One of the first moves the Philadelphia 76ers made after hiring Doc Rivers as coach in October, 2020, was to trade for Seth Curry.

The thinking behind that deal for the Sixers was sound, as far as Rivers was concerned.

“I didn’t see crap in Seth,” Rivers said Friday evening. “I just wanted to see my daughter more. And see my grandkids. If he was a bum, I still got to see my grandkids.”

Curry is married to Rivers’ daughter, Callie, and they have two kids.

But while joking about the family ties drew a good laugh from media members, it wasn’t all about being a good grandpa.

The Mavericks traded Curry to the Sixers in November, 2020, getting Josh Richardson in return.

In theory, the trade made sense for the Mavericks, who were trying to get better defensively and Richardson had the reputation of being a good on-ball defender.

Curry was coming off a solid showing in the disjointed COVID-19-marred 2019-20 season. He was particularly sharp in the 2020 playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, who were coached at the time by Rivers.

“Honestly, what I saw in Seth was the playoffs that year,” Rivers said. “You forget, we played them in the playoffs . . . and he hurt us. Those first three games, a lot of it was in pick-and-rolls.”

And as Rivers ended up leaving LA and landing with the Sixers, he saw an opportunity.

“I kept saying when we were talking about him, people think he’s just a shooter, and they’re making a mistake,” he said. “I think we got a chance of getting him and putting him in different spots to show that.

“And he’s done that for us. And he’s grown. He’s gotten stronger. He’s become a better defender. He needed to improve some and he’s done that.”

And then some. Curry has been a starter in his two seasons with the Sixers and a valuable contributor on a team vying for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Mavericks were the place that provided the springboard for Curry’s career – twice. In 2016-17, he averaged a then-career-best 12.8 points in 70 games.

A leg injury sidelined him the following season and he ended up in Portland in 2018-19.

After playing well that season, he returned to Dallas with a four-year, $32-million contract.

After averaging 12.4 points and shooting 45 percent from 3-point range in 2019-20, Curry’s stock was skyrocketing.

Then, in that 2020 playoff series, he averaged 16.5 points in the first four games. But when Kristaps Porzingis got hurt, Curry’s efficiency dropped and the Mavericks lost the series in six games. A few months later, he was dealt to Philly.

On Friday, he returned to American Airlines Center with the Sixers. He returned from a back issue that had kept him out of the Sixers’ previous game.

Curry is averaging 15.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.4 assists, all career highs.

This year’s trade deadline is approaching fast (Thursday at 2 p.m.). The Mavericks will be looking for, ironically enough, more shooting, among other things, in the next few days.

There’s an excellent chance nothing will happen. But Jason Kidd emphasized on Friday that it’s the Mavericks’ responsibility to fans to try to improve the team whenever they can.

“As much as you always feel like you’re winning a trade, paper never wins a championship,” Kidd said. “We all know that. You got to play the games. And so, Nico (Harrison, general manager) and Cubes (owner Mark Cuban), they’re going to try to find a way to make the team better.

“But I love this team. This team has shown a lot of character, a lot of fight – doing things they haven’t done in years, and that’s playing defense and having fun doing that. That’s just the nature of this business. Trades happen. Injuries happen. You just got to keep pushing forward and the goal here is to win a championship.”

Welcome home: The Sixers brought with them their new point guard, who also was making a homecoming appearance.

Tyrese Maxey was a standout at South Garland High School and Kentucky before joining the Sixers in the 2020 draft (21st overall). In his second season, he has blossomed as a key contributor in the absence of Ben Simmons, who has not played this season and is awaiting to see if he will be traded before the deadline.

Meanwhile, Maxey has prospered in the starting role, averaging 16.9 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range.

So did Rivers know what he had when it became clear that Simmons wasn’t going to be available?

“I expected a lot,” Rivers said. “I just thought he was ready. He put the work in. His improvement from last year was there. Going through what he went through in the playoffs at the end of the year was good.

“I was really confident . . . knowing that we were going to have to go through the Ben stuff. I wasn’t worried about what we had. I felt we had enough.”

The one question was whether Maxey would be able to handle point guard, a position foreign to him, despite being only 6-2.

To which, Rivers said: “I knew he hadn’t played point in his life. But I knew at his size he really had no choice but to be that.”

Storm troopers: Both the Mavericks and the Sixers had to deal with the winter storm that blew through the Dallas-Fort Worth area Thursday.

The Mavericks came through it just fine, especially considering it was very much a light version of the epic snowstorm last February.

“This was smooth,” Kidd said. “No problems. We had shootaround this evening. Which is kind of funny to say. But (it was) a 9 o’clock game. So we made sure no one got up this morning just in case the roads were still iced over. I know everybody was scarred from last year. But everybody’s good.”

The Sixers, meanwhile, were coming in from Philadelphia on Thursday and delayed their flight four hours.

“It wasn’t bad,” Rivers said. “We just left later. We were alerted early enough that guys weren’t sitting on the plane. It took some time to get in. The bus ride was slow. Just another long road trip.”

Injury update: The Mavericks remained without Kristaps Porzingis (right knee bruise) and Sterling Brown (left foot soreness) both remained out Friday night. And their was a new addition to the injury report.

Big man Maxi Kleber (left knee effusion) did not play against the Sixers.

Kidd offered no timetable for any of the infirmed.

Twitter: @ESefko

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