Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

And-Ones: Hawks, Motum, Crawford

October 22 at 10:28pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Outgoing Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson has the power to force as much as 60% of the team to be sold, even though he and his partners have only 50.1% of the team, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The NBA appears to be pressuring all of the other owners to sell so that the entire franchise can change hands, Vivlamore adds. All of the team’s owners still have yet to meet to discuss how much of the franchise they’re going to sell, and so far, their only action as a group has involved preparation for vetting prospective buyers, though vetting itself has yet to begin, as Vivlamore explains.

Here’s more from around the league:

      • When Jordan Crawford signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association for $1.4MM it wasn’t because he didn’t receive any NBA offers. The Kings had tried to sign Crawford this summer, but he wasn’t comfortable with a backup role in Sacramento, David Pick of Eurobasket reports (Twitter links). Crawford also relayed that he felt “overlooked” by the league, and that’s what led him to China, Pick notes.
      • Brock Motum‘s one year, minimum salary deal with the Jazz is non-guaranteed, as is reflected on the Basketball Insiders salary page for Utah.
      • Many of the teams that joined the Sixers in a voting bloc that scuttled immediate lottery reform are nonetheless miffed about Philadelphia’s stripped-down roster, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Teams voted down lottery changes in part because they feel too much is in flux, and that includes the unknown of just how or whether the league will phase in the substantial increase in the salary cap that the league’s enhanced TV revenues will bring about, Lowe adds. Some influential agents oppose the idea of any phase-in, preferring that the cap simply leap in the summer of 2016 based on the idea that teams might be uncertain of how to handle the changed landscape and hand out contracts they’ll later regret, according to Lowe.
      • The surging salary cap projections have some small-market teams worried about how they’ll manage in a league where $100MM payrolls are the norm, in spite of the TV money that would make that sort of spending more palatable, as Lowe writes in the same piece. Small-market teams also fear that they’ll become slightly profitable and lose the benefit of tens of millions in income through the league’s revenue sharing program, the Grantland columnist explains. The Lakers handed out $50MM, the Knicks $27MM and the Bulls $17MM in revenue sharing last season, Lowe reports.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sixers, Lottery Reform

October 22 at 9:17pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

One of the big question marks in New York for the upcoming season is how well the Knicks will adapt to the triangle offense. Former head coach and current broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t believe the offensive scheme by itself will be enough to turn around the franchise,  Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “The triangle itself is just an offense based on freedom of the ball to go to different places, everybody feeling involved,’’ Van Gundy said. “It’s a good thing. It won’t be the triangle itself that will be the reason they win or lose. It’s going to come down to Carmelo Anthony playing exceptionally well. Iman Shumpert and J.R. bouncing back with a big year. J.R. Smith playing well. It’s not going to be because of a system. I think anybody confusing a system with a reason for success is making a huge mistake. Systems don’t win games. Players do.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Paul Pierce was stunned by how quickly things changed with the Nets this offseason,  Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News writes. “It just happened so fast,” Pierce said. “I had a chance to talk to Jason [Kidd] and he has his reasons, the way things went down. But like I said, the business — you’ve got to understand the business aspect of it. He moved on. The Nets moved on and people went their different directions. You see that a lot in this business.” Still, Pierce harbors no-ill will towards the franchise, Abramson notes.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown said nothing was etched in stone for Philadelphia’s roster, and that the team would consider signing players waived from other teams, Tom Moore of Calkins Media notes (Twitter link). The Sixers still have 20 players on their preseason roster, but only nine of those players have fully guaranteed deals, and four others possess partially guaranteed pacts.
  • Speaking about his thoughts on the lottery reform vote not passing, Brown said that he wasn’t sure which way the vote would turn out, tweets Moore. “Different times I thought it’d go one way. Other times I thought it’d go the other way,” Brown said. The Sixers had a vested interest in the outcome of the vote since their rebuilding plans are tied to striking it big in the next draft.

Latest On Draft Lottery Reform

October 21 at 4:06pm CDT By Chuck Myron

9:37am: The Heat and Pelicans are thinking about voting “no” or abstaining, though they remain undecided, according to Lowe (Twitter links).

11:01pm: Two new teams are considering joining Philly, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee in an attempt to block the measure, Lowe reports, adding that some last-minute lobbying could take place before tomorrow’s vote (Twitter links).

1:55pm: Proposals that would give all 14 lottery teams equal shots at the top pick or teams with the eighth- through 14th-worst records equivalent chances are also “on the table,” writes Marc Berman of the New York Post, though it’s unclear how seriously the league is considering either idea.

