By JOHN N. MITCHELL, THE PHILDELPHIA INQUIRER
Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday night that 76ers guard Jason Richardson would have surgery on his ailing left knee next week and miss the rest of the season. The team disputed the report.
“No decision has been made at this time on surgery,” said a Sixers spokesman, who said Richardson would see team doctors Thursday.
Richardson missed his seventh game Wednesday with inflammation in his knee. He saw a specialist in New York that day.
An 11-year veteran, Richardson averaged 10.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 33 games this season. He has not played since Jan. 18.
No trades likely
With the NBA trade deadline approaching on Feb. 21, it seems as though the 76ers are committed to sticking with what they have.
The Sixers want to see what the team looks like with Andrew Bynum in the middle of the lineup, and he should return sometime this month, according to general manager Tony DiLeo.
DiLeo said before Wednesday’s game against Indiana that the Sixers would explore all trade possibilities before the deadline, but they still believe that this roster, when healthy, can be a good one.
“Right now the mind-set is we want to see what the roster looks like with Andrew out there and healthy,” DiLeo said. “We still have lots of questions to answer, but we want to see the team we envisioned having out there. We’re curious how well this team will function together, the players with Andrew and Andrew with the players, heading into the summer.”
Counting on Moultrie
Sixers coach Doug Collins started Kwame Brown against the Pacers, marking the first time that Brown started a game since he played four minutes against Houston on Dec. 19.
Brown is a situational starter when the Sixers face more physical teams such as the Pacers. He could go back to the bench for the team’s next game against Charlotte on Saturday.
The player Collins would like to see step forward right now is 6-foot-11, 249-pound rookie forward Arnett Moultrie.
Moultrie was drafted by Miami and traded to the Sixers for the draft rights to Justin Hamilton. He came into Wednesday’s game averaging 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 15 appearances.
But with starting forward Thaddeus Young sidelined for three weeks with a strained left hamstring, the rookie out of Mississippi has a huge opportunity to make a name for himself.
“His conditioning is better,” Collins said. “I think he’s getting a better feel of what he needs to do. He’s got to be very active. He’s got to get out on pick-and-roll, run the floor, and get offensive and defensive rebounds.”
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