Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes of a radio show? Today’s your lucky day. Apparently something set off Mike Missanelli, leading to a HEATED exchange with his producer Tyrone Johnson as the cameras caught all of the action. Check it out: Continue Reading
You take the good, you take the bad. The bad? About a week ago, I mentioned that Markelle Fultz was working with NBA training guru Drew Hanlen, who had previously worked with Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, and Mo Bamba. In an appearance on the “Talking Schmidt Podcast“, Hanlen declared something that many have believed all along:
“Markelle Fultz had one of the most documented case of the yips of basketball in recent years.”
On a positive note, Hanlen noted that Fultz has made remarkable progress:
“He had forgotten how to shoot and he had multiple hitches in his shot. For me it was, “How do I get this kids who was #1 in last year’s draft back to where he was or better if not better? So, we’ve been working hard every day to rewire his body and get his stroke back in his shot. We’re way ahead of pace with where I thought we’d be. I thought it would take me six weeks before we had a serviceable jump shot. We already started to shoot with a jump in week 2. It’s not perfect yet, but I think by the end of the summer he’ll be perfect and showing why he was the #1 pick. Even though I do give him trouble on a daily basis and remind him that I think Jayson Tatum was the best player in that draft.
I knew [Fultz] because of Joel and work I’d done in Philly. Basically what I told him was, me being me, I said, “You’re going to make me really famous and you’re going to make me a lot of money when I fix your shot and could sell the program.” I said I can’t go down, because it can’t get worse. So, I said, “Give me a chance. Let me help you get back to where you were. He kind of laughed and nodded. I said, “Let’s do this for two reasons: 1. I wanna get you back rolling, kind of loving basketball and finding success. 2. I wanna be able to arrogantly tell everybody, ‘Yeah. That’s me right there. I fixed him.'”
I take this as a huge boost to Fultz’ stock. Lost in all of the LeBron/Kawhi/PG13 talk has been what a healthy, free-shooting Markelle Fultz could mean to this team moving forward.
Well this is certainly something (H/T reader Drew Kingma). The Sixers’ official live stream – featuring Sixers reporter and pre/postgame show host Brian Seltzer, Penn head coach Steve Donahue, and radio play-by-play man Tom McGinnis – were in the midst of gushing about the team’s #10 overall pick Mikal Bridges when the unthinkable happened: he got traded.
Let’s break this down:
Mikal is great. His mom works here. She’s really nice.
Zhaire Smith was drafted by Phoenix, no big deal.
Wait. What? Are you hearing this?!
Zhaire wore yellow sneakers and was our guy all along!
I have to give the guys credit, especially McGinnis. He went from waxing poetic about Bridges, to being dejected, then collected himself, and finally offered up some insight on Zhaire’s workout.
Video after the jump:
Kyle and Russ recap the Sixers’ night at the NBA Draft including:
- Drafting and trading Mikal Bridges
- Zhaire Smith and the 2021 first round pick
- How this affects free agency and trades
- Brett Brown saying the team will be “star hunting”
- Updates on Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs
- What to expect from Landry Shamet and Shake Milton
- Drafting NBA-ready vs. high upside
- NBC Sports Philadelphia’s decision to part ways with Molly Sullivan
- Local telecasts and former personalities
Audio after the jump:
Last night was interesting to say the least. Within forty minutes, the Sixers went from drafting local kid Mikal Bridges:
— NBA (@NBA) June 22, 2018
To trading him:
Sources: Philadelphia is trading Mikal Bridges to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2018
Without anyone letting him know:
Mikal Bridges does not know yet that he's been traded. Still doing media in Sixers hat
— Yaron Weitzman (@YaronWeitzman) June 22, 2018
Mikal Bridges has yet to learn of his trade to Phoenix and is answering questions about staying home in Philly pic.twitter.com/MIoOlAaUUH
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 22, 2018
And the initial reactions weren’t favorable:
Sixers just did the worst Jedi Mind Trick to Mikal Bridges and his family I've ever seen. BRUTAL.
