Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

Sixers Pick Up Options On Three Players

October 31 at 9:57am CDT By Eddie Scarito

FRIDAY, 9:57pm: The moves are official, the team announced via press release. Sixers spokesperson Michael Preston confirms the news via Twitter.

THURSDAY, 7:37pm: The Sixers have picked up the third-year team options for Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams, as well as the fourth-year team option for Tony Wroten, as is shown in the RealGM transactions log. These moves give Philadelphia approximately $13,508,212 in guaranteed salary commitments for the 2015/16 season.

None of these moves come as a surprise since all three players factor heavily into the Sixers’ long term rebuilding plans. The 2015/16 salaries for the three players will be $3,457,800 for Noel; $2,399,040 for Carter-Williams; and $2,179,354 for Wroten.

Carter-Williams won the Rookie of the Year award last season after being selected with the No. 11 overall pick in the draft. He averaged 16.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 6.3 APG. His slash line was .405/.264/.703. There were rumors during the offseason that the team was shopping Carter-Williams, but no deal materialized and he remains the team’s starting point guard. For him to take the next step in his development, Carter-Williams desperately needs to cut down on his 3.5 turnovers per game of a season ago.

The 20-year-old Noel begins his rookie campaign after an injury suffered during his lone year at Kentucky kept him out for the entire 2013/14 season. Extremely athletic and a gifted defender, Noel will need to develop his offensive game if he hopes to fulfill his immense potential.

Originally drafted by the Grizzlies, Wroten is being counted on this season to provide a large portion of Philadelphia’s scoring. In 108 career games, including 17 starts, he has averaged 9.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 2.5 APG. His career shooting percentages are .423/.216/.642.

Minor Moves: Covington, Mekel, Heat, Warriors

October 30 at 12:19pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Robert Covington nearly had a deal with the Sixers this week shortly after the Rockets waived him, but talks broke down over contract length and the 23-year-old forward is expected to sign with the D-League instead, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. Philadelphia offered a four-year arrangement with a “high” amount of guaranteed salary, Charania writes, but Covington apparently passed on that. The sides were unable to forge a deal on a shorter contract, Charania notes. Covington joins K.J. McDaniels, the 32nd pick in this year’s draft who inked with the Sixers for just one year, among those resisting Philly’s efforts to tie up young players on long-term deals. The deluge of players hitting waivers in the past week has led to news around the D-League and international circuits, and we’ll pass along the latest here:

  • Gal Mekel isn’t thinking of heading overseas to play in the wake of the Mavs‘ decision to waive him Wednesday, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com, so he’ll remain free to sign with another NBA team providing he clears waivers.
  • Khem Birch, Larry Drew II, Tyler Johnson and Shawn Jones have agreed to join the Heat‘s D-League affiliate, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Miami is using its ability to reserve the D-League rights to up to four of its preseason cuts to keep Birch, Johnson and Jones out of the D-League draft, but Drew played with the Heat’s D-League affiliate last year, so he wouldn’t have been subject to the draft. That allows the Heat to preserve their ability to retain the D-League rights to one player they waive during the regular season. Andre Dawkins seems a likely candidate for that sort of maneuver, Winderman suggests (on Twitter).
  • Sean Kilpatrick will play for the Warriors D-League affiliate, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, who confirms an earlier report that Aaron Craft will do the same. That means Golden State retained the D-League rights to both after waiving them last week.

