Trey Burke is about to get his money.
The 76ers point guard’s contract will become fully guaranteed at $2 million because he’ll remain on the roster past Tuesday’s deadline to waive him or guarantee his one-year deal. Burke was notified that he would remain with the team after Monday night’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center.
Then, general manager Elton Brand "pretty much confirmed it today,” Burke said. "I’m very grateful. I always wanted to be a part of this ... a winning situation. What better city than Philly? A team that I watched growing, obviously [Allen] Iverson.
“Getting guaranteed today is a special thing for me.”
Burke said he’s looking forward to playing at a high level and helping the Sixers win.
The question is, will Joel Embiid get a chance to do the same in Thursday night’s home game against the Boston Celtics?
The two-time All-Star center missed Tuesday’s practice to undergo further, off-site evaluation on his left ring finger. Embiid dislocated the finger in the first quarter of Monday’s game. He remained in the game after heading to the locker room twice in the quarter. The Cameroonian had his hand taped on the second trip to the locker room.
Embiid finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and a season-high 8 assists in 32 minutes, 37 seconds. He had his hand checked for ligament damage after the game. He said there’s a possibility he won’t play Thursday.
Meanwhile, Matisse Thybulle was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice. The rookie participated in a scrimmage with reserve players and members of the Sixers’ development staff. He will also practice on Wednesday. From there, his status will be determined for Thursday’s game.
Thybulle missed his seventh consecutive game Monday because of a right-knee sprain and bone bruise. The recovery time was estimated at two to four weeks. He had the knee evaluated Saturday, at the two-week mark. He could have played Monday, but the team is being cautious.
Burke is averaging 7.3 points, 2.5 assists and 14.9 minutes in 19 appearances this season. He has scored a season-high 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 7.
Burke has received playing time in the past nine games. He benefited from Thybulle being sidelined in the last seven.
With Thybulle returning, coach Brett Brown was unsure of how he’ll utilize Burke moving forward.
“We are all interested … with what’s going on with [Joel],” Brown said. “Once we know that, I can answer you with greater detail. As it sits right now, there could be some influencing things that don’t feature Trey as much as they used to.”
But the coach made a point to add Burke has exceeded “by a mile” his expectations of the guard.
The Sixers want him to become a better defender.
“But in relation to the pop and creating your own shot and a burst of speed and dynamic off a live ball," Brown said, "he’s different than [dang] near all of them.”