The Sixers, for all their losing on the court, continue to turn a profit, and the value of the franchise has at least tripled since owner Josh Harris and his partners bought the team in 2011, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. Thus, Harris continues to appear patient with a slow, draft-focused rebuild, and even as last month’s draft was going on, the Sixers were in talks with teams in the bottom half of the lottery, seeking to acquire their picks, Lowe hears. Philadelphia is reportedly interested in Norris Cole, but it remains to be seen if that manifests into the first free agent signing of much significance in the tenure of GM Sam Hinkie. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:
- The Nets appeared likely to waive Quincy Miller shortly after acquiring him from the Pistons on Monday, but a source tells Marc Stein of ESPN.com that Brooklyn plans to keep him at least through the start of training camp in the fall (Twitter links). It’ll cost the Nets a $50K partial guarantee if they keep him through Wednesday.
- Wayne Ellington‘s two-year deal with the Nets is worth $3,067,500, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
- The Celtics and No. 33 overall pick Jordan Mickey began negotiations on Monday, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (on Twitter), and confidence about the ability to reach a deal surrounded the opening of the talks, MassLive’s Jay King hears. Still, neither side is in a hurry, Bulpett tweets. Mickey, a client of Matt Babcock, is expected to seek guaranteed money, King writes.
- Gigi Datome spoke with the Mavericks, Clippers and Wizards, but those teams wouldn’t promise him that he’d be a part of their rotations, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. The former Celtics forward just signed with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker.
- Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t see deals for veterans like David Lee and Amir Johnson as antithetical to a youth-focused approach, believing that vets can serve important mentorship roles, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald details.