Brett Brown

Sixers Notes: Hinkie, Embiid, Brown, Landry

Sixers owner Josh Harris admits that it’s difficult to watch his team lose, but he insists that he doesn’t want to sacrifice the franchise’s long-term rebuilding plan, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Harris is still supportive of GM Sam Hinkie, pointing to the work he’s done via trade, and he doesn’t question the team’s decision to draft Joel Embiid third overall last year despite the fact that he’s likely to miss a second season in a row because of his ailing right foot, as Tom Moore of Calkins Media observes (All Twitter links).

‘When we drafted Joel, it was a good risk to take. I was really disappointed [about the news of his second foot surgery],” Harris said. “When you talk to the doctors, they’re quite optimistic. You have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

See more from Philadelphia:

  • Harris and Hinkie didn’t talk about an extension for coach Brett Brown, whose contract expires at the end of the 2016/17 season, but they made it clear they’re fond of him. “I give Brett an A for the job he’s done. He’s an incredible player development person,” Harris said, according to Moore (Twitter links). “I hope and expect Brett to be around the team for a long, long time.” Hinkie believes Brown has also excelled in ways that aren’t readily apparent, as Pompey relays“I’m proud to see all of you like Brett Brown as much as I like Brett Brown,” Hinkie said to reporters, including Moore, as he pointed to stories about the idea of an extension“It’s been a real pleasure — and I suspect it’ll continue to be a real pleasure — to work with him. He and I have a great relationship. He’s been a fantastic partner.”
  • Carl Landry is still about five or six weeks away from a return following June 2nd surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist, but Hinkie indicated that the team intends for him to stick around despite his status as a veteran who’s making a relatively sizable amount of money, as Pompey details. His $6.5MM salary is the highest on the team. “We talked a lot about this situation and how it’s different the way people might perceive it [as nothing more than a salary dump], and the importance of his voice and how that might matter,” Hinkie said. “That doesn’t take away from his game. I think he will be able to play fine.”
  • Nik Stauskas, whom the Sixers acquired along with Landry via trade this summer, regrets approaching his rookie year last season with trepidation, as he tells Pompey for a separate piece. “Coming into last year, I had no clue what to expect,” Stauskas said. “I was a little bit nervous, maybe a little bit scared. Coming into the NBA for me was almost a different ball game. Looking back on it, that was probably one of the biggest mistakes I made. It’s still just basketball. It just happens to be with different players in a different league.”
  • Undrafted rookie Christian Wood has just a $50K guarantee on his deal with the Sixers, but he’s looked impressive so far, Pompey opines. Brown has praise for the power forward, and particularly for the development of his three-point shot.

Sixers Notes: Leonard, Brown, Okafor, Stauskas

The Sixers “sniffed around” the idea of an offer sheet for Kawhi Leonard earlier this summer, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who adds that the team was simply performing its due diligence. The same is true of the Sixers and Jimmy Butler, Lowe hears. Butler had reportedly been scheduled to meet with Philadelphia but put those plans aside while he considered an offer from the Bulls, with whom he eventually re-signed. Leonard re-signed with the Spurs. The primary focus of Lowe’s piece is on former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, whom the Sixers are apparently looking into adding. See more from Philly:

Eastern Notes: Jennings, Brown, Nets

Brandon Jennings isn’t expected back from his torn left Achilles tendon until mid- to late December, writes Kevin Bull of the Detroit Free Press. That’s in contrast to a July report indicating that Jennings thought he would be ready for the start of training camp but more in line with recent comments from Jennings in which he expressed uncertainty about camp and said that he wouldn’t be back at his usual level of performance until December at the earliest. In any case, Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said last week on WMGC-FM that he’s optimistic that Jennings and Reggie Jackson can play with each other if Jennings regains his form, as Bull relays.

“If he comes back and he’s the Brandon Jennings that we had last year, I think those guys can play together quite well,” Van Gundy said. “Reggie is big enough (6’3″) to guard guys off the ball and everything else. It just gives you two playmakers on the floor together. I think they can be pretty dynamic, but we’ll just have to see where Brandon is when he comes back.”

