Philadelphia 76ers

And-Ones: Faried, Deng, DeRozan

The growing sense around the Nuggets is that the team wants to see if Michael Malone can mentor Kenneth Faried the way he reached DeMarcus Cousins with the Kings, and it seems highly unlikely that Denver will trade the power forward before the start of the season, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat want to hold on to Luol Deng and see how well the team can play, sources close to the organization tell Kyler, but if Miami underwhelms, Kyler believes Miami would put Deng on the block.
  • The Raptors are not entertaining trades for DeMar DeRozan, sources close to the team informed Kyler.
  • The additions that the Clippers made this offseason to bolster their bench have made them the NBA’s most improved team heading into the 2015/16 campaign, opines Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required). Doolittle also calls out the Hornets and Mavericks as teams that have made positive strides this Summer, while listing the Nets, Sixers, and Suns as franchises that have taken a step back this offseason.
  • With the NBA’s salary cap expected to increase dramatically next Summer there are a number of pending free agents who stand to benefit from the windfall, Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) writes. Some under-the-radar players who can expect significant pay increases on their next contracts include Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Hornets), Harrison Barnes (Warriors), Langston Galloway (Knicks), and Jordan Clarkson (Lakers), Pelton opines.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Sixers Likely To Move Carl Landry

The Sixers are looking to move veteran forward Carl Landry, who apparently doesn’t factor into the franchise’s plans for next season, Jake Fischer of SI Now reports (Twitter link). Philadelphia intends to try and trade Landry, and falling short of that, will look to reach a buyout arrangement with the player or waive him outright, Fischer notes.

Landry, 31, is set to earn $6.5MM for each of the next two campaigns, and was acquired by the Sixers as part of the trade that garnered the franchise shooting guard Nik Stauskas. The other veteran big man obtained in that deal, Jason Thompson, was dealt today to the Warriors in exchange for Gerald Wallace.

The veteran forward appeared in 70 contests for the Kings during the 2014/15 season, averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.4 assists in 17.0 minutes per game. Landry’s career numbers through eight NBA seasons are 10.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 0.7 APG, and he owns a slash line of .534/.176/.788.

Warriors, Sixers Swap Thompson, Wallace

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

4:36pm: Philadelphia receives the right to swap the lesser of the 2016 first-round picks coming their way from the Heat and the Thunder for Golden State’s 2016 first-round pick, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

4:05pm: The Warriors have acquired Jason Thompson from the Sixers in exchange for Gerald Wallace, both teams announced via press release. Cash and draft considerations are also going to Philadelphia in the move. It’s a money-saving deal for Golden State, which sends Wallace’s $10,105,855 salary into Philadelphia’s cap space, with Thompson’s $6,908,685 salary going back in return, and with the Warriors poised to pay the luxury tax this season, the move saves the Warriors from tax penalties of as much as two and a half times the difference between their salaries. It also creates a trade exception worth $3,197,170 for Golden State.

“We’re very happy to add Jason to our roster,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. “He has a proven track record in this league and adds considerably to our team’s depth, which was a big key to our success last season and will be moving forward.”

Thompson will ostensibly fill the reserve power forward role that David Lee played last year for the champs, who sent Lee to the Celtics in the deal that brought in Wallace. The 29-year-old Thompson has chiefly been a starter during his seven years in the NBA, all of which came with Sacramento before the trade earlier this month that sent him to Philly, but he probably won’t mind a reduced role on a team with a legitimate shot to win another title. Thompson has never appeared in a playoff game.

It was somewhat surprising when reports emerged following Golden State’s agreement on the Lee trade that the Warriors intended to keep Wallace rather than release him and use the stretch provision to spread his salary and lower their tax bill. Thus, it makes sense to see them make another deal that sends Wallace away and takes a chunk out of their team salary. The Warriors were scheduled to pay Lee $15,493,680 this coming season, so they’ve reduced their obligation by more than 50% with the pair of trades. The estimated tax bill for the Warriors drops from $24MM to $16MM with today’s trade, according to former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link). It had been $38.1MM before the Lee trade, Marks adds. Lee signed his deal prior to the adoption of the current collective bargaining agreement, so he’s ineligible for the stretch provision.

