Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

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Eastern Notes: Skiles, Wizards, Varejao

May 29 at 7:33pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The big news of the day is the Magic‘s hiring of Scott Skiles as the team’s new head coach. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports previously reported that Skiles’ arrangement with the team was for four years, and Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link) adds that the fourth year (2018/19) is a team option. Robbins also tweets that Skiles said he would like to keep former interim coach James Borrego on his coaching staff.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Wizards have workouts scheduled for this Monday with Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Darian Hooker (New York Institute of Technology), Cady Lalanne (UMass), Stefan Nastic (Stanford), Juwan Staten (West Virginia), and Delon Wright (Utah), Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports (via Twitter).
  • Cavs big man Anderson Varejao, who has been out of action since suffering a torn left Achilles tendon, could be activated for the NBA Finals if something were to “go bad” for Cleveland, Brian Windhorst of tweets.
  • Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t deserve the shots he took on the way out the door from the franchise, but he did deserve to be fired because of the team’s lack of offensive creativity and production despite having a potent roster and rotation, Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports opines.
  • Working out for the Sixers today were T.J. McConnell (Arizona), Chasson Randle (Stanford), Jarvis Threatt (Delaware), K.T. Harrell (Auburn), and Gabe Olaseni (Iowa), Jake Fischer of relays (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Vaughn, Randle, Heat, Sixers

May 29 at 1:14pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The draft is less than four weeks away, and Hoops Rumors has you covered. Check out our full log of draft news right here. Our Eddie Scarito runs down the first round in his Mock Draft, and we dive deeper into key figures with our Prospect Profile series. We’ve gained insight from a wide array of prospects through their interviews with our Zach Links, and, as always, we’ll pass along the latest news, including these reports on team workouts:

  • UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn will work out Monday for the Lakers and will soon do so with the Warriors, Suns and Spurs, tweets Adam Zagoria of
  • Chasson Randle auditioned for the Thunder and also plans to show off for the Sixers, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). The Celtics have already worked out the two-guard from Stanford, as we noted earlier.
  • Shooting guards K.T. Harrell of Auburn and Josh Richardson of Tennessee worked out Thursday for the Heat, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears.
  • The Sixers are taking a look today at Delaware State big man Kendall Gray, sources told Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (on Twitter), and they’re doing the same with Arizona point guard T.J. McConnellKeith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
  • Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas is working out for the Spurs today and already got a look from the Mavericks, Pompey reveals in a separate piece.

Eastern Notes: Crowder, Hezonja, Pacers

May 27 at 8:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Celtics forward Jae Crowder is making “great strides” recovering from his left knee sprain injury suffered last month and has begun to do some workout-related activities, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes. Crowder can become a restricted free agent this summer if Boston tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,181,34. The team has already indicated that it plans to re-sign Crowder, who is the only player remaining on Boston’s roster from the Rajon Rondo trade.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Croatian swingman Mario Hezonja would be a fit for the Pistons with the No. 8 pick, but the same fiery attitude that fuels his play won’t fly in Detroit if it manifests in on-court tongue-lashings of teammates, as it has in past, writes Terry Foster of The Detroit News.
  • The Pacers have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Andrew Harrison, Terran Petteway, Terry Rozier, J.P. Tokoto, Rashad Vaughn, and Dez Wells, the team announced.
  • The Lakers have the potential to throw a wrench in the Sixers‘ draft plans if Los Angeles opts to select D’Angelo Russell instead of a big man with the No. 2 overall pick, as is widely expected, John Gonzalez of writes. Sixers GM Sam Hinkie isn’t concerned, noting how in flux the NBA Draft rumors can be, Gonzalez adds. “Let’s see how things go,” Hinkie said. “Not only us, but I suspect the Lakers and the Timberwolves and the Knicks, they will do what we all do — spend a lot of time trying to analyze the players that are likely to be available to them. That time may yield different results than what the prognosticators are saying so far.
  • The Sixers held workouts today for Amere May Jr., Jherrod Stiggers, Kyle Anderson and Alpha Kaba, Jake Fischer of tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Mudiay, Bass, Daniels