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) June 22, 2018
But then, we got to the real crux of the trade:
Excellent trade for the Sixers. Zhaire Smith is a better prospect than Mikal Bridges, and that 2021 Miami pick is a great trade chip. What a deal. https://t.co/WAZnynGycB
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 22, 2018
Heading into what might be their most important off-season ever, the Sixers found themselves with a rather bare cupboard of future draft picks. By virtue of the Mikal for Zhaire trade, not only did they save around $1.7 million against the cap, they snagged a pick that will reportedly be the first draft to allow high school players to be NBA Draft eligible in FIFTEEN years. That draft class could be incredibly deep – though obviously it’s a long way away – and there’s no guarantee the Sixers have any intention of using the pick. In Brett Brown’s post-first-round press conference, he mentioned:
Brown says acquired first round pick could be sealer in a potential trade.
— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) June 22, 2018
Not only did Brown allude to a trade, he all but put LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and the entire league on notice: The Sixers are star hunting.
Brett Brown’s audio, trade ramifications, and Spurs’ GM R.C. Buford after the jump:
The NBA draft is here and, by virtue of an overnight trade with the LA Lakers, the Sixers hold five picks in the 2018 NBA Draft:
Round 1: #10, #26
Round 2: #38, #56, #60
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the Sixers’ reported interest in trading up in the draft. Since we can’t necessarily predict every last-minute trade, we’ve compiled our staff’s predictions for what the Sixers will do tonight.
Anthony: I’ve never been asked to make a Sixers draft prediction before, so I have zero track record. As such, this prognostication either turns out to be amazingly prescient or epically terrible. I’m betting on the latter… That said, I think the Sixers trade up. How high? I’m not sure. Depends on which guy they want and how high they have to go to get him. I think they’d love Doncic, but only if he starts to fall somewhere they can make a reasonable trade. So I’m gonna go with Michael Porter, Jr. Yes, another injury risk – but the potential here is super high… so much so that he could be another superstar. But there’s no doubt he’s a crapshoot. He can be a boom as equally as he can be a bust. I tend to think he’s worth the gamble – and if the Sixers feel the same way, this could end up being an historical night for them when we look back at it five years from now.
Bob: The Sixers will stay at 10 and take Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith. It’s a great story and a nice fit, but I would be surprised if Mikal Bridges is on the board when they pick. Smith’s potential to develop into a quality perimeter scorer has reportedly intrigued the team, and I think that’s what they value most when they make the pick.
Chris: The Sixers stay at 10 and take Kevin Knox. Mikal goes to the Knicks at 9 after they couldn’t get a deal done to get Mo Bamba. Trae Young goes to the Hawks after they trade down from 3. That leaves Knox and Zhaire Smith available. Smith seems like a reach at 10. Knox would be fine. I do think the Sixers try and move up from 26. And please let it be Donte.
Coggin: The Sixers stay at 10 and take one of the Bridges boys. They then proceed to burn down the city and pass up hometown hero Donte DiVencenzo at 26 in favor of the heelish Dukie Grayson Allen.
Jeff: The NBA draft is probably my favorite night of the year. And yet, I am CONSISTENTLY wrong about these picks to a pretty laughable degree. Joel Embiid? Too risky, give me Exum. I thought Acie Law IV was going to be a franchise point guard for god’s sake. I got Simmons right, though. Anyway, like Cubs fans used to say, “Wait til next year”….well it’s next year right fucking now baby. So who do the Sixers go with at 10 tonight? Probably Mikal, if we’re being honest (h/t to the conspicuously absent Kevin Kinkead). I’d also be fine with Carter, SGA or Knox. If Trae is still there, gotta think long and hard about scratching that lottery ticket. But I’m going to stay on brand and go with the guy with a IV at the end of his name. Love a IV. Give me the uber-athletic, apparently insane Lonnie Walker. I just hope his jump shot doesn’t turn out to be an illusion like the Earth apparently is.
Kevin: Don’t do anything complicated or dumb. Stay put and grab Mikal Bridges or the best player available.
Mike: The safe prediction at 10 is Mikal Bridges. He can drain open threes, play in transition and defend the perimeter – all things we will certainly need next season. Mikal would make an immediate impact on a winning team and he would get to stay here in Philly where he just won two titles at Villanova. It just makes sense and I’d go to bed happy tonight.
