The Philadelphia 76ers traded for Royce White in early July, sending just “future considerations” to the Houston Rockets in order to acquire the 2012 first-round pick and Turkish prospect Furkan Aldemir. It turns out that the little-known Aldemir, not the embattled White, was apparently the object of the Sixers’ affection.
It made sense for new 76ers GM Sam Hinkie to pick up White considering he came from Houston and likely knew about the internal issues that kept White from ever actually playing a regular season game for the Rockets. Hinkie spoke pretty openly — at least by his standards — to Tom Moore at the Bucks County Courier Times on Friday, however, and it seems that the Sixers might not be all that high on the enigmatic White.
As for the embattled White, Hinkie answered a question about White’s possible role on the team generically and never mentioned White by name.
An NBA source said the Rockets, who dealt him to the Sixers on July 6 along with a second-round pick and Turkish power forward Furkan Aldemir for future considerations and cash, are picking up the $1.7 million salary of White, who has an anxiety disorder and is afraid to fly. That means the Sixers have nothing invested in White — and that the 21-year-old Aldemir was the primary target in the deal, which the source confirmed.
If the Sixers don’t actually owe White anything this season, as Moore reports, it would seem that they likely wouldn’t put up with a lot hen it comes to the former Iowa State Cyclone. That likely means that he’ll probably be cut if he’s serious about not flying again this season (he gave an emphatic “Hell no” when asked about the possibility this summer), especially if the Sixers don’t like what they see in training camp. That’s a possibility, too, considering White showed up out of basketball shape when the Rockets finally convinced him to play in the D-League last season.
Let’s all hope that White’s situation turns out the best for everyone involved basketball-wise, but it sounds like White is already doing his part to make a difference off the court.
Nikola Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks due to his concussion and fractured jaw.
Bobby Portis has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for causing those injuries to Mirotic with a punch at practice.
What does this mean for a Bulls locker room that was already going to have to deal with the weight of losing a lot of games. I get into all these questions in this latest PBT Extra.
It’s going to be a long season in Chicago.
Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.
There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.
Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.
Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.
The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.