1:22pm: The Sixers and Thunder continue to advocate caution as the Board of Governors is poised to vote Wednesday to approve a measure that would reduce the chance that the worst team in the league will win the lottery, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Still, executives from both teams have abandoned hope of gathering enough support to block the reforms, according to Wojnarowski, though the Bucks have joined their side, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee would still need to gather five more “no” votes to block the proposal, which would pass with the approval of 23 of the league’s 30 teams.

The new system would likely take hold in time for the 2015 lottery, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported earlier. It would give the teams with the four worst records in the league each a 12% chance to win the lottery, longer odds than the ones currently in place for the three losingest teams. Clubs with the fifth and sixth worst records would have 11.5% and 10% chances, respectively, Wojnarowski reports, filling in gaps in the outline of the structure that Lowe described earlier this month.

At least one GM whose owner has already decided to vote “yes” expressed trepidation about the proposal to Wojnarowski, and the pitch that Thunder GM Sam Presti is making centers on the effect the changes will have on small markets. Presti argues that small-market teams have a disadvantage in free agency and trades, helping large-market teams win more often, as Wojnarowski details. Allowing teams with superior records greater chances at leapfrogging to the top spot in the draft would cause further imbalance, Presti argues. Supporters of lottery reform prioritize the discouragement of tanking, Wojnarowski notes. Still, the Oklahoma City GM isn’t campaigning as much for “no” votes as he is simply trying to express his concerns about what would happen in small markets if the measure passes, execs tell Wojnarowski.

The Board of Governors are also discussing revenue sharing, with small-market franchises eyeing a share of the league’s increasing income, Wojnarowski notes. Blazers owner Paul Allen, a small-market advocate, and large-market stalwart Mark Cuban verbally clashed during meetings this week, Wojnarowski hears.

Still, the matter of lottery reform isn’t a question of market size for every team, as some will vote based on short-term concerns involving the protected picks they either owe or have coming to them, Lowe tweets. The focus is on the short term because of a feeling that the league will change the rules again before too long, Lowe adds (on Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Celtics, Teletovic, Sixers

October 21 at 4:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Sixers have company in their opposition to draft lottery reform, but it looks like change is inevitable. That figures to make a long season even longer in Philadelphia, but in the meantime, there’s news on the Sixers amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • Greg Stiemsma would seem the favorite for the 15th regular season roster spot on the Raptors based on Toronto’s needs at center, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, but Jordan Hamilton and Will Cherry are making strong cases for themselves, as Wolstat examines. Each has a partial guarantee of $25K.
  • The Celtics signed Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford with the intention of keeping their D-League rights, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Boston is set to release the trio, as well as Erik Murphy, from its NBA roster soon.
  • Mirza Teletovic plans to listen to offers from the Nets as well as other teams when his contract expires after the season, as he said this week to Avaz, a newspaper in his native Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Robert Windrem of Nets Daily translates. The Nets can make Teletovic a restricted free agent, though their right of first refusal wouldn’t apply if he chose to go back overseas.
  • JaKarr Sampson has been especially impressive, as Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters this week as he discussed the team’s players fighting for a regular season roster spot, observes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Atlantic Notes: Garnett, Knicks, Sixers, Wallace

October 20 at 9:14pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Kevin Garnett, who’s gearing up for his 20th NBA season, is entering the final year of a deal that will pay him $12MM, and Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders lists the Nets big man as one of ten players he thinks will be retiring sooner rather than later. Taylor thinks that Garnett’s age and expiring contract more than likely mean this is last season The Big Ticket will play in the league. Here’s more from the Atlantic..

  • Knicks second-rounder Thanasis Antetokounmpo turned down lucrative offers from overseas in order to display his skills stateside with New York’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. His younger brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo, originally thought heading to Europe might have been the more sensible decision, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. “I was the first one to tell him: ‘Maybe it’s better for you to go overseas and get some money,’” Giannis said. “He said no. His dream is to play in the NBA, stay here. I’m happy with that.’
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown mentioned the possibility of the D-League when asked about Ronald Roberts Jr., tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Roberts is with Philly on a partially guaranteed pact, so Brown’s comments might indicate the team is interested in waiving the injured 23-year-old before the season begins to preserve his D-League rights.
  • At 32 years old, it’s safe to say Gerald Wallace is past his prime, but he’s interested in playing whatever role the Celtics need him to, observes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “Whatever the team needs me to do,” Wallace said. “Whatever coach (Brad Stevens) needs me to do. We’ve already talked about it. I’m in a position where I’m comfortable with it.” Boston was rumored to have been shopping Wallace last season around the trade deadline, but he’s reportedly happy to be hanging around in green.

