Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

Poll: Weigh In On Sixers’ Rebuild

August 27 at 11:00pm CDT By Alex Lee

As our Chuck Myron noted this morning, the Sixers have been a hub of activity over the past few days. From their involvement in the Kevin Love blockbuster, to the Hasheem Thabeet deal, to their agreement with injured rookie center Joel Embiid, the positioning that GM Sam Hinkie and company accomplished has put them in a unique spot from a salary cap flexibility standpoint. Philly seems to have their hands in everything and, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders pointed out earlier tonight, we shouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Whether they’re dumping veterans, hoarding future draft picks or using their current ones on players unlikely to help them now, it’s obvious the Sixers have no intention of competing in the immediate future. Hinkie has the luxury of building his team with ownership’s ultimate confidence, or at least he’s operated as such. However, as careful as he’s been about tipping his hand since arriving in Philly, Hinkie did concede earlier today that trading Thaddeus Young was difficult, perhaps implying that he’s not as narrowly focused on asset collection as it may seem.

The Sixers’ methods are, if nothing else, polarizing in NBA circles. Basketball purists may look down upon what they perceive as tanking while more progressive-minded fans may see a forward-thinking GM taking advantage of a league loophole. So what do you think? A month ago, Hoops Rumors readers thought the Sixers rebuild would pay off before that of the Jazz or Magic, implying that there’s a contingent of fans out there that believe in what Hinkie and the Sixers are doing. What about the rest of you? As always, feel free to weigh in via the comments section.

Trade Details: Love, Thabeet, Sefolosha, Dudley

August 27 at 9:41pm CDT By Alex Lee

Here is the latest on a handful of recent trades from cap guru Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and Basketball Insiders:

  • Pincus reports that the Wolves received a $6.3MM trade exception in the Kevin Love deal, which is the difference between the salaries of Love and Thaddeus Young ($6,308,194 to be exact). It was originally thought to be worth $4,644,503 — the difference between Love’s salary and the combined salaries of Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — but Pincus indicates that, for Minnesota’s purposes, Love was traded for Young while Wiggins and Bennett were traded for Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved (Twitter links).
  • The Thunder have sent $100K along with Hasheem Thabeet to the Sixers in exchange for a top-55 protected second round draft pick, according to Pincus, who confirms that the deal will award Oklahoma City a $1.25MM trade exception. With Thabeet likely to be cut and Philly nearly certain not to finish as a top-five team next season, the Thunder essentially paid $100K for a $1.25MM trade exception that they’ll hold until August 26th, 2015 (Twitter links here).
  • Pincus reminds us that the Thunder also pulled off a similar maneuver when they dealt Thabo Sefolosha to the Hawks last month. In that deal, Oklahoma City sent $550K to Atlanta which netted them a trade exception worth $4.15MM. (Twitter links).
  • The Sixers are a likely candidate to take on salary this season via their cap room with cash and draft picks as compensation, Pincus believes. Each team is permitted to send out and receive up to $3.3MM in cash per season, so Philly can still receive up to $3.2MM (Twitter links here).
  • The 2017 first-round pick headed from the Clippers to the Bucks in the Jared Dudley deal is lottery protected through 2019, at which time it will become two second-round picks, one for 2020 and the other for 2021, Pincus reports. Of course, as Pincus points out, the Clippers are likely to be a playoff team for the foreseeable future so the pick should be with Milwaukee come 2017 (Twitter links).
  • While both deals were officially announced by at least one of the participating teams, Pincus tweets that Dudley still has to pass a physical to go to the Bucks while Thabeet is not required to do so to head to the Sixers.

And-Ones: Lakers, Hornets, CDR, Young, Mavs

August 27 at 8:10pm CDT By Alex Lee

Michael Beasley‘s second audition with the Lakers was part of a larger free agent workout today, writes Sam Amick of USA Today, who lists Dexter Pittman, Greg Stiemsma, Daniel Orton, Bobby Brown, Toney Douglas, Ben Hansbrough and Malcolm Lee as the other participants. As Amick points out, GM Mitch Kupchak has two roster spots to play with going into the 2014/15 season.