May 27 at 6:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

With the Knicks owning the No. 4 overall pick this June, numerous mock drafts have the franchise slated to select Emmanuel Mudiay at that slot. Even though New York appears intent on continuing to implement the triangle offense, Mudiay’s presence could make the team run more pick-and-roll plays, which is something the young guard excels at,’s Fran Fraschilla opines. “You know that the organization is married to the triangle, but we also know that when the clock went low in Chicago and Los Angeles they gave the ball to Michael [Jordan] and Kobe Bryant and got out of the way. So if there are ways to use Mudiay in isolation and pick-and-roll, it would be to his benefit because it’s one of his strengths,” Fraschilla said. “It would have to be some adjustment on the part of the coaching staff to put him in more pick-and-roll.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Unrestricted free agent Brandon Bass said he is open to returning to the Celtics, but wants to go to a team that will make him feel wanted, A. Sherrod Blakely of tweets.
  • Raptors 2014 second-rounder DeAndre Daniels has been working out in Toronto and could be in the mix for one of the final roster spots next season, Josh Lewenberg of notes (via Twitter). Daniels spent this past season playing in Australia.
  • The Sixers have a workout scheduled for Thursday with former La Salle forward Jerrell Wright, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Twitter link).
  • Teams have begun to inquire about the availability of Nets big man Mason Plumlee, Marc Stein of tweets. Brooklyn GM Billy King had said earlier this month that the team looked into the idea of trading every player on the roster at some point this past season, including Plumlee.
  • The Celtics held workouts today for David Kravish, Bobby Portis, Jordan Mickey, Marcus Thornton, Rakeem Christmas, and Shannon Scott, Chris Forsberg of relays (Twitter link).

Eastern Notes: Heat, Hezonja, Celtics

May 26 at 8:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

With the Heat‘s need to add an outside shooter in this year’s NBA Draft, Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker certainly fits the bill, and could be available when the team selects at No. 10 overall, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. Team president Pat Riley is also looking to emulate the versatility of the Warriors’ backcourt, Winderman adds. “If you watch Golden State,” Riley said, “they don’t have a plethora of 3-point shooters beyond Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, they’re everything. They’re the most complete backcourt in the league. Not only are they the ballhandlers, catch-and-shoot players, the playmakers, but they’re both the main long-distance weapon for that team.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Croatian swingman Mario Hezonja could fit the bill as the outside threat that the Pistons need, Brendan Savage of writes. “He’s got a little swagger to him,” a Southeastern Division executive said of Hezonja. “I think those Euro kids have to have some of that coming over here. He’s awfully gifted. He can guard okay, and he’s a capable shooter and a good passer. He checks off a lot of boxes that you’re looking for in a wing. He allows how he’s playing on the offensive end to determine how much effort he’s going to give you defensively. But he’s big. Agile for his size. He has a little nastiness to him that will serve him well if he decides to compete at the defensive end.
  • Their wealth of picks in the 2015 draft is making it easy for the Celtics to secure players for individual workouts, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes. “These guys [draft prospects] can’t work out for all 30 teams,Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel, told Blakely. “So agents try to limit it to your range. So that’s probably the biggest advantage in our wide net is we have a pick for every range, almost. We’re able to get more guys in which is even more important than what we’re trying to get.
  • The Sixers held workouts today for Trevor Lacey, Wesley Saunders, Rakeem Christmas, David Laury, and Travis Trice, Jake Fischer of tweets.

Draft Notes: Oubre, Porzingis, Greene

May 26 at 8:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

Hoops Rumors has a full log of 2015 draft news that you can see anytime at the link here. You can also set that page up as an RSS feed to receive constant updates. All you’d need to do would be to add /feed to the url, like so: Here’s more on the draft:

  • Kelly Oubre had a disappointing freshman season at Kansas, but he’s still aiming high and is attempting to dispel misconceptions about his work ethic, as Moke Hamilton details for Basketball Insiders. Oubre, in speaking to Hamilton, added the Nuggets, Raptors and Knicks to the list of teams known to have interviewed him at the combine. “Some people say I’m lazy and some people say that I don’t work hard all the time,” Oubre said. “That’s not true. This year at Kansas I may have come off lazy because I really didn’t understand some of things that I was doing, so it kind of caused me to slow down.”
  • Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis joins Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay in the top five of Derek Bodner’s mock draft for USA Today.
  • St. John’s guard Phil Greene is set to work out this week for the Sixers, Clippers and Nets, sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Greene and Steve Lavin, his college coach, recently spoke with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors.
  • Pat Connaughton has fought the perception that he doesn’t have elite athleticism, and his 44-inch vertical leap at the combine, the second highest of all time at the event, helped move the Notre Dame shooting guard farther onto the draft radar. Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star has the details.

Q&A With Lottery Hopeful Jerian Grant

May 24 at 3:03pm CDT By Zach Links

Throughout the spring and summer, Hoops Rumors will be talking with some of the most intriguing prospects in the 2015 NBA Draft. Today, the Hoops Rumors Draft Prospect Q&A series continues with Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant, whom Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranks No. 14 in this year’s class and Chad Ford of rates 17th.