However, if Michael Porter Jr. is still on the board at 10 the Sixers gotta grab him. Going into the season Porter was considered the potential No. 1 overall pick but then his hip & back problems shelved him. We’d get some serious Sam Hinkie level value here as he could end up being the best player in the draft. Porter’s comparison by some to Kevin Durant is a major stretch but I can realistically envision a Jayson Tatum type player (only better & taller). This would go a long way toward making up for Colangelo getting absolutely fleeced & stuffed in a locker by Danny Ainge on the trade up to #1 as well as Collar’s subsequent whiff on Markelle Fultz.
Phil: So this is the last wheezing gasp of The Process, and look where we’ve ended up — no GM, and the Sixers somehow need a shooting guard because the shooting guard they drafted #1 overall last year was too frequently a “DNP — who cares why.” If Trae Young falls to this pick, he’s the right selection. Patch the hole in the wall as soon as you can. It will probably be Mikal Bridges here, though, and I can see him helping the current cast a lot.
Russ: It might be blind optimism. It might be insanity. I think the Sixers are going to try to move mountains for Luka Doncic. I’ve written up my reasons why the Sixers should make every effort to draft the reigning EuroLeague MVP. The kid is an absolute stud, whose skillset includes elite shooting and ball-handling. If they’re unable to convince Atlanta that a trade of #3 and Plumlee for #10, #26, and Covington is mutually beneficial, or Memphis is unwilling to part with the #4 overall pick without including contract-albatross Chandler Parsons, the dream dies. That is, unless you want to buy into post-apocalyptic Hinkie theft from Vlade Divac for #2. For as many times as I’ve written about a trade for Kawhi Leonard here, here, and here, I’m giving into the hype that Kawhi and PG13 are headed for LA. With all of that in mind, I’m holding out a tiny bit of hope that Michael Porter, Jr. falls to #10. I like Mikal Bridges. He’s a great fit with this current roster and he’s a local kid. The latter part is what concerns me. Is our collective view on Bridges skewed by his playing for NCAA Champion Villanova? If he had played for WVU or USC, would we still be falling over ourselves to draft him? Michael Porter was the #2 ranked high school player prior to his season at Missouri. I know he’s had injury issues – a Sixers favorite – and his play left plenty to be desired, but – outside of undersized Trae Young – he’s got the highest superstar potential of any player projected to be around at #10. Speaking of Trae, I hope he proves everyone wrong and becomes Steph Curry 2.0. I just wouldn’t bet on it.
This Saturday, Philadelphia Union legend Sebastian Le Toux will be the inaugural inductee into the Union’s new Ring of Honor at Talen Energy Stadium. Our friends at Ticket IQ can get you out to Saturday’s 5 PM match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at the lowest price.
If you’re looking to get rowdy, you can stand with the Sons of Ben in the River end for $30 per ticket. When I say stand, I mean stand. As a member of the Sons of Ben myself, I can attest to the incredibly unique atmosphere that standing and singing with a supporters section can bring.
Perhaps you’re interested in a more family-friendly location. No problem. Directly across from the Sons of Ben is the TruMark Financial Club. You can snag tickets in the sections below for $30 apiece or take in the game from the Club level for $101 each. I’ve experienced the TruMark Financial Club once, and it’s a great view.
If you’re looking for tickets near the center of the pitch, Section 107 has three seats at midfield for $101 each. If you’ve never been to a Union game before, now is the perfect time to go. Fans and casual attendees often speak glowingly about the amazing view from every seat in Talen Energy Stadium.
Let our friends at Ticket IQ get you out to Saturday’s game and induction ceremony for Sebastian Le Toux.
Phil and Russ recap the first 16 games of the World Cup (Matchday 1) and discuss the early returns of VAR and how it has affected the World Cup thus far:
(1:30) Group A – “The Big Red Machine”
(13:45) Group B – “Ronaldo v. Spain lives up to the hype”
(24:50) Group C – “French Follies”
(32:00) Group D – “Winter is Coming”
(48:10) Group E – “Brazilian Bewilderment”
(1:00:40) Group F – “El Tri stuns Die Mannschaft”
(1:11:45) Group G – “Harry Kane’s Heroics”
(1:18:00) Group H – “Strange Things Happen”
Audio after the jump: Continue Reading