NBA

Pacers-76ers Preview

Apparently going into the All-Star break with the NBA's third-worst record wasn't bad enough for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The club has traded away its most recognizable player along with a key reserve ahead of Friday night's visit from the Indiana Pacers.

Last season's rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams, has played his last game with Philadelphia though he missed the last three with a right toe injury. He was traded Thursday to Milwaukee in a three-team deal in which the 76ers obtained a draft pick from Phoenix.

Carter-Williams was averaging team highs of 15.0 points and 7.4 assists while ranking second with 6.2 rebounds per game.

''I can't lie I'm shocked. I love this city thank you for everything,'' Carter-Williams posted on Twitter. ''I can honestly say I gave it my all. I wish Philly nothing but the best.''

Philadelphia (12-41) began with 17 straight losses in a season in which general manager Sam Hinkie is reportedly trying to create cap space and amass draft picks while being less concerned with his club's record.

Hinkie made two other trades, dealing forward K.J. McDaniels to Houston for guard Isaiah Canaan and a pick. McDaniels ranks second among rookies with 9.2 points per game.

In addition, the 76ers obtained often-injured center JaVale McGee, a protected 2015 first-round pick and the draft rights for Chukwudiebere Maduabum from Denver in exchange for the rights to Cenk Akyol, a 6-foot-6 guard from Turkey.

It's not clear whether Canaan or McGee will be available Friday. Canaan played in two of the Rockets' previous 16 games, missing all seven shots. McGee has been limited to 17 games due to a left tibia stress fracture.

Indiana's George Hill will be handled carefully by coach Frank Vogel after the guard played in 15 games before the break due to knee and groin issues. Hill is averaging 14.1 points.

"Obviously he's been off for a week and we don't want to send him back to the injured list," Vogel said. "I'll probably keep it around seven or eight minutes a quarter like I've been and it'll probably be around 30 minutes."

The Sixers, who have split two meetings with Indiana, lead the NBA in average steals (9.8), drives (33.7) and turnovers forced (17.2).

"They're a gambling defensive team," said Hill, who has yet to face Philadelphia this season. "They get out in the passing lanes very well, change ends very well, have a lot of young guys that are super athletic."

The Pacers (21-33) went into the break as winners of four of five while the Sixers have split their previous eight games.

Philadelphia is second in the league in opponents' field-goal percentage (41.4) and average points allowed (92.9) since Jan. 21.

"I'm just so proud of our guys' defensive improvement, their attention to defense," coach Brett Brown said. "They take pride in playing defense, they know that it is our identity."

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