Thompson’s contract runs through 2016/17 with $2.6MM partially guaranteed on a salary of $7,010,378 that season, Marks points out (Twitter link). That salary becomes fully guaranteed if he doesn’t hit waivers by June 26th, 2016, as Marks also notes.

The Sixers receive yet more draft assets and draw closer to the $63MM salary floor. They held more than $20MM in cap flexibility prior to the trade, and they still have about $17.5MM they can spend, not counting their non-guaranteed deals, giving them flexibility to absorb other contracts via trade. They could also float a bloated offer sheet to Norris Cole, in whom they reportedly have interest, or to Tristan Thompson. Philadelphia clears salary from its 2016/17 books, since Wallace is on an expiring contract.

Who do you think got the better end of this trade? Leave a comment to weigh in.

Sixers, J.P. Tokoto In Talks About Camp Deal

2:55pm: Tokoto has made it clear he has no intention of signing overseas or in the D-League, Charania writes in a full story, a further break with previous reports.

1:13pm: The Sixers and No. 58 overall pick J.P. Tokoto are negotiating toward a deal that would bring him to training camp, and the shooting guard from North Carolina plans to sign with Philadelphia, a league source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). That’s a surprising development, since all indications had been that he would sign overseas or in the D-League.

Tokoto let the Sixers know he was open to becoming a draft-and-stash pick before Philadelphia selected him, as Jake Fischer of SI Now reported shortly after the draft, though it seemed he would have a chance to earn his way to a roster spot with a strong showing in summer league. The former North Carolina mainstay wasn’t particularly impressive this month, missing all 10 of his three-point attempts and averaging just 5.7 points in 23.1 minutes per game across seven appearances with Philadelphia’s summer league squad. Still, he never averaged double-figure points in college, relying instead on elite defense, as Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider profile suggests. Ford ranked him the 52nd-best prospect in the draft, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had him even higher, at No. 46. Standing 6’6″, Tokoto rebounds well, having pulled down 5.6 boards in 28.9 minutes per game for the Tar Heels this past season.

Philadelphia only has 12 fully guaranteed salaries for the coming season, counting the freshly signed Richaun Holmes, the team’s other second-round pick this year. The Sixers have contracts or reported deals with five others that include no more than partially guaranteed money, so the addition of Tokoto would give the team 18 players, two shy of the offseason roster limit.

Do you think the Sixers should have Tokoto on the roster this year, or wait until next season? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sixers Sign Richaun Holmes

FRIDAY, 12:02pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.

6:03pm: The total value of the deal is about $4.2MM, as Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops hears (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 5:54pm: The contract will run four years, with a team option on the final season, Fischer tweets. The first two seasons are guaranteed for a total of $2.1MM, according to Fischer.

WEDNESDAY, 1:44pm: The Sixers have agreed to a deal with 37th overall pick Richaun Holmes, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The power forward from Bowling Green will see a “significant” amount of guaranteed money over the next two seasons, a league source tells Jake Fischer of SI Now (Twitter link). It’s unclear just how much he’s getting, but the deal will probably be similar to the four-year contract for more than $4MM that No. 36 pick Rakeem Christmas recently signed with the Pacers.

The 21-year-old, who’ll turn 22 in October, was a late bloomer who caught the eye of scouts out of the Mid-American Conference. He didn’t put up particularly eye-popping numbers this past season, averaging 14.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game, aside from his 41.9% three-point shooting, an especially valuable asset given his 6’10” height. Holmes spoke about the development of his shot and more in an April interview with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors. At that point, the Keith Kreiter client seemed like a late second-rounder, but he climbed into the top end of the round and ultimately didn’t seem like a reach, with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranking him the 34th-best prospect in his final listings for this season while Chad Ford of ESPN.com pegged him 44th.

Holmes is one of three 2015 draftees to which the Sixers hold the rights, including No. 3 pick Jahlil Okafor and J.P. Tokoto, the 58th selection. Philadelphia avoids the scenario it was in with K.J. McDaniels, last year’s No. 32 overall pick, who remained unsigned right up until the end of training camp as he balked at a long-term deal. McDaniels instead penned a one-year, non-guaranteed tender for the minimum-salary, helping hasten his way off the Sixers at this year’s trade deadline and into a three-year, $10MM deal with the Rockets this summer.