See more on the Pistons amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • Van Gundy signaled a willingness to keep the core of the Pistons intact for the long-term, telling WMGC-FM that the roster “has a chance now, if we lock people up long-term, to grow together,” Bull notes.
  • Brett Brown has no regrets about taking the Sixers job even though he admits the losing has been painful, and he doesn’t seem at all interested in pushing for an extension and disrupting the ethic of patience that pervades the organization, observes Ian Thomsen of“I signed a four-year contract [in 2013] and my intention is to see that through,” Brown said to Thomsen. “I love the city of Philadelphia. I enjoy and trust the people that I work with and for, and the opportunity that I have. I am grateful for the partnership. To be honest with you, I don’t feel comfortable talking about a contract. I just want to do my job.”
  • The Nets are close to a local TV rights deal with the YES Network that is expected to at least double the annual fee the team collects, as John Ourand and John Lombardo of SportsBusiness Journal report (hat tip to NetsDaily). The would-be deal is poised to give the Nets an average of around $40MM a year starting in 2017/18, Ourand and Lombardo hear. Brooklyn has been receiving less on its local TV deal than any other New York or Los Angeles team, and it amounted to not much more than the Timberwolves get from theirs, a league source told NetsDaily, which notes that the arrangement is yet another part of the efforts the Nets have undertaken to become profitable.

Sixers Notes: Brown, Harris, Roster

The Sixers finished a game behind their mark from last season, but owner Josh Harris sees progress toward the goal of eventual title contention, as Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. “The bottom is behind us and we’re on the way up, and we expect to get better consistently from here,” Harris said. Brookover isn’t convinced, but coach Brett Brown said that the team’s record will matter much more next year as the franchise takes the next step in its rebuilding.

“It’s during-the-year changes that have hurt us,” Brown said. “At the end of the day to coach gypsies, to have to coach a revolving door, that’s not what I’m looking for. The program understands, Sam understands, Josh understands that we need a level of consistency to move it forward. That doesn’t mean we have to be pregnant with average players. We’re looking for players that move the program forward in a big way. If there is volatility that comes our way because of that last comment, then so be it. Consistency and carryover can’t trump the fact that we’re looking for talent.”

Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News sees frustration in that remark and others from Brown, and GM Sam Hinkie has signaled that he doesn’t plan a significant push in free agency this summer, so it’s unclear just how Philly will improve, aside from the maturation of its young talent. While we wait to find out, here’s more on the Sixers:

  • Harris says he hasn’t had any talks about an extension for Brown, but the owner said the coach has exceeded expectations and wouldn’t rule one out, notes John Smallwood of the Daily News. Brown has two more seasons on his contract, and Smallwood argues that he deserves an extension even though it isn’t possible to judge whether he’ll ultimately be a successful NBA head coach given the lack of talent he’s had to work with.
  • Rising franchise values and the league’s new $24 billion TV contract mean Harris is under no pressure to win in the short term, since the Sixers have a steady flow of revenue, writes John Gonzalez of
  • Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News takes a crack at predicting who’ll be back on the team next season, speculating that Furkan Aldemir and Isaiah Canaan won’t return in spite of the guaranteed salary on their contracts.

Atlantic Notes: Randolph, Brown, Clark

It would make sense for the Nuggets to claim Shavlik Randolph off waivers today from the Celtics, as Marc Stein of points out (Twitter links). Denver is nearly $1.864MM shy of the salary floor, but claiming Randolph’s $1,227,985 minimum salary would close the majority of that gap. The entire amount of Randolph’s salary would count toward Denver’s team salary as far as the floor is concerned, but the Nuggets would only be on the hook for the last prorated bit of actual pay Randolph is to receive this season. The Nuggets would otherwise have to distribute the entire shortfall beneath the salary floor among their existing players. A waiver claim of Randolph would absolve the C’s from paying the remainder of his salary and take his entire cap figure off their books, though the effect would be negligible compared to what such a move would do for Denver.

It’s unclear if the Nuggets indeed plan on making a claim, so while we wait to see how that turns out, here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Brett Brown wasn’t fully supportive of the deadline trade that sent out Michael Carter-Williams, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, echoing what Carter-Williams said shortly after the deal. Still, the only tension between the coach and the Sixers front office is minimal, Deveney hears.
  • Sixers GM Sam Hinkie signaled to Tom Moore of Calkins Media that he has no plans to make significant free agent signings in the offseason (Twitter link). The team hasn’t signed a player to a contract with a total value of as much as $4.5MM in either of the last two summers, as our free agent trackers from 2013 and 2014 show.
  • Nets signee Earl Clark will have a $200K partial guarantee on his minimum salary for next season if he remains under contract through October 26th, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets and shows on his Nets salary page.

