Sixers Sign Lee, Gordon, Cut Bogans, Varnado

The Sixers have signed Malcolm Lee and Drew Gordon, and they waived Keith Bogans and Jarvis Varnado to make room on the 20-man preseason roster, the team announced (Twitter link). The team reportedly came to agreements with both Lee and Gordon prior to camp, but they were left off the team’s roster when training camp began. The dismissal of Varnado is somewhat surprising, since he had a $75K partial guarantee and the team had been carrying eight players with non-guaranteed contracts. Bogans was one of those eight, and his nearly $5.3MM salary was the largest by far, so it’s certainly not a shock to see Philadelphia part ways with him. The Sixers have plenty of capacity to exceed the minimum salary in their new arrangements with Lee and Gordon, but the terms aren’t immediately clear.

Lee was one of a handful of players to work out for the Lakers in late August, and he also worked out for the Nets earlier in the summer, though that audition seemed to be geared mostly toward summer league. The 24-year-old guard appeared in summer league with the Raptors, but the two-year NBA veteran will attempt to officially return to the league with the Sixers after sitting out 2013/14, in part because of injury. Gordon, a 24-year-old power forward, was with the Sixers in summer league after splitting this past season between Italy and Turkey. He also had a stop in Serbia after going undrafted out of New Mexico in 2012, and this will be his first NBA preseason experience.

Bogans joined the Sixers after a pair of trades brought him from the Celtics through Cleveland. He sat out much of last season as Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge sought to use his sizable non-guaranteed deal in a trade. Varnado hooked on with both the Bulls and the Sixers via 10-day contracts last season, and Philadelphia elected to keep him for the balance of 2013/14 when its short-term deal with the power forward ran out, tacking the partially guaranteed 2014/15 season onto his contract.

The moves leave the Sixers with a full 20-man preseason roster. Only nine of their players known to have fully guaranteed deals, and the release of Varnado makes it an even more wide open race for the final regular season roster spots.

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