NEW YORK — Tyreke Evans could be coming home.
The 76ers are interested in acquiring the Chester native from the Memphis Grizzlies ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline, a league source confirms. The New York Times first reported the news.
The Grizzlies want first-round compensation for Evans, whose contract will expire at the end of the season. The league source added that the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, and Houston Rockets have all expressed interest in the 6-foot-6 combination guard.
“It’s going to come down to a team giving them what they want,” the source said.
The Sixers won’t confirm trade speculation. However, it’s no secret that they will go after any player who could add depth and value to their team. The 28-year-old Evans certainly would help in their playoff push. Sixers coach Brett Brown complimented Evans’ game before the teams played on Jan. 22, when Evans scored 18 points.
Some have said the Sixers tried to pursue Evans in free agency this past summer. However, a league source said that wasn’t true.
Evans signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Grizzlies in July after playing in only 40 games last season with the Pelicans. He is averaging 19.5 points in 46 games this season for Memphis.
In other Sixers news, starting shooting guard JJ Redick (left knee) returned to action on Wednesday in Brooklyn. Reserve guard Jerryd Bayless (left wrist) was also expected to return at Barclays Center but hadn’t gotten into the game by halftime.
Ben Simmons could be in line for all-star invite
The broken hand suffered by Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love has opened up a roster spot for the Feb. 18 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, who received All-Star consideration, was asked Wednesday if he expects to be Love’s replacement.
“I don’t expect anything,” the rookie said before the game against the Nets.
But does he want to be Love’s replacement?
“Who wouldn’t?” Simmons responded. “Who wouldn’t want to be an all-star? If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We’ve got Brooklyn tonight; that’s my main focus.”
Sixers supporting Eagles with “Brotherly Love’ campaign.
The Sixers are ramping up their support of the Eagles.
Last week, they changed their social assets/logos to midnight green to support the Eagles in Sunday night’s Super Bowl against New England Patriots. But the Sixers have decided to go “all in” on Friday night when hosting the Miami Heat in an ESPN game.
“We want to rally our collective fan base, so we are launching our ‘Brotherly Love’ campaign to bring passionate Philadelphians together,” said Chris Heck, Sixers president of business operations. “Brotherly Love is on our jersey, it’s in our DNA, and it’s our battle cry to unite Philadelphia. We hope our celebration of the Eagles on Friday is just the start of things to come this weekend.”
The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive midnight green “Brotherly Love” T-shirts with Sixers and Eagles logos on them. In addition to having green lighting and signage, there will be “Brotherly Love” messages throughout the center.
The Sixers cheerleaders and dunk squad will perform “Fly Eagles Fly” while waving green pom-poms. Team staff members will wear green, while mascot Franklin will wear Eagles gear. And there will be Eagles-centric digital and social assets during the game at the arena.
Fultz’s return to lineup?
Markelle Fultz has been impressive getting to the basket in the pregame workouts. On Wednesday, he showed some improvement in his jump shot. However, the matchup with the Nets marked the 44th consecutive game he has missed due to what the team labeled a right shoulder injury.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said before the game that he doesn’t know when Fultz will return.
“It’s just an answer that I can’t give anybody; we can’t give anybody nor can he,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be when he feels good about himself and feels good himself and feels good about his shoulder. That’s almost the bottom line.”
The coach expects the first-overall pick in June’s draft to return this season.