A team in need of a playmaking point guard would do very well to wind up with Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant.  Blessed with tremendous size for the position, the 6’5″ athlete is a tremendous passer with exceptional ball handling skills.  Grant also offers a level of maturity that the younger guards in this year’s class might not possess right out of the gate.  Through five years with the Fighting Irish, Grant has developed on and off the court, blossoming into a high-upside NBA prospect.  Last week, Grant took time out of his busy schedule to chat with Hoops Rumors about his strengths, where he might wind up getting drafted, and much more.

Zach Links: Your older brother, 76ers forward Jerami Grant, went through the draft process last year. What kind of advice has he given you?

Jerian Grant: Just do what you do.  Don’t go out there trying to do things that you’re not supposed to be doing.  They already know that you can play the game.  Just go out there and reinforce what you do best. Jerian Grant (vertical)

ZL: What would it mean for you to play alongside him at the next level?

JG: It’d be great. We got to play together a bit when we were younger.  Both of our games have developed so much, so I think that we can be a dynamic duo together.

ZL: What teams have you worked out for so far?

JG: Just the Pacers on Monday [May 18th].

ZL: What team workouts do you have coming up?

JG: I have one scheduled with the Hornets on June 8th but that’s it for now.

ZL: You’ve been on the NBA radar for some time now and it seems like you could have gone pro earlier if you wanted to. Why was it important for you to stay in school and graduate?

JG: A few things, one is that I wanted to graduate.  Also, I wanted to come back and take on more of a leadership role and I did that too.  In the previous years I was at Notre Dame, I felt like I was one of the better players on the team but maybe not the No. 1 leader.  As a point guard that’s a role you want to fill and I’m glad I got to do that last season.

ZL: You took a seismic leap forward in your senior year.  What do you attribute that to?

JG: I think stepping into a leadership role really helped make me a more rounded player.  I practiced even harder than before, I worked even harder than before, and I was more vocal.

ZL: Thanks to redshirting in your freshman year, you spent five total years in school. Do you think that allowed you to gain some additional maturity on and off the court as you look ahead to the NBA?

JG: Absolutely. i’ve been through a lot over those five years, I’m definitely seasoned.  Now I know that I can go into the NBA and help right away.  It’s not gonna take two or three years for me to acclimate myself.

ZL: You had a ton of memorable moments at Notre Dame, including leading your team to an Elite Eight appearance this past season. If you had to pick your favorite game or one highlight from your career at Notre Dame, what would it be?

JG: I think just winning the ACC championship.  We went down there to Carolina and to beat Duke and Carolina to win the ACC championship – the first conference championship for our school – it meant so much.

ZL: At 6’5″, what kind of things can you do on the court that smaller point guards typically can’t?

JG: I think my vision is definitely helped by my height.  I can see over defenses and make better passes on certain players.  Smaller guys can’t do it because they don’t have the length.  My vision and my playmaking ability at 6’5″ is that much better because of my height.

ZL: What’s the ideal kind of offense for you to thrive in at the NBA level?

JG: It’s tough to say.  I definitely like to get up and down the court, I make a lot of plays there.  But, I think my strong suit is in the ball stance in the half court.

ZL: What specific areas of your game do you feel like you want to improve on most?

JG: Being able to knock down shots consistently, that’ll go a long way for me.  Being able to spot up and nail those shots. I also want to develop different types of one-on-one moves.  I used the step back a lot in college, but I want to have a wider variety of ways to attack the defense.

ZL: Where have you been working out since the end of the season?

JG: I’m back home in Maryland, working with my old teammate Victor Oladipo and my brother Jerami.  It’s real competitive.

ZL: What led you to choose IAM Sports to represent you?

JG: Victor is my best friend and he uses the same agency.  I met with them and felt like it was the right place for me.  I asked about them, Victor told me all about them and he only had positive things to say.  There are only like seven players in the agency, so it has a family feel and they give every client a ton of attention.

ZL: Do you have an idea as to where you’ll be drafted? What’s your floor and what’s your ceiling?

JG: My agent and I have been hearing anywhere from No. 8 to No. 20, anywhere around that range.  They don’t see me going past No. 22 and they say the ceiling is around No. 8 or 9.  It’s a wide range right now.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Young, Nets, Celtics

May 24 at 1:58pm CDT By Chris Crouse

The Sixers hold the third overall pick in this year’s draft and the team will select the player that they believe will be the best player long-term rather than the player who’s more NBA ready now, Tom Moore of Calkins Media writes.

“We’ll spend all the available time between now and then to try to gain all the information we can to make good decisions,” GM Sam Hinkie said. “By design, we’ll have to make a decision at the end of June. I think it’s really a mistake to make one sometimes much, much earlier.”  

