Report: 76ers ‘trying to do whatever they can to draft’ Andrew Wiggins

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Andrew Wiggins wants to play for the 76ers, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.

And the 76ers apparently want him.

They’re looking into trading up from their No. 3 pick and bringing Wiggins to Philadelphia.

Just how far would they go to land Wiggins?

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

According to sources, the Sixers are trying to do whatever they can to draft him. And there’s a sense that he wants to become a Sixer.

If this is a smokescreen, it’s an elaborate one – and unlikely to help.

The most likely way is the 76ers actually covet Joel Embiid and/or Jabari Parker and are trying to convince the Cavaliers and/or Bucks to draft Wiggins so Philadelphia’s real top choice falls to No. 3. But would the Cavaliers or Bucks really alter their draft boards because the 76ers faux interest tricks them? Most likely, Cleveland and Milwaukee will make its own evaluations.

Maybe Philadelphia actually wants Dante Exum and is trying to prevent another team from trading up to draft the Australian No. 1 or No. 2. But Exum falls outside the consensus top three (Embiid, Wiggins, Parker), and that scenario requires three unlikelihoods: the 76ers wanting Exum more than a consensus top three player, another team wanting Exum more than a consensus top three player, the Cavaliers or Bucks trading down rather than drafting a consensus top three player. Those are too many stretches.

It’s becoming increasingly likely the 76ers just like Wiggins. If that’s the case, they can hope the Cavaliers and Bucks prefer Embiid and Parker, but Philadelphia better keep trying to trade up.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.