WHAT WILL today bring? Or what won't it bring? The NBA's trade deadline comes at 3 o'clock Eastern this afternoon, and, while the 76ers have been labeled as extremely active in discussions with various teams, there hasn't been a move made as of this writing.
Veterans Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young, plus some draft picks, are the main bartering commodities general Sam Hinkie has to offer, but nothing seemed to be popping as of yesterday. Perhaps Hinkie expects too much in return, as some have said he's looking for a top-half, first-round draft pick.
Perhaps other teams' interest in those players has waned as the Sixers are engulfed in a nine-game losing streak and a period in which they've lost 19 of their past 22. In other words, no one on this team is playing very well right now, including those mentioned above.
It is the first trade deadline for Hinkie in his new position, and the first time coach Brett Brown has gone through it in his. Both, however, have plenty of experience when it comes to this time of the year, not a lot when the final decision is theirs, as it will be today.
"We talk all the time, and, at the end of the day, I really do trust Sam Hinkie's judgment, and I leave it with Sam," Brown said yesterday. "My experience over the years is not a lot happens. I do leave it [alone] at the end of the day [and] this is going to be left with Sam's better judgment. This is why the club hired him. This is his strength. It doesn't diminish communication at all. I'm in it with him and in this for the long haul. This is the first wave of a very long process. I coach this team, I enjoy coaching this team, I'm doing my best coaching this team, and we got up this morning and had a great, spirited session, and life moves on."
But will it move on with a shuffled roster?
"I'm expecting nothing," Brown said. "Every one of my years, this stuff has surfaced, and it's to a greater level here, but stuff surfaced in all my years in San Antonio, and we we're very clandestine, we flew under the radar better than most. Inevitably through the media, it surfaces. It's part of this time of the year, part of pro sports, and I just get up and coach and expect to see the team I had the previous day. I think the stats and the facts confirm that opinion. Most times, this period of time is highly overblown."
At the draft approached in June, the same sense of inactivity surrounded the team and then Hinkie shocked all by trading Jrue Holiday and getting the rights to Nerlens Noel and took Michael Carter-Williams with the team's 11th pick. So maybe something will go down.
For now, the only thing going down is the Sixers' record, standing at 15-40 after Tuesday's 114-85 blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hearts and heads seem to be elsewhere during games of late, a concern Brown addressed head on.
"There aren't many things that aren't spoken about candidly," Brown said. "We understand the nature of this time of the year. We understand the effect it has on human beings when you get beaten like we've been beaten recently. In that lack of self-esteem or lack of confidence or wondering what the future brings, it's my job to help them navigate through this. I'm genuine when I say that. I feel a responsibility to help them get through this, and they have to help themselves, at the end of the day, that's the bottom line. The beatdown effect rears its head in a bunch of ways, and I see it now in them.
"If people don't just admit that, and, to some level respect that [trade talks are a bother], then I think it's a little bit unfair," Brown said. "We talk about that freely. Nobody is hiding from anything. That is the way it is. It doesn't deviate from the fact that we have jobs to do. We have been with each other as a team going on 6 months now, 7 months now. There's a respect and a responsibility that we have to the game and our, albeit brief, teammates that we have to see this thing through. To discount the human element of this time of the year would be unfair. It has to creep in, but it doesn't provide any level of excuse."
Brett Brown said rookie Michael Carter-Williams was excused from practice with flu-like symptoms . . . The hope is that Hollis Thompson, who has missed three games with a sprained ankle, will be able to play tomorrow night when the team hosts Dallas.