Trevor Booker approached the 76ers before getting released once he learned that they were going to sign Ersan Ilyasova.
Booker knew they would need to free up a roster spot. By being released, the reserve power forward could go to a team that was a better fit for him.
So the 30-year-old received a buyout from the Sixers on Feb. 28, two months after they acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2018 second-round pick. Booker signed a contract with the Indiana Pacers on March 3 for the rest of the season.
"Honestly, no disrespect to them, but I was pretty excited," he said of his reaction to getting bought out. "Of course, I was going to miss my teammates and everybody. But I was excited for a new opportunity.
"I feel like it just really didn't fit in well here."
Tuesday marked his first time back at the Wells Fargo Center since being released. The Sixers lost to the Pacers in a key Eastern Conference game, 101-98.
He said the style of play in Indiana is a lot better for him. "I can set more ball screens, push the ball up the court a little bit," Booker said. "I just feel a little bit more free."
An unrestricted free agent on July 1, he hopes to sign a long-term deal with the Pacers.
The Harris Family Charitable Foundation hosted more than 50 volunteers and youths from its After School All-Stars Philadelphia and Camden chapters during Tuesday's game.
Conwell Middle School seventh-grader Christopher Rodriguez was recognized as the strong kid of the game for his development at his school's program.
Central High School ninth-grader Hawa Barry and Mastery Molina Upper School seventh-grader Christian Watson were honored for their volunteer work.
Sixers chief operating officer Lara Price will serve as the chairwoman of the Sixth Foundation board. Marjorie Harris, Allison Blitzer, Elton Brand, Ukee Washington and Erik Hirsch are the new board members.