And-Ones: Hornets, Celtics, D-League

October 29 at 10:33pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The contracts of Alonzo Gee (Nuggets) and James Ennis (Heat) both became fully guaranteed today, and a partial guarantee of $250K has kicked in for Dewayne Dedmon (Magic), since both Dedmon and Ennis were on their teams’ respective rosters come opening night, and Gee was still on his team’s roster past October 29th, as is shown on our schedule of contract guarantee dates.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Celtics look to improve upon their 25-win season of a year ago, and began their quest at home tonight with a 121-105 victory over the Nets. In his season preview, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com believes Boston’s outlook has improved, and Rajon Rondo will have a strong season as he looks to silence his doubters and maximize his value heading into next summer.
  • In a separate article, Blakely looks at the top five players who changed teams and donned new uniforms this summer. Blakely also examined the five best rookies making their debuts this season, including Elfrid Payton, Jabari Parker, and Marcus Smart.
  • Hornets owner Michael Jordan believes that the addition of Lance Stephenson gives his team a legitimate shot to contend in the Eastern Conference, the Associated Press reports. Jordan especially likes Stephenson’s “fight,” saying, “One of the reasons why I admire his game is he takes on challenges. For us to get any place in the East, we need someone to challenge LeBron. He challenged LeBron.”
  • Former Sixers coach Larry Brown slammed the organization’s rebuilding through “tanking” plan, John N. Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “I hate what’s going on in Philly,” Brown said. “They don’t have a basketball person in the organization. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
  • Malcolm Turner of Wasserman Media Group has been hired as the president of the NBA D-League, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Roger Mason has been hired as the NBPA’s director of player relations, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report tweets. It is unclear if accepting this position would prevent Mason from continuing his playing career. The 34-year-old Mason made 25 appearances for the Heat last season, averaging 3.0 PPG in 10.4 minutes-per-game.

Lakers Notes: Randle, Bryant, Roster

October 29 at 7:59pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Lakers have already suffered some significant blows to their roster with both Steve Nash and Julius Randle being lost for the season with injuries. Even if the franchise is approved for Disabled Player Exceptions, they will still have two of their maximum 15 roster spots occupied by injured personnel. If Los Angeles loses another player to injury the team could apply for a temporary hardship increase that would allow the franchise to carry up to 16 players, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter links). This scenario could help the team maintain its depth in the wake of another player loss, but once one of the injured players was able to return to action, the 15 player max would resume, Pincus notes.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • The only bright side to the Lakers losing Randle for the season is that the team will be in contention for a top-five lottery pick next summer, J.A. Adande of ESPN.com opines. Los Angeles’ 2015 first-rounder is owed to the Suns but is protected for picks one-through-five, notes Adande.
  • The Lakers should take a page out of the Sixers’ playbook and try to hit bottom this season, Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) writes. This includes trying to convince Kobe Bryant to waive his no trade clause and dealing the future Hall-of Famer, Ford opines. Ford lists the Knicks, Nets, Mavs, and Hornets as teams that would potentially be interested in obtaining Bryant.
  • The loss of Randle will hurt the Lakers much more than losing Nash, Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders opines. Los Angeles wasn’t expecting much from Nash, and had Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price on board to make up for any time that Nash would have missed. With Randle, this season was important for his development, and the team was planning to run a large portion of their offense through him, Koutroupis notes.
  • The Lakers and Bryant have faced criticism for the two year, $48.5MM contract extension he signed back in 2013. Hornets owner and former NBA great Michael Jordan defended Bryant for inking the pact, DeAntae Prince of The Sporting News writes. “Can I criticize him for maximizing his opportunity from a financial standpoint? No,” Jordan said. “Does his decision have an effect on how the team will structure certain things? Maybe.”

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Thomas, Outlaw, Melo

October 28 at 7:33pm CDT By Zach Links

Outgoing Raptors executive Tim Leiweke is in talks with Irving Azoff, a confidant of Knicks owner James Dolan, about a deal that would see them have a stake in assets that are currently part of the Madison Square Garden company, reports Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com. MSG, which owns the Knicks, is considering splitting into a pair of companies, as Soshnick details, though Soshnick doesn’t indicate whether there’s a role for Leiweke on the Knicks under consideration. Leiweke, who’s leaving his job with the company that owns the Raptors by the end of June or as soon as a replacement is found, said he doesn’t think the company is close to finding it’s next chief executive.  More from the Atlantic Division..