Here is what else is happening around the league on Wednesday evening:

And-Ones: James Jones, Sterling, Young

August 27 at 5:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Wolves haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years, leaving owner Glen Taylor to blame as the constant amid a changing cast of star players, coaches and executives, argues Tom Ziller of SB Nation. Taylor’s latest salvos, aimed at Kevin Love, reflect poorly upon him, too, Ziller believes. Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat and James Jones had mutual interest in a new deal this summer and they spoke about the possibility before he chose to sign with the Cavs instead, as he tells Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Jones called his departure from Miami “the toughest professional decision I’ve had to make,” and while he previously cited a desire for more playing time as the reason why he left, he says to Winderman that he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward coach Erik Spoelstra.
  • Donald Sterling failed to petition the California Supreme Court by Monday’s deadline for review of a lower court’s decision to reject Sterling’s earlier petitions to halt or unwind the sale of the Clippers, according to Michael McCann of SI.com. That means Sterling has essentially run out of legal avenues to fight the sale, as McCann explains.
  • It was difficult to trade Thaddeus Young, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie admitted, citing the forward’s professionalism and positive attitude, as Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com chronicles. “Those things matter,” Hinkie said. “That’s why these decisions, while necessary, are still challenging.”

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Salary Floor, Richardson

August 27 at 8:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie expressed optimism Tuesday about what Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved can contribute, but he seemed most excited about acquiring the Heat’s protected 2015 first-round draft pick, observes Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers wound up with those assets in the Kevin Love trade, though it appears like they’ll simply net cash from Tuesday’s Hasheem Thabeet swap once they waive Thabeet, as expected. In any case, Philadelphia has been a hub of activity the past few days, so we’ll round up the latest here:

  • Hinkie also said Tuesday that he’s not sure whether Joel Embiid will play this season, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News writes. The GM had said in June that the timetable for Embiid’s recovery from a broken foot was five to eight months. The team has yet to officially announce the signing of Embiid, though the No. 3 pick from this past June indicated Tuesday on Twitter that he had inked his deal, posting a photo of what appeared to be his signed contract.
  • The Sixers aren’t concerned about reaching the NBA’s minimum team salary, Hinkie said, as Cooney notes. That’s not surprising, since the penalty for any club that fails to meet the $56.759MM salary floor is only that the team must distribute the difference between that figure and its team salary among the players on the roster.
  • In Cooney’s estimation, Jason Richardson and Arnett Moultrie are more likely to reach buyout deals with the team than remain for the regular season.

Sixers Sign Joel Embiid

August 26 at 11:56pm CDT By Chuck Myron

No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid has signed his rookie scale contract with the Sixers, according to his verified Twitter account. The team has yet to make an official announcement, but it appears as though the last remaining first-round pick from this June who had yet to sign with his NBA team or agree to play elsewhere has inked his deal. He’ll make nearly $3.69MM, as our table of salaries for this year’s first-rounders shows.

Embiid was a strong contender, if not the front-runner, to become the No. 1 overall pick until he suffered a broken foot shortly before the draft. The most recent estimate has him out anywhere from between November and February, though it appears as though he’s in line to see action at some point this season for Philadelphia. A back injury that forced him to miss the final six games of his college career at Kansas sparked concern for much of the spring, but ultimately that didn’t seem to depress his draft stock nearly as much as his foot did.

Whenever he’s healthy enough to play, he’ll look to build upon last season’s breakout campaign, one in which he came to join college teammate Andrew Wiggins, a far more heralded prospect coming out of high school, and Jabari Parker as contenders for the top pick. The 7’0″ center only began playing basketball in 2011, so his skills are raw, but with a game that shows shades of Hakeem Olajuwon, his upside is vast, as Zach Links of Hoops Rumors examined this past April in his Prospect Profile of Embiid.

