76ers not expected to make waves before trade deadline

Atlanta forward Josh Smith is rumored to have been offered by the Hawks for Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes.
Atlanta forward Josh Smith is rumored to have been offered by the Hawks for Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. (LM OTERO / AP)
Posted: February 19, 2013

The NBA's trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. Don't be surprised if the 76ers stand pat.

"I don't see anything for us right now," Sixers coach Doug Collins said Monday. "If something happens for us right now, I think it would be something that would be very small. Tony [DiLeo, the general manager,] is on the phone, but I don't think there is anything major that is going to turn our season around. What would be major for us would be to get our guys healthy."

The Sixers will begin the second half of their season on Wednesday night at Minnesota. At 22-29, they are four games out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, now held by the Milwaukee Bucks (26-25).

The Sixers are four games behind the Bucks. Milwaukee also holds the tiebreaker by virtue of its 3-0 advantage in the season series.

When Collins mentions getting healthy, he is referring to center Andrew Bynum, who has been sidelined all season. Bynum is expected to make his debut with the team in the final 31 games, 19 of which will be played away from the Wells Fargo Center.

Bynum, recovering from bone bruises and what he calls weakened cartilage in both knees, has said he would play for the team after the all-star break. On Monday, when reporters were permitted to watch the Sixers practice, Bynum was on the floor participating in non-contact drills with his teammates.

Still, Collins spoke cautiously about Bynum's return.

"He's s still where he's been, so there's nothing that's changed with that," Collins said of Bynum, whom all-star Jrue Holiday described as looking like "a beast."

"The question is just going to be at some point and time with him getting out there," Collins said, "and right now he's not done anything with contact."

According to a pair of league sources with knowledge of the discussions, the Atlanta Hawks approached the Sixers seeking to acquire Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes in exchange for forward Josh Smith. Smith will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Bynum factors into any decisions about the team's future.

"So much is Andrew Bynum's health and what he is going to be able to do for us going down the road," Collins said. "But we have to be very careful where all of a sudden you are trying to make a deal for something. You can't trade for a free agent because you could give something up and they don't re-sign. Then you've borrowed them for 30 games."

For now the moves are minor. The Sixers signed guard Jeremy Pargo on Monday for the remainder of the season.

An awed star

Holiday had one patch on his warm-up suit at the All-Star Game, signifying that this was his first appearance. Each all-star had a patch signifying how many appearances he had made. Holiday was in awe of players like Kevin Garnett, who had 15 patches.

"It was awesome knowing that you were named along with guys," Holiday said. "Those guys are going down in basketball history."


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.

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