Atlantic Notes: Jason Smith, Shaw, Datome

Jason Smith said he inked only a one-year deal with the Knicks last summer because that’s all the team offered, and the center made it clear he wants to re-sign with the team in the offseason, as Marc Berman of the New York Post observes.

“I love New York,’’ Smith said. “I like the triangle offense. I wouldn’t have a problem coming back to New York. I think it’s a great market, great basketball organization. [Team president] Phil [Jackson]’s got the team moving in the right direction. It’s tough to say that now because he’s trying to change the culture.’’

The Knicks will have Smith’s Non-Bird rights in the offseason, so they can give him a deal with a salary of no more than $3,933,600 unless they use the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception or open cap room. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Derek Fisher said he’s spoken with Brian Shaw since the Nuggets fired Shaw last week, as Berman notes in the same piece. Shaw has ties to Jackson and speculation has linked the ex-Denver coach to an assistant’s job with New York.
  • Gigi Datome was buried on the bench in Detroit, but the Celtics are giving their deadline-day acquisition significant minutes while Avery Bradley heals from a minor injury, as Chris Forsberg of examines. The C’s can match offers for Datome, who hits free agency this summer, if they tender a nearly $2.188MM qualifying offer.
  • The Sixers will take a different approach with waiver claim Glenn Robinson III, who won’t see the floor much at first, coach Brett Brown said, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. That won’t give the team much of a chance to evaluate him before his contract is up at season’s end, but Brown indicated that the team had been keeping an eye on him for a while before acquiring him. Robinson’s qualifying offer will be slightly more than $1.045MM this summer.

Atlantic Notes: Young, Fisher, Rondo, Brown

James Young has been lighting up the scoreboard during his D-League appearances this season but he’s still waiting for his opportunity with the Celtics, Jimmy Toscano of writes. “You never know what’s going to happen with your team first and foremost with regard to injuries or whatever the case may be,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “So he’s always got to stay ready and be ready. I think the biggest thing for James is he’s got to continue to play and get those opportunities in Maine, continue to practice extremely well, and then when that opportunity presents itself to take advantage of it. Do I have a timeline for that? When he beats those other guys out, then that’s the timeline. And I think that’s the right way to look at it.”

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Amid the Knicks‘ early season struggles, head coach Derek Fisher‘s calm demeanor has helped stabilize his players, but the franchise might need the former player to show more fire on the sidelines, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal opines. The Knicks, who have been whistled for more fouls than any other NBA team while getting to the line less than any other team, need Fisher to depart from his relaxed, mild-mannered state with the officials, Herring adds.
  • Despite the rumors that resulted from Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo having breakfast together, the Celtics aren’t likely to deal Rondo, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News hears. The point guard remains a player who the team wants to build around even after he hits free agency this summer, and Boston sees Rondo as a means of attracting one of the crop of talented big men who will be available on the free agent market this summer, Deveney adds.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown shouldn’t be judged by his won-loss record thanks to being saddled with a roster intended to lose, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. But Philadelphia’s woes do weigh on Brown despite the lower expectations, and the coach also worries about how losing affects his players, Lee adds. “I am prideful. You care a lot. But I didn’t accept this job to boost my resume,” Brown said. “I am 53 years old. You get used to winning 50 games every one of my San Antonio years. And so I need to make sure that [the players] feel good about themselves, that there is a difference between losing a game and losers.”

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Johnson, Bargnani

Sixers coach Brett Brown has the difficult task of holding together a last place team that didn’t acquire any players who are likely to help the franchise this season despite having two top-10 picks in the 2014 NBA draft. But Brown doesn’t regret signing on to coach Philadelphia, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press tweets. “Even knowing what I know now, with the draft picks not here and some hits with injuries, I’d take this job 50 times out of 50 times,” Brown said.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Brown had expected the Sixers to land Andrew Wiggins in this year’s draft, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). “I thought we had him [Wiggins]. I was expecting we were going to draft [Nik] Stauskas and Wiggins,” Brown said. But the ping-pong balls of the draft lottery didn’t go their way, and Philly ended up selecting third, where it nabbed the injured Joel Embiid instead.
  • The fans in Sacramento let James Johnson hear their derision when he made his return to Sleep Train Arena last night, but Johnson is a much different person now than when he departed the Kings back in 2013, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes. He has matured much since then, Smith notes, and is providing the Raptors with a nice spark off the bench this season. “I just think it was tough for me to play here [in Sacramento],” Johnson said. “I won’t put all the onus on Sacramento either. It had a lot to do with me being immature. I was playing bad. I had a bad year that year [2012/13]. I have to own up to it.
  • It is still unknown just when the Knicks can expect Andrea Bargnani to return to action for the team, Marc Berman of The New York Post reports. Head coach Derek Fisher had originally expected Bargnani would be available 10 days ago, but he reinjured himself during his second full practice with the team, notes Berman. Fisher did say that Bargnani was a “big piece to the future,’’ adds Berman.
  • There is no evidence that players who fall in the draft like the CelticsRajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger, who were both selected 21st in their respective drafts, perform better because of the “chip” on their shoulders, Braden Campbell of writes. Campbell cites a statistical analysis performed by Michael Lopez and Noah Davis of as evidence to support this assertion.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Sixers, Granger