He’ll join fellow Cameroonian native and mentor Luc Mbah a Moute on the Sixers, and Mbah a Moute’s close ties to Embiid appeared to be one of the reasons Philadelphia acquired the veteran forward as part of its participation in the Kevin Love trade. The 20-year-old Embiid won’t encounter much in the way of immediate expectations in Philadelphia, which is in a long-term rebuilding effort, and while Embiid is a centerpiece of that project, the Sixers appear willing to wait for his skills to more fully develop.

The Sixers had been carrying 16 players after Tuesday’s acquisition of Hasheem Thabeet and before Embiid’s signing, though Philadelphia appears poised to waive Thabeet. Embiid is one of just eight players with fully guaranteed deals on Philadelphia’s roster.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Love, Bennett, Moultrie

August 26 at 7:27pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kevin Love today indicated his intention to stay with the Cavs beyond this season, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com observes, and Cavs GM David Griffin is confident that Love and LeBron James will stick together for years to come, notes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Love and James can become free agents next summer, and Love said today that he hasn’t spoken about an extension with Cleveland, though that only stands to reason, since he can re-sign for more money if he waits until free agency.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • There was confusion earlier this month about whether Anthony Bennett would go to the Sixers as part of the Kevin Love trade, but Sixers GM Sam Hinkie told reporters today that he never had any talks about acquiring the former No. 1 overall pick. Tom Moore of Calkins Media passes along the tidbit via Twitter. Bennett wound up with the Wolves instead.
  • Arnett Moultrie‘s future with the Sixers is cloudy, but Hinkie indicated today that Philadelphia still wants to give him a chance even though the power forward has to prove his worth, as Moore observes (Twitter link). Arnett was working really hard last week,” Hinkie said. “It’s been going fine. It’s a big summer for him. He’s got to show what he can do.” Last week, Chuck Myron cast the chances as remote that Philly will up his 2015/16 rookie scale contract option by the October 31st deadline.
  • The two-year $550K offer that agent Tim Lotsos said Thanasis Antetokounmpo turned down from Cimberio Varese to instead join the Knicks D-League affiliate wasn’t quite so lucrative, as Guido Guida of La Gazzetta dello Sport hears (Twitter link). The gross amount wasn’t quite that much, and the net after taxes was only slightly more than $100K per year, Guida says. A source seconds Guida’s report to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Thunder Trade Hasheem Thabeet To Sixers

August 26 at 5:07pm CDT By Chuck Myron

5:07pm: The trade is official, the Thunder have announced via press release. It’s Thabeet and cash headed to Philadelphia with a protected 2015 second-rounder going to Oklahoma City. That pick will probably never change hands, as Slater reported.

4:57pm: Oklahoma City is receiving a second-round pick, but it’s conditional and so heavily protected that Philadelphia is unlikely to ever have to convey it, reports Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman.

3:55pm: The Thunder will deal Hasheem Thabeet to the Sixers, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Sixers will likely waive Thabeet after the trade becomes official, Stein also hears (Twitter link). Philadelphia will also receive cash, and the Thunder won’t be taking back any salary, so they can create a trade exception worth Thabeet’s $1.25MM salary, Stein adds (via Twitter).

Thabeet’s salary is non-guaranteed, but it’s set to become fully guaranteed by the end of this coming Monday, which helps explain the timing of the move. Thabeet, the No. 2 pick in the 2009 draft, fell out of Oklahoma City’s rotation this past season amid the emergence of rookie Steven Adams. The 27-year-old Thabeet saw action in just 23 games with an average of 8.3 minutes per appearance.

It’d be a little surprising to see Philadelphia wind up with only cash from the transaction, especially given how much Sixers GM Sam Hinkie covets draft picks, so perhaps there’s more to the transaction than is being reported, though that’s just my speculation. Oklahoma City will have to net an asset of some sort in the trade, too. In any case, the move is set to take Oklahoma City down to 15 players, including 14 guaranteed deals and Lance Thomas, who has a non-guaranteed pact.

