Sixers, Robert Covington finalizing contract extension, sources confirm

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Sixers forward Robert Covington celebrates his three-pointer over Hawks forward Taurean Prince on Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES — Two league sources confirmed that Robert Covington and the 76ers are working toward finalizing a contract extension and reworking his deal for this season.

Sources said Wednesday night that it was expected to be finalized within 48 hours.

ESPN reported that the deal would be a four-year extension worth $62 million, including the reworking of Covington’s contract for this season. Wednesday was the first day the Sixers could renegotiate the small forward’s contract.

“I can’t wait to talk about this,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said of the deal before Wednesday’s game. “I’m not able to now. But I just can’t wait.

“Things are moving forward with [Sixers president of basketball operations] Bryan [Colangelo] and [Covington’s agent] Leon Rose. Once that time comes, I can speak more.  But I’ll tell you, I just can’t wait.”

While Brown and the front office would not say anything publicly, Covington’s teammates congratulated him Wednesday afternoon. They also spoke freely about his deal before the game.

“He deserves it,” Richaun Holmes said. “We’ve all seen how hard he works since he got here. He tried to turn himself into a tremendous player. So he deserves every penny of that.”

Jerryd Bayless added that it’s good to see that happen to a good guy.

“That’s life-changing and generational wealth,” Bayless said. “That’s great for him.”

The fifth-year veteran has blossomed into one of the team’s leaders. He’s a guy who can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and defend opposing teams’ best perimeter players.

“Every shot he takes, it’s literally like ‘Oh don’t do it’ and then he just makes all of them,” center Joel Embiid said. “So having that type of shooter … it’s good for me especially as a post player. That give me a lot of space.”

Sixers point guard Ben Simmons tweeted out a video of Sean Combs playing with money with a caption “well deserved my brother.”

The Sixers took a 7-6 record into Wednesday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. They had won six of their last eight games.

Covington had a lot to do with the Sixers’ impressive start, averaging 16.8 points. 5.7 rebounds, and 1.62 steals heading into Wednesday’s game. He finished with a career-high 31 points and six rebounds in Monday’s victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Covington, 26,  has had five games in which he made at least five three-pointers.  He is the only NBA player to have at least 27 three-pointers, 38 rebounds, nine steals and four blocks in November.

In addition, the 6-foot-9, 225-pounder usually defends other team’s best perimeter shooter. He’s also the Sixers’ most versatile defender.

“He can switch out on point guards,” Brown said. “He can guard a four-man. In a pinch, he can put a knee and an arm behind a five-man’s back.”

Not bad for the former power forward, who went undrafted out of Tennessee State in 2013. He signed with the Houston Rockets for the 2013-14 season but spent most of that campaign with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, of the G-League.

The Rockets waived him in October 2014 and the Sixers claimed him a few weeks later.

“Coming from a guys who’s also undrafted, I don’t think people realize how hard it is to do what he’s done,” guard T.J. McConnell said. “To get where he’s at now, he’s more deserving. He’s put in the hours. Just everything he’s been through in this city and this team, it’s so well deserved and I’m proud of him.”