With the Celtics struggling and the team in a rebuilding season it is time for head coach Brad Stevens to give rookies James Young and Dwight Powell more playing time, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe opines. Both the players and the franchise would benefit more from seeing what the two can do against NBA competition, rather than letting them spend significant time in the D-League, Washburn adds. “I would say right now, their opportunities have to continue to be taken out of practice,” Stevens said of Young and Powell. “They have to be ready. You never know. You’re one injury away on the perimeter or the forward spot from those guys to be playing. And I think that’s part of the reason why you have so many guys on your roster. It’s why the young guys can’t be surprised when their opportunity comes. You’ve got to be ready.”

Here’s more from the east:

  • As injuries continue to mount for the Sixers, head coach Brett Brown is taking care not to push Nerlens Noel too far since the big man is struggling with a hip pointer that he suffered in practice on Sunday, Dei Lynam of reports. “We hope to not go a step forward and three steps back because the kid is moving in the right direction,” Brown said. “We are going to go overboard making sure his health as we preach, is of number one importance. I expect him to be back soon, but I don’t know what that date is.”
  • After the Sixers‘ brutal season a year ago, which helped garner two top-10 picks in the NBA draft, Brown believed immediate help would be on the horizon, Dan Gelston of The Associated Press writes. But instead, GM Sam Hinkie drafted Joel Embiid, who will likely miss the entire season due to injury, and Dario Saric, who is playing overseas, Gelston adds. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this in Year two,” Brown said. “Nobody really planned on, your draft picks aren’t going to play in Year two.” Brown did say that he doesn’t regret for a minute that he accepted Philly’s head coaching job, notes Gelston.
  • Despite being available and healthy, Danny Granger has not seen much action for the Heat since returning from a strained hamstring, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes. Though he hasn’t called Granger’s number in the team’s last five contests, head coach Erik Spoelstra said the veteran is ahead of where the team thought he would be physically at this point of the season, Winderman notes.

Eastern Notes: Brown, Sixers, Heat, Celtics

The job of Sixers coach Brett Brown, who was brought to Philadelphia because of his specialty in player development, is to be patient, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. With their loss to the Mavs last night, the Sixers own a record of 0-16 this season. Moore believes Joel Embiid is the only player on the roster whom the Sixers could build a contending team around but other players on the roster, such as Tony Wroten, Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, could be productive players on a winning team.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Although the Sixers could help themselves by adding veteran players to mentor their young roster, that might not be a good idea, opines Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey argues that most of the veteran players’ main concern is winning at this point in their careers and without being close to contending for even a playoff spot, they could begin to get restless on a losing team. “That is one of the benefits of having youth,” Brown said. “They are all-in. They come with spirit and energy. They are not deflated easily. And with a senior team, a more veteran team, I would not want that.”
  • The Heat are not maximizing Luol Deng‘s abilities within the team’s offense, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Winderman cites Deng’s improved shot from three-point range as reason to involve him in the offense more frequently. Deng is shooting 40.9% from behind the arc this season, up from his career average of 33.2%.
  • The Celtics admire how the Spurs sustain success and have at least one player, Rajon Rondo, who knows how to maintain that level of play, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of “The plays they make, I’m sure Pops [head coach Gregg Popovich] don’t even have to call those plays,” Rondo said. “Once upon a time we had chemistry like that. Kevin [Garnett], Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and other guys, Perk [Kendrick Perkins], we had been playing together, had four or five training camps together.” Head coach Brad Stevens admitted that the Spurs have some influence on how the current Celtics team plays. “They’ve impacted some of what we do offensively, certainly,” said Stevens, referring to the Celtics playing with great spacing akin to San Antonio. “It’s a fun way to play.  And it’s fun to watch. I don’t think you can ever try and be someone else. You have to be your best you. But you can take tidbits from people.”

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