One of the surprises last season for the 76ers was the play of then-rookie guard Landry Shamet. He was hitting 40.4% of his three-point shots and was averaging 8.3 points and was really beginning to feel at home.
Until Philadelphia became his former home.
Shamet was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 6, 2019, the day before the trade deadline, in the multi-player deal that brought Tobias Harris to the Sixers.
When he learned of the trade, Shamet wasn’t exactly overjoyed.
“Initially, I was pissed off, angry,” Shamet said during a morning shootaround as the Clippers prepared for Tuesday night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Sixers. This is Shamet’s first time back to Philadelphia since the trade.
“You get the whole spectrum of emotions with the trade,” he said. “Angry, and then you talk to your new team and staff.”
A conversation with coach Doc Rivers immediately changed Shamet’s outlook.
“I talked to Doc that night, and I was ready to run through a wall and go play right then,” Shamet said.
So after the initial disappointment, there was excitement, with one exception: Shamet didn’t look forward to moving cross country.
“You realize you have been traded and you have to move so it was kind of a roller coaster at first, but once you get settled, especially once I got that first game under my belt, I realized the makeup of the team and where I was and realized it was a good situation,” Shamet said.
That first game was a 123-112 win at Boston, where Shamet scored 17 points and added three assists off the bench in 26 minutes and 50 seconds.
Shamet averaged 10.9 points in 25 games last season for the Clippers. This year, he is averaging 10.1 points, shooting 40% from three-point range and 90.9% from the foul line. The Clippers are 37-16 and have serious NBA title hopes.
Shamet, a first-round pick in 2018, selected 26th overall from Wichita State, is looking forward to his first game against his former team.
“It is cool coming back here,” said Shamet, who said he was in recent touch with former teammates and former Sixers JJ Redick and T.J. McConnell. “I haven’t been back here since the trade went down. Seeing a lot of familiar places, and tonight, familiar faces, it will be cool.”
Speaking pre-game, Sixers coach Brett Brown said what impressed him about Shamet as he was scouting him for the draft and once he came to the Sixers was how quickly he was able to get his shot off.
“He had a release at a young age that you felt could translate into high-level basketball,” Brown said. "Not everybody sort of can get shots off in the playoffs. He clearly got to his shot well and had the ability to play point guard in him."
So while Brown said he is clearly happy with acquiring Harris, he said he didn’t want to part with Shamet.