  • Malcolm Thomas got a fairly substantial contract guarantee of $474K for this season on his four-year, minimum-salary deal with the Sixers, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  Thomas, we learned yesterday, was getting set to play in China before Philly reached out to him over the weekend. The rest of his contract with the Sixers is non-guaranteed, as Pincus shows on the team’s Basketball Insiders salary page.
  • The Knicks received a $1,863,840 trade exception when they traded Travis Outlaw to the Sixers, tweets Pincus. That’s equivalent to the difference between the salaries for Outlaw and Arnett Moultrie, whom the Knicks acquired and immediately waived.
  • Carmelo Anthony is preaching patience when it comes to the Knicks, who had a 37-win season, traded Tyson Chandler, and have a first-year head coach, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.  “It’s a work in progress now. It’s going to be a work in progress until the end of the season,” Anthony said. “We’re not looking for nothing easy, but we know it’s a work in progress. We have a chance to create something here, and we’re excited about it.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Knicks, Thomas

October 27 at 10:00pm CDT By Alex Lee

It’s been a busy Monday in the Atlantic division, with the Knicks and Sixers completing a trade and then promptly cutting both players involved. That wasn’t it for Philly, which added a forward before cutting two others. Meanwhile, the Celtics cut five players to get down to the required roster count of 15. With final rosters set, let’s see what else is going on in the Atlantic:

  • After waiving Casper Ware on Saturday to get their roster down to 15, the Nets now have some flexibility with Jorge Gutierrez, Cory Jefferson and Jerome Jordan, none of whom have deals that become fully guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date in January, tweets Robert Windrem of Nets Daily. With opening-night rosters finalized, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News also points out that the Nets luxury tax bill of around $35MM for this season, as it stands now, pales in comparison to last season’s mammoth $90MM total (via Twitter).
  • Knicks head coach Derek Fisher indicated that Travis Outlaw was suffering from an Achilles injury that hurt his chances of making the team, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Outlaw was traded to Philly earlier today, opening up a roster spot for Travis Wear, who the Knicks initially had planned to cut and send to the D-League, according to Berman.
  • Sixers signee Malcolm Thomas was set to play in China and was ready to leave on Tuesday before Philly reached out to him over the weekend, notes Tom Moore of Calkins Media (via Twitter).
  • Meanwhile, Max Rappaport of Sixers.com points out that the careers of Thomas and Sixers coach Brett Brown intersected in San Antonio in 2012, when Thomas appeared in three games with the Spurs. “He’s got a chance — really his first chance, in my opinion — to [get] minutes and [have] a role. He sees we’ve got a bunch of young guys he’s competing with, and he probably sees a lot more daylight than he may have with Utah, the Spurs, or Chicago,” Brown said.

Sixers Waive Travis Outlaw

October 27 at 8:55pm CDT By Alex Lee

The Sixers have waived Travis Outlaw, the team announced. Philadelphia acquired Outlaw from the Knicks earlier today along with a 2019 second-round pick and the right to swap 2018 second-rounders, all in exchange for Arnett Moultrie. News of Outlaw’s release was expected, as the Sixers needed to trim their roster to 15 by today’s afternoon deadline. The team also confirmed the releases of Marquis Teague and Elliot Williams within the same announcement.

Outlaw’s release is just the latest example of Philly GM Sam Hinkie using his team’s cap space to stockpile future assets, as the Sixers continue to pay no mind to the present. Believe it or not, Moultrie was the longest-tenured player on Philadelphia’s roster. Meanwhile, Outlaw hits free agency at age 30, 11 years after he was drafted in the first round of out high school by the Blazers. He has a career scoring mark of 8.5 points per game, but hasn’t averaged over 20 minutes of playing time since the 2010/11 season with the Nets. He is in line to collect $3MM from the Sixers this season provided he clears waivers.

Sixers Waive Marquis Teague, Elliot Williams

October 27 at 8:31pm CDT By Chuck Myron

8:31pm: The release of Teague and Williams is now official, the team announced.

4:21pm: The Sixers are waiving Marquis Teague and Elliot Williams, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Wojnarowski indicates the moves have already taken place, though the team has made no formal announcement. The Sixers faced a 4:00pm Central deadline to cut ties with at least three players to meet the league’s 15-man regular season roster limit, so it’s likely Teague and Williams are already on waivers. The same is probably true of Travis Outlaw, whom the team was reportedly likely to release just as it traded for him.

