By Sally Fahey

Sixers rook Matisse Thybulle suffered a right knee sprain against the Washington Wizards last week and the full timeline is 2-4 weeks, but there is optimism he could be cleared at the two-week re-evaluation date, Yahoo Sports is reporting.

Thybulle has appeared in 30 games, averaging 4.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 46.3 percent from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

NBA rookies believe Thybulle is the best defender from the 2019 NBA Draft class. Thybulle was the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft by the Boston Celtics. Boston traded the youngster to the Sixers for Carsen Edwards and Ty Jerome on draft night.

Last season at the University of Washington, Thybulle averaged 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 3.5 steals and 2.3 blocks in 36 games. He shot 41.5 percent from the floor, 30.5 percent from the 3-point line and 85.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Thybulle has never been known as a scorer. The most points he scored in college was 26. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard had averages of 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.4 blocks in his four years at Washington.

The Sixers already have four elite defenders in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson and Al Horford. If Thybulle can become the team’s fifth stout defender — and he’s shown signs that he can be — the Sixers are going to be a force on the defensive side of the ball once the playoffs start.


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