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Brett Brown

Eastern Notes: MCW, Smith, Terry

The Pistons are in need of point guard help, but the team never called the Bucks about acquiring Michael Carter-Williams, Jake Fischer of reports (Twitter link). Milwaukee reportedly will send MCW to the Bulls.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Ish Smith has no hard feelings toward the Sixers, as Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sportsnet relays. “No, no, no, no, no,” Smith said of the possibility of ill feelings. “Everything was perfect. [My new deal] was done quick. I’m excited and I’m very, very happy about the decision. … Believe me, the city, I love the city here. I love the fans, they’ve been great. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” Smith signed a three year, $18MM deal with the Pistons during the offseason.
  • Smith and Brett Brown have kept in touch and the Sixers coach remains a big fan of the point guard, Camerato adds in the same piece. “He’s got such an infectious personality. He’s really got charisma,” Brown said. “His mood never changed. He just was so solid in himself and had a bounce and a spirit and was happy. Just a wonderful teammate and just a real joy to coach.”
  • New addition Jason Terry believes the Bucks have a chance to do great things this season, as he explains on NBA TV (Twitter link). “We are young and dangerous at the core, but we have veteran experience… sky is the limit,” Terry said.

Sixers Notes: Rodriguez, Embiid, Okafor

The Sixers should maintain their patient approach and not look to acquire high priced veterans in order to produce more wins immediately, Derek Bodner of Philadelphia Magazine argues. Bodner believes the team shouldn’t react to Jerryd Bayless‘ injury by acquiring another veteran. Instead, it should take this season to figure out exactly what is has in Joel Embiid and the rest of its young talent.

Philadelphia was reportedly were interested in J.R. Smith before the guard re-signed with the Cavs. Philadelphia has the cap space and assets to make substantial moves, but Bodner cautions that the team shouldn’t make any deals that comprises its future flexibility.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Sergio Rodriguez, who last played in the NBA during the 2009/10 season, hopes to play better this season than he did during his first stint in the league, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Rodriquez started for the Sixers during Saturday’s preseason games against Detroit and Brett Brown has high hopes for the 30-year-old. “He’s elusive in open court,” Brown said. “He’s got a feel. He’s slippery with his handle and his vision. So I want him to play more like he’s always played.”
  • Embiid appeared to injure his right foot during Saturday’s preseason game, but fortunately, he was able to remain in the game. The 22-year-old doesn’t see it as an issue going forward, Pompey relays in the same piece. “I’m fine,” Embiid said. “I twisted it a little bit, but I’m fine.”
  • While the team will remain cautious with Embiid going forward, the Cameroon native could play in both ends of back-to-backs this season, passes along. “There are some times just with normal aches and the other parts of his body that you pay attention. It’s still a 275-pound, 7-foot-2 man going up and down the court,” Brown said. “How about his motor, when he puts his mind to it? How about his lateral quickness, when he puts his mind to it? To get that stuff, just harder, longer, makes you think we have to take this course.”
  • Jahlil Okafor has been sidelined since undergoing surgery back in March to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, but the big man should be ready to play opening night, according to that same report.

Sixers Notes: Okafor, Noel, McConnell, Rodriguez

Sixers coach Brett Brown expects second-year center Jahlil Okafor to be ready by opening night, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. Okafor is still experiencing soreness in his right knee related to the operation he had in March. Brown said his progress is encouraging, but he will probably begin the season with a minutes restriction (Twitter link). The team is less optimistic about Nerlens Noel, who was scratched from a game last week with a strained groin and may not be able to play in the October 26th opener.

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • Brown is still working out roles for backup point guards T.J. McConnell and Sergio Rodriguez, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Jerryd Bayless, who signed a three-year, $27MM deal this summer, is still projected as the starter, although he will be sidelined for a while with a wrist injury. McConnell has been announced as the starting point guard for opening night, but Rodriguez will get the start in tonight’s preseason game with the Pistons. The coach warned fans not to read anything into the decisions. “There’s no sort of madness from a discipline standpoint, from a performance standout,” Brown said. “It’s just that we’ve got a few [preseason] games left. I want to see Sergio more at the start of a game with that group we have been looking at, bring T.J. off the bench and really let him be bothersome defensively as he is. That’s the only motive behind that.”
  • The Sixers are still planning to take it easy with Joel Embiid, but they haven’t ruled out playing him in back-to-back games, Pompey tweets. Philadelphia plans to keep Embiid on a minutes restriction to reduce the risk of problems with the foot injury that cost him his first two NBA seasons.
  • Former Sixers guard Pierre Jackson will play in Croatia this season, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Jackson signed with Cedevita Zagreb, the defending champions in Croatia. Philadelphia waived the 25-year-old point guard before the start of the past two seasons.

