The Sixers have waived Malcolm Lee, the team announced in the same press release in which it confirmed its acquisition of Andrei Kirilenko. The move is a bit surprising, since reports indicated that Philadelphia would instead waive Kirilenko upon the completion of the trade. However, John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com reported late Wednesday that the Sixers had interest in keeping Kirilenko in hopes of using him in a subsequent trade near the deadline. Lee, whom the Sixers re-signed just last week, is instead the roster casualty as Philadelphia needed to cut a player to accommodate its trade with Brooklyn. The Sixers, who had been carrying the maximum 15 players prior to the trade, acquired two players and gave up one in that move, so the team had to let go of someone.
Lee was on a four-year non-guaranteed contract with a team option on the fourth year, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The 24-year-old shooting guard appeared in just one game for a total of two minutes during his latest stint with the Sixers, missing his only shot attempt. He was with Philadelphia during the preseason and received a $50K partial guarantee on his initial contract, one the Sixers waived before opening night. Lee was the 43rd overall pick in the 2011 draft and spent the following two seasons in Minnesota, but he was without an NBA contract last season when he sat out following a series of injuries.
Philadelphia remains at 15 players after today’s moves. Nine have fully guaranteed deals, while another three are on partially guaranteed contracts, leaving plenty of flexibility for more in-season movement, one of the staples of GM Sam Hinkie‘s tenure.