the draft rights to Tyler Bey, the 36th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, to the Mavericks in exchange for guard Seth Curry.

With Richardson, the Mavericks get an athletic guard who can score a little bit and defend. The 27-year-old Richardson averaged 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 55 games (53 starts). Richardson played four seasons in Miami before being dealt to Philadelphia as part of a four-team deal last summer. The five-year can opt out of his contract at season’s end.

The 76ers get shooting with Curry, and the six-year guard gets to play for his father-in-law, Doc Rivers. Curry is married to Rivers’ daughter, Callie. Last season, the 30-year-old Curry averaged 12.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 64 games in his second stint with the Mavericks, and more importantly for the 76ers, Curry shot 45% from three-point land.

Philadelphia is looking to reshape their roster, and you wonder if there are more moves to be made. To be able to unload the 34-year-old Horford, who signed with Philadelphia last offseason and had three-years, $81 million left on his contract, is incredible. If there was any contract that seemed unmovable, it was Horford’s deal with the 76ers. While it cost him picks, Morey got it done. We’ll see what’s next in Philadelphia, but you get the sense that Morey is not finished remaking this team.