Sixers Notes: Point Guards, McConnell, B. Brown

Although they’ll be missing No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons to start the season, the Sixers are still a team worth keeping an eye on this fall. Former top pick Joel Embiid is set to finally make his NBA regular-season debut, as is top international prospect Dario Saric. The club also remains on the lookout for a potential trade involving Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel, though that may happen closer to the deadline.

Here’s the latest out of Philadelphia as the Sixers prepare for the regular season:

  • Asked today about the Sixers’ point guard situation with Jerryd Bayless sidelined, head coach Brett Brown said the team is “obviously looking at the market place.” Does that mean Philadelphia is exploring possible trades or signings to add depth at the position? Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer examines that question.
  • As long as Bayless remains out of action and the Sixers don’t make any notable additions, T.J. McConnell appears to be the favorite to start at the point when the season gets underway, Pompey writes in a separate piece. McConnell doesn’t have a guaranteed salary, but his spot in the rotation makes him a near-lock to earn a spot on Philadelphia’s 15-man roster.
  • With a new management group in place in Philadelphia, there has been speculation that 2016/17 could be a make-or-break year for the club’s head coach. However, in an interview with Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk, Brown said he feels “so aligned with Jerry and Bryan [Colangelo] and what we’re trying to achieve.” Brown, who has three years remaining on his contract, added that he and the Colangelos are “on the same page,” and that the franchise is heading in a positive direction.

Sixers Notes: Thompson, Embiid, Holmes, Okafor

Hollis Thompson has been with the Sixers through three of the worst seasons in franchise history and he hopes to remain with the team as it starts to improve, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Thompson and Nerlens Noel are the only players who have been part of Philadelphia’s roster since 2013/14, and despite his seniority the 6’8″ swingman isn’t guaranteed a spot this season. Thompson averaged 9.8 points per night in 77 games last year, but he finds himself in a familiar position — facing a preseason battle just to make the team. Even if he is on the roster when the season starts, Thompson knows his fate won’t be fully determined until all contracts become guaranteed on January 10th. “In the beginning in the first year, it was stressful,” Thompson said. “But I think at this point, literally, my entire career, I could have been gone anytime before January, and I got paid. At this point, I’m used to it.”

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • Joel Embiid had his best game of the preseason Saturday, giving the Sixers another reason to believe he can overcome the foot problems that cost him his first two NBA seasons, Pompey notes in a separate piece. Embiid put up 12 points, four rebounds and a block in a little more than 13 minutes of action against a Cavaliers team that he still holds a grudge against for passing on him in the 2014 draft. “I felt more comfortable tonight,” Embiid said. “I’m still thinking that I should have been the number one pick. They didn’t pick me. So that had something to do with it.”
  • Richaun Holmes is having a productive preseason, but will have a tough time getting minutes in a crowded frontcourt, Pompey writes in another story. Holmes scored 10 points in 12 minutes in the Sixers’ first preseason game, then followed that up with a 20-point, 12-rebound performance on Thursday. Pompey suggests that Holmes may have to settle for playing time in the D-League.
  • Coach Brett Brown is optimistic about Jahlil Okafor‘s progress despite lingering pain in his right knee, according to Brian Seltzer of“We haven’t seen much of him in practice,” Brown said. “People shouldn’t get nervous about that. It’s part of bringing him back in the mix. Our anticipation is that he’s not that far away, and I do look forward to getting him playing again. I really look forward to getting him playing again.”

Sixers Notes: Rodriguez, Stauskas, Bayless, Simmons

Sixers coach Brett Brown is enjoying the luxury of having veteran leaders in camp this season, writes Brian Seltzer of The Philadelphia front office has been criticized in past years for not putting experienced players on the roster to guide the team’s young talent. Over the summer, the Sixers added free agents Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson and Sergio Rodriguez and re-signed Elton Brand. Brown seemed particularly impressed with Rodriguez, who has 10 years of professional experience between the NBA and Spain, along with two Olympic appearances. “He just has a real gift for understanding especially offensive tempo,” Brown said. “I think he’s got a bounce to his game and a pace to his game that he will be absorbed in how I want to play.”

