Post originally appeared on Wildfire Radio Sports
June 20, 2019
Image: Sports Illustrated
This year, with their first-round pick, the Sixers made a trade with the Celtics, who selected Matisse Thybulle out of Washington. The Sixers sent the #24 and #33 pick to the Celtics in exchange for the Husky.
Who is Matisse Thybulle
Matisse Thybulle is a 22-year-old shooting guard out of Washington. He lived in Australia with his family at a young age and when they returned to the states they settled just out of Seattle, Washington. In high school, Matisse Thybulle struggled to make layups because he was just so fast, he had no control. After he learned to adjust, he eventually went on to play at Washington. He started every game as a true freshman for the Huskies.
Matisse Thybulle stats and high points
With a 7 foot wingspan, Matisse Thybulle thrives in a zone defense. He was PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017-18, the first in school history. This season, he repeated that award, only the second player in conference history to do so. Additionally, Thybulle won the Naismith DPOY and Lefty Driesell Award for top defensive player in the nation. He was ranked 8th nationally with 83 blocks and led the NCAA DI players with 126 steals. This number broke a PAC-12 single-season record previously held by Jason Kidd. Although he’s not a fantastic shooter, he still shot 41.5% from the floor, 30.5% from 3-point land, and 85.1% from the stripe. He averaged 2.3 blocks per game and 3.5 steals per game as well.
What does Thybulle offer to the “close” Sixers?
In his pre-draft press conference yesterday, Elton Brand mentioned how close the Sixers were, and that there is pain lingering from the loss to the Raptors, especially after they successfully went on to win the title. That will be the message going forward into the start of free agency and the draft for the Sixers. Brand will consistently reiterate “we were close” in hopes of the team running it back with a few new faces. One of those faces is Thybulle.
Thybulle brings decent scoring moves, he’s adequate off the dribble, he’s decent from deep, and just an all-around gifted athlete. However, he is a streaky shooter and sometimes makes bad decisions with the ball and takes questionable shots. Additionally, while his age is considered a “con”, I think it just shows that he’s a little bit more mature than some of the guys that are going one and done, or some of the guys that are still young on the Sixers roster. He utilized his time in college to improve his game. The Sixers are in a position to win now. They aren’t planning on waiting for development from this draft class.
While several bench players were fan favorites for the Sixers, the bench needs to improve if the Sixers plan on advancing further than the second round this season. Matisse Thybulle gives the Sixers an improvement. With the Celtics falling apart, and the potential of Kawhi Leonard leaving and going back to the Western Conference, the Sixers will be the early favorites to win the East.