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And-Ones: Maxiell, Sixers, Simmons

Much of the Sixers‘ offseason strategy depends on where the team’s picks end up after the draft lottery is held next month, but the franchise believes it has the opportunity to land a steal near the bottom of the first round, writes Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly. “We’ve got multiple options with what to do with those picks, and I do think though there will be some opportunity to find a player,” GM Bryan Colangelo said. “That’s what you have an extensive scouting staff for, that’s what the numbers and analytics team can sometimes derive, perhaps a diamond in the rough. You look for the player that’s going to be a sleeper at that number and you think about what that player might be a couple years down the road.”

Regarding free agency, Colangelo believes the availability of playing time, coupled with the team’s new practice facility, will be selling points to prospective targets, Camerato notes. “You have to differentiate yourself somehow, someway,” Colangelo said. “Some people could be looking for an opportunity to go somewhere and be a key player as opposed to being a complementary player. We’ve got that opportunity because we’ve got an open slate right now in that regard.

Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Former NBA player Jason Maxiell has inked a one month deal to play in Saudi Arabia, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). The 33-year-old power forward last played in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign when he appeared in 61 games for the Hornets and averaged 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per outing.
  • LSU freshman Ben Simmons remains atop the latest mock draft from Chad Ford of ESPN.com, though the scribe does note that the combo forward’s grip on the No. 1 overall spot is being eroded by the rise of Duke’s Brandon Ingram, who is slotted second. Simmons could reclaim a firm hold on being the consensus top pick if he impresses teams during his predraft workouts and interviews, Ford writes.

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