There’s more training camp news from the Sixers:

  • Entering his second season in Philadelphia, Nik Stauskas finally feels comfortable in the NBA, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. After being picked eighth overall by the Kings in 2014, Stauskas has produced two lackluster seasons, but he sounds ready for a turnaround this year. “I have a confidence that I know I belong here now,” he said. “The first two years, there’s so many times that I’m trying to fit in. I go to bed at night and I wonder, do I really belong here? Like, is this where I was meant to be? I think this is the first time in my NBA career where I said I know I belong here.”
  • Bayless was on the Bucks team that was a surprise playoff participant two years ago and he sees similarities with the current Sixers squad, Pompey writes in a separate piece. “That’s not a promise or anything,” Bayless added. “But at the same time, if we follow the path, and we play defense on a nightly basis, you never know what can happen. We just want to continue to get better.”
  • Brown is working on combinations in camp involving rookies Ben Simmons and Dario Saric and he plans to use them together during the season, Pompey notes in another story. “I think the pluses are you have 6-10 do-alls that really can jump into a very versatile defensive world with perhaps a lot of switching,” Brown said. “I think they are elite defensive rebounders that can rebound, lead a break, and take off.”

Atlantic Notes: Noel, Sixers, Jennings, Rozier

After passing along a few items from out of the Atlantic division on Sunday afternoon, we’ve got a few more notes to round up this morning, so let’s dive in…

  • Nerlens Noel remains a trade candidate for the Sixers, but if the 22-year-old remains in Philadelphia for the final year of his rookie contract, head coach Brett Brown wants to see him emulate another big man who just parlayed a breakout contract year into a big new contract: Bismack Biyombo. As Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer details, Brown compared Noel to Biyombo and Hall-of-Fame center Dikembe Mutombo, praising his physical gifts. “Do your job and we will help you,” Brown said. “The league will reward that. The 76ers will reward that. He will be rewarded for playing like that.”
  • Given the massive rebuild undertaken by the franchise, Brett Brown‘s record during his first three seasons with the Sixers can’t really be held against him. However, with excitement and expectations increasing in Philadelphia, the job Brown does with this year’s roster may go a long way to determining whether he’ll be the team’s long-term coach, suggests Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Having signed a one-year deal with the Knicks this summer, Brandon Jennings recently said on The Stashed’s 33rd & 7th podcast with Anthony Donahue that he’s “more hungry than ever” to prove what he can do on the court (link via Ian Begley of
  • A. Sherrod Blakely of identifies Terry Rozier as a Celtics player worth keeping an eye on in camp. Rozier is one of 16 players with guaranteed contracts heading into camp, and Blakely thinks Rozier may be a potential trade candidate if the C’s don’t plan on having him get regular playing time this season.

Atlantic Notes: Mutombo, Brown, Simmons

The Raptors have added Patrick Mutombo to their coaching staff, Blake Murphy of the Raptors Republic reports (Twitter link). Mutombo previously was an assistant coach with the Nuggets and more recently, an assistant coach with the Austin Spurs of the D-League.

Here’s more

  • Brett Brown remains focused on developing a culture within the Sixers organization, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “Those things ultimately matter,” said Brown. “Maybe not so much to the outside world, but if you really want to grow a program [it does]. I’ve seen what championships look like. I’ve seen five times what it takes to play in June. . . . So the growth sometimes might not be as quantifiable to the outside world. But I know it.”
  • While the Sixers will closely monitor Joel Embiid‘s minutes, rookie Ben Simmons will have no minutes restrictions and is expected to play over 30 minutes a game, Pompey passes along in the same piece. Simmons is also expected to take reigns of the offense early on.
  • Brown believes Dario Saric‘s experience playing in Europe will help him transition to the NBA, Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sportsnet writes. “He sort of contradicts his birth certificate in that his basketball experiences are rich,” Brown said.. “He’s not a kid. He’s no kid. He’s 22, but he’s no kid.” Saric was drafted by the Magic with the 12th pick in the 2014 draft before being traded to the Sixers.