What do you think of the chances that Holmes turns into a rotation-caliber player in the NBA? Leave a comment to give us your thoughts.

Atlantic Notes: Biyombo, Nets, Jones, Ledo

A relationship that goes back a while and a shared cultural heritage with GM Masai Ujiri paved the way for Bismack Biyombo to accept an offer from the Raptors after Ujiri called him three minutes into the free agent negotiating period, as Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun details. Both Biyombo and Ujiri are natives of Africa. Ujiri is excited about the center he signed using the room exception, citing Biyombo’s passion for the game, offensive rebounding, shot blocking, defense, physicality and more, Wolstat relays. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets insiders tell NetsDaily that the team would be OK with paying a small amount of luxury tax, but one source says it’ll be a long time before Brooklyn becomes a taxpayer again, if it ever does. The guaranteed salaries for the Nets this season total less than the $84.74MM tax threshold, though taxes are based on the roster as of the final day of the regular season.
  • The Nets had long preferred to rid themselves of Deron Williams instead of Joe Johnson, in part because of Johnson’s veteran presence and knack for scoring, as NetsDaily examines in a separate piece, hearing from sources who suggest Williams’ departure will ease Johnson’s mind, since they didn’t get along.
  • It’s not certain that Perry Jones III will be on the Celtics roster come opening night, as the team has 17 fully guaranteed contracts, but Boston intends to give the former 28th overall pick every opportunity to stick, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com“With OKC, there hasn’t been as much of an opportunity for him to play as much as he would like as a youngster on a team trying to compete for a championship,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said earlier this week. “But [he is] very athletic, a different type of player than we have in the frontcourt right now with his athleticism and length.”
  • The Knicks front office was higher on Ricky Ledo than the coaching staff was, sources indicated to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The team waived Ledo on Thursday rather than guarantee a portion of his salary.
  • It’s been nearly three weeks since the Sixers said Joel Embiid would have surgery on his foot within seven to 10 days, and the team’s silence in that time raises no shortage of questions, as Tom Moore of Calkins Media examines.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, 76ers, Raptors

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has put together an interesting roster and it’s now up to head coach Brad Stevens to figure out who fits where, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes.  At this point, Washburn writes that a starting five could be comprised of Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, and David Lee, though that leaves Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Isaiah Thomas on the outside, not to mention the likes of Evan Turner, Jonas Jerebko, and Tyler Zeller.  While Stevens attempts to figure out that puzzle, here’s a look at more items out of the Atlantic Division..

  • All signs continue to point to No. 58 overall pick J.P. Tokoto remaining unsigned this season, according to Jake Fischer of SI Now (Twitter link). Tokoto let the Sixers know he was open to playing in the D-League or overseas before Philadelphia drafted him, as Fischer previously reported. Fischer added at that point that Tokoto would have a chance to impress the team during summer league and claim a roster spot anyway, but with summer league in the books, the chances of that happening are apparently slim.
  • Former Nets exec Bobby Marks (Twitter links) wouldn’t be surprised if Richaun Holmes‘ contract with the Sixers is similar to what Jerami Grant received last year.  Grant inked a four-year deal with Philly in which the first two years were guaranteed and the last two were non-guaranteed.  Marks gives the Sixers credit for controlling the process for second-round picks and he says that the player is somewhat at the mercy of the team in these situations.
  • The Raptors announced that they have hired Jerry Stackhouse, Rex Kalamian, and Andy Greer as assistant coaches.  The hiring of the trio completes head coach Dwane Casey‘s staff.  Stackhouse, who played 18 years in the league, is coaching for the first time in the NBA.
  • Earlier today we rounded up more news out of the Atlantic.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Latest On Norris Cole

Norris Cole sees the prospect of signing his qualifying offer of more than $3.037MM from the Pelicans as a viable option, a league source tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops, who writes amid a roundup on the top remaining free agents. The Sixers have interest, as Scotto reported two weeks ago, but it’s unclear how far that interest extends, as Scotto writes in his latest piece.

