Matisse Thybulle enjoyed time with Sixers, opens up on being traded

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PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers traded up to Matisse Thybulle with the 20th pick in the 2019 NBA draft out of Washington hoping he would morph into the team’s 3-and-D player. While Thybulle did become one of the elite defenders in the game, the 3 aspect of it didn’t come through in Philadelphia.

Therefore, the Sixers sent Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers in what ended up being a four-team deal that sent Jalen McDaniels to Philadelphia from the Charlotte Hornets.

In 10 games with the Blazers, Thybulle is shooting 40.9% from deep entering Friday’s contest with the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center. This marks his first game back in Philadelphia since the trade which is an unusually quick turnaround for a return after a trade, but Thybulle opened up on his time with the Sixers and his reaction to being traded to Portland.

Thybulle on his thoughts and feelings returning to Philadelphia

“I was talking to some people about who have also experienced it and it’s like a bit of an out-of-body experience. You say it’s weird and like, I can definitely relate to that sentiment and, for me, it’s just trying to like be present and enjoy it for what it is as weird as it is to be in the visitor’s locker room and now be in enemy territory and where I used to once call home.”

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Thybulle sums up his time in Philadelphia

“Philly was my understanding of what the NBA is like. Like it was my transition into adulthood. It was my transition to the NBA. It’s like it was essentially everything in that sense and now being somewhere else, it’s giving me a new perspective to kind of balance all my experiences off of and get a gauge for just where I’ve been for the last four years.”

His reaction to being traded

“It’s hard to even say. It’s hard to even consider being real. Like you get the call and then you’re like, you don’t really know what’s going on until you’re five days into being into a new city and learning a new playbook and you’re like ‘Oh wow. I’m really on a new team and a new city’. So my initial reaction was you just kind of go numb and then just life kind of just shoots you off into a new scenario.”

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On if the Sixers gave him a heads up on any possible deals

“No. Not from the Sixers. No. I didn’t hear anything from them.”

On keeping a relationship with his former Sixers teammates

“Guys have checked in. It’s been really nice and I think it’s always fun to check box scores once guys some go somewhere else just to see how the fit goes. So guys have been texting after games like talking about the stats and stuff. So it’s been cool just to feel that they’re keeping up with me.”

On Joel Embiid always having his back

“While I was here having Joel always have my back was always a really big deal for me. Joel was an amazing example of that. Now I’ve got guys like Damian Lillard who also have my back and it’s really nice to see how that transition has gone and just in seeing now being on a new team how important it is to have the belief of your best player how far that goes. Like how Joel has been doing it in Philly for years and now how Dame’s doing it for me it really is a big deal and a sign of leadership.”

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On having the confidence from the Blazers to shoot the ball more

“Having that belief, too, and also just at that point, too it was just like a belief. Like he saw something in me that wasn’t showing up in the numbers. So to have that kind of support from your head coach and then also like having known Damian for a while, knowing that I had that support from him, too. I think it just allowed for me to step into that role a little bit more seamlessly.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire

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