Teague had just arrived in Philadelphia via last week’s trade with the Nets. His salary of about $1.12MM is fully guaranteed for this season. He had a team option for about $2.023MM for 2015/16, but that option goes away once he clears waivers. It’s been a quick descent for the 29th pick from 2012, whom the Bulls sent to the Nets via trade last season. He’s averaged 2.3 points in 9.6 minutes per game for his career.

Williams was about to start season two of a four-year non-guaranteed contract, one that he’d signed after missing a year with a torn left Achilles tendon. The 22nd overall pick from 2010 was a rotation player for the Sixers last year, averaging 6.0 PPG in 17.3 MPG, but Philadelphia elected against bringing him back this year, even though the team’s roster is worse than last year’s.

The moves will leave the Sixers with just nine fully guaranteed contracts, plus a small partial guarantee to JaKarr Sampson. The team’s other five players are on non-guaranteed deals, leaving Philadelphia with plenty of flexibility and likely setting up more transactions.

Knicks Trade Travis Outlaw To Sixers

October 27 at 3:07pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:07pm: It’s the Clippers’ 2018 pick that the Sixers would send to the Knicks if they swap second-round draft choices that year, Philadelphia announced.

3:01pm: The trade is official, the Knicks announced (Twitter link). It’s Outlaw to the Sixers and Moultrie to the Knicks. The Sixers get New York’s 2019 second-round selection and the right to swap 2018 second-rounders with the Knicks, too.

2:33pm: The Knicks and Sixers have an agreement that will send Travis Outlaw to Philadelphia, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The Sixers will also receive a future second-round pick as well as the right to swap another second-rounder with New York, according to Stein (Twitter links). Arnett Moultrie goes to New York in the swap, and the Sixers are likely to release Outlaw after the trade becomes official, Stein adds in another tweet.

The Knicks, who’ve been carrying 16 players, had reportedly been poised to release Outlaw. It’s unclear if the plan is to do the same with Moultrie, though Moultrie’s fully guaranteed salary, a little more than $1.136MM, is less than the $3MM that Outlaw is in line for, so the Knicks wouldn’t be on the hook for quite as much dead money if they went that route. New York appears to want to keep rookie undrafted rookie Travis Wear on his nominally guaranteed deal for the 15th and final regular season roster spot. Samuel Dalembert‘s partially guaranteed contract, which the Knicks will almost assuredly keep, and 13 fully guaranteed deals occupy the other 14 spots.

Philadelphia continues a strategy of using its cap space to acquire second-round picks, just as the Sixers did a few days ago in the Marquis Teague trade, last month’s acquisition of Keith Bogans, and numerous other examples since GM Sam Hinkie took control in 2013. Hinkie’s latest move means the Sixers are cutting ties with Moultrie, their longest-tenured player. The Knicks will have until Friday to decide whether to pick up a 2015/16 team option worth more than $2MM on Moultrie if they don’t cut him loose.

Executives from around the league reacted incredulously to the news of the latest Sixers deal, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com, as the team continues to make deals focused on the future rather than the present. Still, Moultrie seemed to have a tenuous grip on a roster spot, at best, suggesting the only cost to Philadelphia is a degree of salary cap flexibility, of which they still have plenty.

Sixers Sign Malcolm Thomas

October 27 at 12:10pm CDT By Cray Allred

MONDAY: 12:10pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

SATURDAY, 9:25pm: The Sixers have agreed to a deal with free agent Malcolm Thomas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. While many signees this late in the preseason have been quickly waived as means of teams securing D-League rights to players that won’t make the regular season NBA roster, Wojnarowski writes that Thomas is assured of a spot on Philadelphia’s opening-night roster.

The terms of the deal are unclear at this time, but I would speculate that it is likely for the minimum and possibly non-guaranteed. Thomas spent time last year with both the Spurs and Jazz, appearing in a total of eight games and slightly upping his 5.9 MPG average for his three-year career. His non-guaranteed deal was shipped to the Cavs, then the Celtics, this summer before Boston waived it.

The move will bump the Sixers’ roster count up to 18, three more than the maximum they can keep for the regular season. The team waived three partially guaranteed contracts earlier today, and have at least seven deals without guaranteed money, not including Thomas’ contract.