Many executives believe the Sixers will take D’Angelo Russell, but selecting Emmanuel Mudiay remains a possibility due to his potential. Moore wonders what the team will do if either Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns fall to the third pick. He believes the team would keep Towns, but it would look to trade Okafor, potentially to the Knicks for their fourth overall pick and an additional asset. New York cannot trade a first round pick until 2018, but that might work for Hinkie, who appears to be one of the most patient executives in the league.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Joseph Young will work out for the NetsRobert Windrem of NetsDaily writes. Chad Ford of ranks the Oregon product as the 40th best prospect, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranks him as the 53rd. Brooklyn holds the No. 29 and No. 41 picks in this year’s draft.
  • The Celtics need to improve their talents and cannot afford to pass on free agents this summer, Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe opines (Video link). MacMullan concedes that a top target, such as LaMarcus Aldridge, could be difficult to obtain, but even if that is the case, the team needs to add players from the next tier of free agents. She suggests Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris as potential targets. DeMarre Carroll could be another option, as Boston reportedly has interest in the forward. The Celtics have slightly more than $40.4MM in guaranteed salary on the books for the 2015/16 against a projected $67.1MM salary cap. The team could sign a few mid-tier free agents in order to improve on their 40-win campaign.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Sullinger, Hollins

May 23 at 9:27pm CDT By Arthur Hill

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie may exceed the 75 players he worked out last year, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Philadelphia had already talked to more than a dozen players before Tuesday’s lottery, which saw the team land the third overall pick. If Hinkie targets a certain player — Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell for instance — the front office will contact the player’s high school and college coaches, along with rival college coaches and players. Then comes a workout, followed by an interview process that can last for several hours. “We’ll spend all the available time between now and then to try to gain all the information we can to make good decisions,” Hinkie said. “By design, we’ll have to make a decision at the end of June. I think it’s really a mistake to make one sometimes much, much earlier.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers will likely pursue the best player — not the best fit — with their first-round selection, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Loaded with big men but in need of backcourt help, the Sixers probably won’t have a tough decision if Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor are the first two players selected. However, if the Lakers make a surprise decision with the second pick, Philadelphia could face a choice between a much-needed guard and a suddenly available big man. Pompey notes that Joel Embiid missed his entire rookie year due to injury and Nerlens Noel enjoyed success at center, where he won’t play once Embiid returns.
  •  The CelticsJared Sullinger is eligible for an extension this summer, but Chris Forsberg of writes that serious contract talks are more likely to happen when he becomes a restricted free agent in 2016. Sullinger, who will make $2.3MM next season, is trying to meet Boston’s front office challenge to get in better shape. “I think it’s just, they want me to go one step further,” he said. “I think that’s what it is — one step further. That’s pretty much what I’m doing [this offseason], every day at Ohio State.”
  • The Nets‘ need for stability at coach should work in favor of Lionel Hollins, writes Daniel LoGiudice of LoGiudice gives Hollins a C grade for his first season behind Brooklyn’s bench, saying the coach will need to fix his rotations and rely more on analytics to succeed long-term.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Lopez, Mudiay

May 23 at 4:15pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The next logical step in the Sixers‘ rebuilding plan would be to begin adding high-value free agents to the team’s cache of draft picks and role-players, but that phase could still be a ways off, Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Ford also opines that any expectation that Philly will contend for anything special in the next two seasons is probably overly optimistic. “There are things you can look at on our roster and assume to be solidified. Our overall roster churn in terms of minutes was much less this year than last year. Maybe it will be less next year as opposed to this year. We’re not really sure,” GM Sam Hinkie said.

Here’s more out of the NBA’s Atlantic Division:

  • Hinkie also acknowledged the frustrations voiced by fans of the team as being justified, Ford adds. “Our fans ought to demand some change. They ought to demand that we be looking [around] and changing,” Hinkie said. “I don’t think the Warriors fans should demand a whole lot of change. I think people would be really upset if they changed the top set of those players. But I think we should always be looking. People tease us about the players who are here two weeks or a month, but then there’s Robert Covington who’s here all year . . . and is an NBA rotation player. If those players we bring in have a 25% chance of being a rotation player, you ought to expect it takes four of them to find one.”
  • Numerous mock drafts, including my own, have the Knicks selecting Emmanuel Mudiay with the No. 4 overall pick, a development that would sit well with the young guard, Roderick Boone of Newsday writes. Speaking about playing alongside Carmelo Anthony, Mudiay said, “I would love to, but I don’t know where I’m going to end up. He’s a superstar in this league and somebody that knows the game in and out, so he would definitely give me some good advice if I was to go there.
  • The Nets are still waiting on Brook Lopez‘s decision regarding his player option worth $16,744,218 for next season. Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily took a look back at Lopez’s 2014/15 campaign where he averaged 17.2 points and 7.4 rebounds, and was the subject of numerous trade rumors.