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July 13, 2017

What they’re saying: The Sixers schedule includes a game in London

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The NBA schedule is yet to be released, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be any rumored games leaked out to the media beforehand. And if the most recent one is true, Sixers-Celtics tickets will be sold for a game with an international audience.

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Sixers schedule includes a January 11th game against the Boston Celtics at the O2 Arena in jolly old London:

According to involved sources, the Celts will meet the 76ers in London next January. The schedule for the coming season is expected to be released next month, with the league’s Global Games potentially being announced prior to that.

The Celtics-Philadelphia matchup will be a regular season affair — not an exhibition — and will be a 76ers home game. That means Philly fans will have one fewer opportunity to see Jayson Tatum and Markelle Fultz, the third and first overall picks from last month’s draft, respectively, involved in the major pre-draft trade between the clubs.

That would a bit of a bummer for Sixers fans to lose a home game, but this isn’t an eight-game NFL schedule being cut down to seven. I know there is some hope from fans that there could be a Christmas Day game in Philly (what a doubleheader that would be with the Eagles that night!), and we’ll have to see what happens when the Sixers schedule is released next month.

Sixers news and coverage at PhillyVoice

1.    Practice makes perfect: Joel Embiid’s health is the biggest variable of the 2017-18 Sixers season. Ben Simmons’ jumper is probably second, though.

2.    Sixers Mailbag: Who would have guessed that J.J. Redick will make the most single-season money in Sixers history?

3.    One of the greatest: One ESPN radio host said that Joel Embiid has the chance to be an all-time great, which would help lure LeBron James to the Sixers.

4.    Playoffs? Playoffs? That’s all people are talking about in Philadelphia, so I offered some thoughts on how the Sixers record can be top-eight in the Eastern Conference.

Other Sixers news, notes and analysis from around the web

Ranking The NBA Off-Season's Biggest Moves: Rohan Nadkarni, Sports Illustrated

Nadkarni ranks the Sixers-Celtics trade fifth overall, noting that Markelle Fultz “has the chance to be the top player in his conference”:

Sixers fans are gloating at an impressive level this off-season, which seems like a dangerous way to tempt fate when 66.7% of their young nucleus is an injury risk. Process talk aside, adding Fultz may not make a huge short-term impact for Philly, but the long-term benefits make it one of the most slept-on moves of the summer. Fultz has been the clear-cut No. 1 pick for a long time, and I’m still surprised Boston passed on the opportunity to select him. Among Fultz, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, Fultz seems to have the biggest chance to become a full-fledged star, both because of his all-around game (he can shoot!) and his lack of health concerns. (I hate to say this, but I’m still not sold on Embiid’s knees holding up. Please prove me wrong, Joel.)

Summer League Intel Report: Matt Moore, CBS Sports

There are NBA scouts questioning Markelle Fultz’s “point guardness” (I know that’s not a word):

Fultz's play was more interesting. He showed why he was the No. 1 prospect, but there was one nagging question asked around the arena: "Is Fultz a point guard?" There's a growing sense, in part reinforced by Ben Simmons' comments that he is the starting point guard for the Sixers, that Fultz may not operate as the primary floor general, playing more as a combo guard.

Offseason moves will have immediate impact on 2017-18 Kia Rookie of the Year race: Scott Howard-Cooper,

Howard-Cooper writes about how the J.J. Redick free-agent signing affects Fultz and Ben Simmons:

Ben Simmons’ assist numbers just went up. The Philadelphia front office knew it needed to add shooting this summer, and landing Redick, a primary free-agent target, addressed that for the team while also giving point guard Simmons another dependable scorer along with Joel Embiid. On the other hand, Markelle Fultz’s minutes may have just gone down.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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