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76ers trade Al Horford to Thunder after just one season in Philadelphia

Star center Joel Embiid (left) and Al Horford never seemed to mesh in a disappointing season that cost 76ers coach Brett Brown his job.
Star center Joel Embiid (left) and Al Horford never seemed to mesh in a disappointing season that cost 76ers coach Brett Brown his job.David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers are moving on from Al Horford and will trade him and a protected future first-round pick to Oklahoma City in a major draft-night trade.

A person with direct knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press on Wednesday the Sixers will receive Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson from the Thunder. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet announced.

The Sixers also sent a 2025 first-round protected from 1-6 overall. The Sixers also sent the 34th pick in Wednesday’s draft to the Thunder and the rights to European point guard Vasilije Micic.

The 76ers traded Horford more than a year after he was considered a ballyhooed free-agent signing away for their rival Boston Celtics. Horford was a flop in the first season of a four-year contract worth $97 million and lost his starting spot late in the season. The Thunder are the on hook for Horford’s $27.5 million this season. He averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in his lone season with the Sixers. He never fit in playing alongside franchise center Joel Embiid and was the biggest disappointment in a season that cost coach Brett Brown his job.

This was the first major move under the new regime of team president Daryl Morey and coach Doc Rivers and shed the salary that appeared to hinder the Sixers from making any other major moves.

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Horford lost his starting spot late in the season and didn’t appear to fit in with the franchise moving forward under Rivers. The Sixers get major cap flexibility by taking Green with just $15 million and one more season left on his deal.

Warriors’ Thompson injured

Golden State guard Klay Thompson injured his right leg during a workout in Southern California.

The team announced the injury without providing further details about the severity or any timeline for his availability with training camp starting Dec. 1 and the season beginning Dec. 22. It was unclear how this might affect Golden State’s draft decisions Wednesday, when the Warriors held the No. 2 overall selection.

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This could be a severe blow for the Warriors, who finished worst in the NBA last season. Thompson didn’t play at all during the coronavirus-shortened season this year as he worked back from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. He suffered that injury in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

Porzingis’s return delayed

Kristaps Porzingis will miss the start of the season as the Dallas Mavericks star continues recovery from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told Dallas radion station 105.3 The Fan on Monday the club was being cautious with Luka Doncic’s European sidekick, who missed more than a season because of another knee injury earlier in his career.

The NBA is in the midst of a short offseason after the pandemic-delayed 2019-20 season ended on the final day of September in the playoff bubble in Florida. Training camps are set to open Dec. 1, with the 72-game season scheduled to start Dec. 22.

Porzingis injured his right knee in the opener of a first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers in the bubble in August. The 7-foot-3-inch Latvian had surgery in early October.

Dallas ended a three-year run of missing the playoffs behind the 21-year-old sensation Doncic and Porzingis, who played the next two games after the injury before missing the rest of a series won by the Clippers in six games.

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Porzingis averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in his first season with Dallas. He missed all of 2018-19 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during what ended up being his final game with the New York Knicks in February 2018.

The Mavericks acquired Porzingis in a seven-player deal before the trading deadline in 2019 and immediately said he wouldn’t play the rest of that season. He signed a $158 million, five-year max contract with Dallas in July 2019.

Knicks climb up

The Knicks moved up a few spots with their second pick of the NBA Draft’s first round by completing a trade with the Utah Jazz. The Knicks acquired the No. 23 selection from Utah, sending the Nos. 27 and 38 picks to the Jazz. New York also received the draft rights to Croatian center Ante Tomic, who was taken by the Jazz in the second round in 2008 but has spent his entire career in Europe.