The 7’3″ Thabeet has never found solid footing in the league after spending three years at the University of Connecticut. The Grizzlies sent him on D-League assignment in his rookie season, a rarity for a player taken so highly in the draft, and they traded him to the Rockets midway through his second season. Houston swapped him to the Blazers a year later, and he signed with the Thunder the following summer. He spent his first season with Oklahoma City as the primary backup center behind Kendrick Perkins, but he lost that job in 2013/14.

Windhorst’s Latest: Love, Mozgov, Thompson

August 26 at 11:06am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Cavs were only willing to give up two of three assets they relinquished in the Kevin Love trade until owner Dan Gilbert met with Love earlier this summer in Las Vegas, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN said in his appearance Monday with Tom Rizzo on ESPN Cleveland radio (audio link). Cleveland switched gears after that meeting and decided to give up its entire package of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and the 2015 first-round pick it had previously acquired from Miami, as Windhorst details. The ESPN scribe speculates that Gilbert probably emerged from having spoken with Love more confident that the superstar power forward would remain in Cleveland long-term, which led him to up the Cavs’ offer. Windhorst had plenty more to say on Rizzo’s “The Really Big Show,” and we already touched on the Zydrunas Ilgauskas news earlier today. We’ll share the rest of the highlights here:

  • Cleveland’s acquisition of John Lucas III, Erik Murphy and Malcolm Thomas in last month’s trade with the Jazz was made with Timofey Mozgov in mind, according to Windhorst, who says the Cavs continue to try to pry the center from the Nuggets. The Cavs envisioned flipping some combination of those three for Mozgov, as Windhorst indicates. Still, the Nuggets are reluctant to give him up, Windhorst adds, even though the Cavs offered a first-round pick as part of a deal for him, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported a few weeks ago.
  • The Cavs tried to acquire Alexey Shved in the Love trade, in part because of his connection to coach David Blatt from their time together on the Russian national team, Windhorst says. Shved went to the Sixers instead.
  • Windhorst asserts that the Cavs will sign Tristan Thompson to a rookie scale extension, suggesting that it would make the power forward a trade asset. An extension would complicate any trade involving Thompson because of the Poison Pill Provision, however.

And-Ones: Barea, Bledsoe, Bonner, Beasley

August 25 at 2:42pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Cavs are probably better off for having lost LeBron James in 2010 than they would be if he had never gone to Miami since it gave them the chance to accumulate assets through rebuilding, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller argues. That helps explain why the Sixers, one of the other teams in the Kevin Love deal, are so aggressively stripping their roster, Ziller suggests. Still, Cleveland was remarkably lucky in the lottery, nabbing three No. 1 overall picks in four years, so it’s tough to say that another team can easily mimic the path of the Cavs. Here’s more from around the league:

  • The only players on the Wolves who are off-limits for a trade are the ones who just came aboard in the Love deal, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes within a chat with readers. J.J. Barea remains on the block after the Wolves failed to convince the Sixers to take him on in the Love trade, Zgoda also writes.
  • The Wolves like Eric Bledsoe quite a bit, but it’s tough to see a scenario in which they’d sign-and-trade for the Suns restricted free agent, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Phoenix reportedly made a last-ditch effort at a Bledsoe-for-Love swap, but Minnesota rejected that idea.
  • Backcourt mate Goran Dragic is hopeful that Bledsoe will be back with the Suns next season, as he tells Erildas Budraitis of RealGM.
  • Matt Bonner says there were several teams that inquired about him during his free agency this summer, but he let all of them know that he was waiting to see about a deal with the Spurs first, as he tells Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News. Bonner re-signed with the Spurs last month to a one-year deal for the minimum.
  • The Heat let Michael Beasley know they wouldn’t rule out re-signing him, but that’s standard practice for the team, which hasn’t made any offer to the forward, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Heat isn’t high on bringing him back for several reasons, Jackson hears.