AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - As expected, Joel Anthony said the phone call he received Monday from Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy was "a little awkward, a little weird."
At the time, Anthony thought he was heading to the 76ers as part of a three-team trade with the Pistons and Houston Rockets. But Van Gundy called to inform him the trade was rescinded after Donatas Motiejunas, who was going to Detroit from Houston, failed to pass a physical because of a bad back.
So Anthony was back here Wednesday night facing the team he expected to be traded to at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
"It's been one of the weirdest weeks I've had as a professional," he said after Wednesday morning's shootaround. "It's great to be back here. I love the guys on the team. Everybody was happy with me coming back."
He had to be the happiest, though.
That's because the Sixers were expected to waive the reserve center. They were basically taking on his $2.5 million salary in order to also receive a second-round pick.
"I didn't even make it down there," Anthony said. "We weren't sure what was going to happen. The trade hadn't gone through.
"It's the most interesting trade I've been a part of."
Jahlil Okafor shot 8 of 13 from the field en route to scoring 17 points in Tuesday's loss to the Orlando Magic. That marked the 14th time he shot at least 60 percent from the field. The 6-foot-11 power forward was shooting 50 percent on the season heading into Wednesday.