Although the Philadelphia 76ers were expected to make a significant splash at the 2021 NBA trade deadline, they only made one deal before the market closed for the rest of the season. In a three-team deal involving the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks, the Sixers landed veteran point guard George Hill and young forward Ignas Brazdeikis.
Hill, who has been nursing a thumb injury for months now, has yet to be cleared for action. Therefore, he's been away from the team as the Sixers continued a long road trip following the trade deadline.
While Brazdeikis is healthy and ready to play whenever, he also waited patiently in Philadelphia for the team to get back after the six-game road stint. At this point, the 22-year-old forward has finally joined the Sixers as they get ready to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
"Everything happened really fast," said the Sixers' new forward. "I'm really excited to be here. I'm grateful for this opportunity to be a part of this winning organization. Everyone's been great so far, and everything has been smooth."
This season, the Sixers' locker room has been especially close. With some new veteran additions at the beginning of the year, it seems the 76ers' team chemistry has been higher than ever compared to recent years.
Since the team chemistry has been so high, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers did make it known that striking trades before the deadline could be difficult because new additions or key departures could affect that.
Since the 76ers didn't make too many significant changes before the deadline, the team chemistry will likely remain in good shape. And with Brazdeikis being around the team for the first time in his career, the young forward has confirmed what we already know -- the Sixers are a tight-knit group.
"Everyone seems really cool, and everyone's been really welcoming," Brazdeikis explained. "The team just seems so close. You know, there are a lot of cool players on the team. A lot of good characters -- high character guys, and I'm just excited to be a part of and [I'm excited to] be a part of the culture."