The Pelicans are apparently only willing to go so far themselves, so it’s not a shock that Cole would consider the chance to take the one-year qualifying offer and hit unrestricted free agency next summer, when the cap is set to surge to a projected $89MM. The market for the Rich Paul client has seemed cool this summer compared to the weeks leading up to the February trade deadline, when Wizards, Thunder, Bucks and Cavs all reportedly had interest before the Pelicans acquired him from the Heat in the three-team Goran Dragic trade.

Anthony Davis said Monday that he hopes Cole is back with the Pelicans, as John Reid of The Times Picayune notes (Twitter link). New Orleans let the deadline for teams to unilaterally withdraw qualifying offers pass last week, a signal that the Pelicans maintain at least some level of interest, and indeed, Reid has consistently heard that’s the case. The Pelicans have been carrying 13 deals and are well below the $84.74MM tax threshold, so they have flexibility. Another key date looms Saturday, when the minimum salary for Toney Douglas would go from non-guaranteed to fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through that day.

Do you think Cole would be wise to take the qualifying offer? Leave a comment to let us know.

And-Ones: Miller, Haywood, Hammon

Mike Miller landing with the Thunder seems like an unlikely outcome, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman writes. Miller was reportedly traded from the Cavs to the Blazers and is expected to be released. Joining the Thunder would be an interesting move because Miller played under new Thunder coach Billy Donovan at Florida between 1998-2000, as Slater points out, and the two are very close friends, Slater adds. However, Miller, 35, who is coming off his worst season, reportedly wanted out from Cleveland because he wants more playing time and that would be hard to find with the Thunder, Slater adds. The team also won’t have a spot on the roster for him, Slater notes.

  • The Sixers discussed trading for Brendan Haywood with the Cavs before the big man was reportedly dealt to the Blazers, reports SI.com’s Jake Fischer, who cites a source (on Twitter).
  • Spurs assistant Becky Hammon has gained traction as a potentially serious head-coaching candidate, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes after several conversations with league executives. More importantly, from Berger’s perspective, the culture around the league toward a female head coach has changed drastically. One executive from the Eastern Conference told Berger that Hammon “would be high on my list.” Another said, “Why not? She has the qualities necessary, and with an organization’s backing, she could do it. She’s obviously learned under the best.”
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak wanted to meet with Nick Young to tell Young not to consider the signing of Lou Williams a slap in the face, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports (on Twitter). The Kupchak and Young met recently and afterward Young, who has been the subject of trade rumors this summer, said he felt confident he would remain with the team.

Eastern Notes: Irving, Anthony, Embiid, Raptors

The CavaliersKyrie Irving is being cautious about his return to basketball after fracturing his left kneecap in the NBA Finals, writes Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group. Irving had surgery the day after suffering the injury in Game 1, and the team estimated his recovery time at three to four months. That should have him ready for the start of training camp in late September, but the star guard isn’t focused on that timetable. “I’m honestly not putting a date on anything,” Irving said. “People are going to put a date regardless. I’m just continuing to be on the journey I’ve been on and that’s continuing to get better every single day and rehabbing my leg.” Irving said he expects the Cavaliers to be even better next season after adding veterans Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson through free agency.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Knicks have given their approval for Carmelo Anthony to attend a USA Basketball minicamp next month in Las Vegas, according to Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News. It’s the latest indication that Anthony will be healthy in time for training camp after February’s surgery on a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. The August 11th-13th event will bring together players who have participated in the USA Basketball system. Non-contact workouts are planned with an informal all-star game capping off the proceedings. Anthony, who is still recuperating from the surgery, is not expected to participate in all the events.
  • If Joel Embiid had slipped to the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA draft, there is a good chance the Celtics would have taken him, reports Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald“[The Celtics] did have the go-ahead from their medical staff to make that pick,” said an unidentified source. “They weren’t going to say no to him.” The Sixers recently announced that Embiid will undergo another surgery on his right foot and probably miss a second consecutive season.
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star compares the Raptors‘ philosophy under GM Masai Ujiri to the team’s under former GM Brian Colangelo in the writer’s latest mailbag. Smith believe the main difference is that the current regime tends have more patience with the team and lets things develop longer.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

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