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NBA News and Notes for March 4th

With the trade deadline and All-Star break in our rearview mirror, teams around the NBA are focused on making a push for a playoff spot. While eyes are starting to focus on the postseason, let’s take a look at some of the other stories around the league.

76ers Add Big Man

As a result of trading Andre Drummond to the Brooklyn Nets in the deadline deal that landed them James Harden, the Philadelphia 76ers have been on the lookout for a backup big man. On Thursday, they found their guy.

After being waived by the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia scooped up DeAndre Jordan to serve as a backup to Joel Embiid. After making the signing official Thursday, the 76ers waived Willie Cauley-Stein in a corresponding move.

This season, Jordan is averaging 4.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while averaging about 12.8 minutes per game.

Harden Fitting In Nicely

While the Nets are still waiting to see the benefits of adding Ben Simmons, James Harden has gotten off to a blistering start for Philadelphia. In just three games, he is averaging 27.3 points, 12.3 assists, and nine rebounds per game.

This is the type of efficiency that the Nets were hoping to get out of Harden, but he has really come out strong in his first few games with Philadelphia. In that time, he is also shooting 59% from the field and 50% from behind the arc.

The 76ers currently have the fifth-best odds of winning the NBA Championship at +700. The Nets, who acquired Simmons, Drummond, Seth Curry, and a couple of first-round picks, are +600 to win it all.

Harris Done For Season

Sticking with the Nets, they received some bad news on Thursday as forward Joe Harris will be out for the rest of the season as he is having surgery on his left ankle.

According to his agent, Harris could be out anywhere from four to six months.

Harris managed to play in just 14 games this season, although he was averaging 11.3 points and four rebounds in that time. After injuring his ankle in November, he had an initial surgery, but it was recently determined that he would need additional work.

Between Harris’ injury, Kyrie Irving’s part-time play, Kevin Durant’s injuries, and Ben Simmons having yet to make his debut, the Nets have been in tough shape lately. Still, if they are able to get healthy, they still have the potential to be lethal in the postseason.

Raptors’ Anunoby Out For At Least A Couple Weeks

The Toronto Raptors will be without small forward OG Anunoby for at least the next couple of weeks. Anunoby has a broken finger, and while surgery is not needed, it appears that it will take at least a couple of weeks to heal.

This season, Anunoby is averaging 17.5 points on 43.6% shooting. He is also chipping in 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

At 34-28, the Raptors currently sit in seventh in the Eastern Conference. They are +10000 to win the NBA championship this season.

Beal Likely To Return To Wizards

Bradley Beal was having a sensational season this year, averaging 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in 40 games. Unfortunately, Beal’s season ended when he had surgery on his injured left wrist.

Beal can technically decline his player option of just over $36 million this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent. On Thursday, the star shooting guard made it sound like that wasn’t in the plans.

When asked about re-signing with the Wizards this offseason, Beal responded by saying, “that’s fair,” implying that there was a good chance he envisioned himself staying with Washington.

The Wizards are currently 28-33, good enough for 11th in the Eastern Conference. Still, Beal appears poised to see it through and return to try to help the Wizards make the postseason next year.

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