Atlantic Notes: Noah, Porzingis, Rose, Embiid

Joakim Noah‘s intensity has already made an impression on at least one of his new teammates, relays Ian Begley of At a youth camp today in Westchester, N.Y., Kristaps Porzingis told the story of his first meeting with Noah and the Knicks‘ new center’s dedication to the upcoming season. “That’s the type of guy that we want on our team,” Porzingis said. “He brings that good energy. He brings that spirit, you know? So from the first opportunity that we got to talk, I fell in love with [his intensity].” The addition of Noah should also limit the amount of time that Porzingis spends playing center, which many people believe will eventually become his primary position. Noah, who signed a four-year, $72MM deal with the Knicks in July, is hoping for a bounce-back year after being limited to 29 games last season because of an injured shoulder.

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • Porzingis also addressed Derrick Rose‘s “super team” comment from earlier this summer, writes Barbara Barker of Newsday. Porzingis says the statement was just a sign of confidence and he agrees with Rose that the Knicks have the talent to be very good. He added that Rose has looked impressive in pickup games. “He’s still got it. He’s still Derrick Rose,” Porzingis said. “I’m excited to play with him. He draws so much attention. When he’s driving, he’s so dangerous. I’m going to be wide open, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
  • The Sixers‘ crowded frontcourt means players are going to have to earn their minutes more than ever, and the way to do that is to adapt to coach Brett Brown’s new up-tempo approach, according to Jessica Camerato of Brown is calling on players to get in “career-best shape” before reporting to training camp and said their roles will be determined by their ability to do that.
  • Joel Embiid may be cleared to play, but the Sixers will rely heavily on their medical staff to determine when and how often he takes the court, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid is expected to start the season with restricted minutes and probably won’t play on back-to-back nights.

Brett Brown On New-Look Sixers

Sixers head coach Brett Brown has endured three life-sapping seasons since leaving his assistant post in San Antonio to steward over Philadelphia’s rebuilding efforts. Brown’s teams have lost 63, 64, and 72 games respectively the last three campaigns as the team purposely bottomed-out under former GM Sam Hinkie in an effort to retool via the NBA draft lottery. While no one realistically expects the Sixers to suddenly make the playoffs this season, the franchise has been active in the free agent market for the first time during Brown’s tenure and the team should make strides toward respectability in 2016/17.

Brown spoke with members of the media on Thursday regarding a number of subjects, including his revitalized enthusiasm resulting from the team’s positive offseason, Mike Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays. “Given our experience together, from where we were to where we are now, how can we all not feel a breath of fresh air, a new bounce, a higher level of hope and an excitement that together we haven’t experienced for awhile?” Brown said.

The coach noted that there are numerous reasons for him to be optimistic, including the highly anticipated debut of former lottery pick Joel Embiid, who sat out his first two NBA campaigns following foot surgeries, the addition of No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons and the arrival of 2014 draftee Dario Saric from overseas, Narducci notes. Brown did acknowledge that Embiid’s health is a wild card, telling reporters, “He will play and everybody understands there will be parameters, restrictions.” The coach noted that what those restrictions will be should be determined during the preseason.

The frontcourt rotation remains a bit of a mystery, with Brown acknowledging that the pairing of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor last season wasn’t a successful one, Narducci relays. Brown did offer high praise for Noel, telling reporters, “Nerlens has elite gifts. He is athletic, quick off the floor, and as quick to the rim as anybody I have coached, as any big man in the league.” The coach refused to indulge any speculation as to which of the big men, if any, are likely to be dealt this season. “I will coach them until they are not [here],” Brown said.

The Sixers should also benefit greatly from the free agent additions of veterans Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, and Sergio Rodriguez, Brown told the media. The coach is especially excited about Philly upgrading the point guard position, Narducci adds. “If the season started today, you give Jerryd Bayless the ball and go from there,” Brown said. “I feel there will be times you will see Ben Simmons with the ball as the traditional point guard.” Brown also noted that shooting guard Nik Stauskas, who averaged 8.5 points in his first season with the Sixers, worked hard in the weight room this offseason and should benefit from that.

Do you think Brown has a reason to be optimistic at the Sixers’ chances this season? Which addition to the roster are you most excited about? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions.

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