And-Ones: Wolves, Sixers, Pistons

October 20 at 7:15pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Timberwolves still have some decisions to make in order to get their preseason roster down from 17 players to the regular season maximum of 15. Minnesota began the process earlier today by waiving Kyrylo Fesenko. Out of the remaining players, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune believes the two most likely candidates to go are Brady Heslip, who is in camp on a non-guaranteed deal, and Chase Budinger. The Wolves have been rumored to be shopping Budinger, but thus far haven’t been able to work out any deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • While the Sixers’ rebuilding efforts have been called “tanking” by some, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders argues that GM Sam Hinkie‘s plan is sound, and it could make the franchise a contender in a few years. Kennedy also notes that many of Philly’s fans are also on board with Hinkie’s efforts, and support the long-term outlook the franchise has adopted. “It’s really important not to take your eyes off what matters,” Hinkie said. “And what matters is not feeling great about yourself the 3rd of March, but to give yourself a chance to feel great about yourself the 3rd of June.”
  • Pistons president and head coach Stan Van Gundy believes that bringing in outside coaches to watch his team practice can be a valuable tool, David Mayo of MLive writes. Van Gundy finds that going outside for a fresh viewpoint can be enlightening, notes Mayo. Van Gundy added, “They don’t have the knowledge that we have on the inside. Sometimes that’s bad, sometimes that’s good. There’s good things with that, too, because sometimes you see what you expect to see, unfortunately. You try hard not to but we’re all guilty of it. And somebody new, who didn’t see practice and doesn’t have certain things they expect out of each guy, sees it with clear eyes. So I think that kind of stuff’s important.”
  • Joel Anthony is excited to be a part of the Pistons because he believes Detroit acquired him for his abilities, not for his expiring contract, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. “It makes things easier,” Anthony said. “That first trade [from the Heat to the Celtics] was obviously more difficult because of the history and all the time I spent in Miami. I’ve been fortunate to have those years over there and right now I’m just looking forward to this new chapter in my life as a professional basketball player.”

And-Ones: Kobe, Lottery, Bosh, Hawks

October 20 at 4:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Henry Abbott of ESPN The Magazine hears from agents and team sources who say Kobe Bryant‘s rough-edged personality is driving free agents away from the Lakers. The Buss family receives more income from the team’s local TV deal if ratings are better, and that helped persuade the team to sign Bryant to his lucrative two-year extension 12 months ago and to eschew an aggressive rebuilding project, Abbott hears. Bryant’s popularity with powerful front-row celebrities also played a role, and co-owner Jim Buss is just “waiting for [Bryant] to leave,” a source tells Abbott, fearful of engaging in a public spat with the superstar. Steve Nash nearly decided against approving his sign-and-trade to the Lakers and Paul George signed his extension with the Pacers in part because of Bryant, sources tell Abbott. Chris Bosh was one of the Lakers’ missed free agent targets this summer, and there’s more on him amid the latest from around the league:

  • The Thunder will join the Sixers in voting against the changes to the lottery, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, but Wojnarowski seconds Lowe’s report (below) that the measure still has enough support to pass.

Earlier updates:

  • Bosh spoke of a desire to be paid at his full market rate as he explained his decision to turn down a four-year max deal from the Rockets for five years at the max from the Heat to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “It’s always business,” Bosh said. “Nothing is ever personal. I think 100% of those dudes would have taken the deal I took.”
  • Another NBA team has joined the Sixers in opposition to the league’s lottery reform proposal as the Board of Governors meet today, but the measure is still expected to receive approval, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports (Twitter links).
  • Players union secretary-treasurer James Jones is an opponent of shortening games and believes, as teammate LeBron James does, that players would instead like to see fewer games on the schedule, as Jones tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
  • Former Hawks All-Star Dikembe Mutombo has met with a group of investors about joining their effort to buy the team, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Eastern Notes: Allen, Heat, Cavs

October 16 at 9:58pm CDT By Chris Crouse

Many around the NBA believe Ray Allen will become a member of the Cavs this season and Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio is among the Cleveland optimists. My gut tells me he’ll join the Cavs,” Amico said. Cleveland is among the many teams with interest in bringing the shooting guard aboard. Amico also notes that he believes Allen has already decided on whether or not he’ll play this season, and where.

Here’s more from Eastern Conference:

  • After he struggled last postseason there were doubts the Heat would re-sign Mario Chalmers, but head coach Eric Spoelstra is a firm believer in the point guard, writes Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel.  He’s one of the all-time clutch players in this game,” Spoelstra said. “How many times does he have to prove himself?”  
  • In a separate piece, Richardson documents how the environment around the Heat is changing post-LeBron JamesDwyane Wade couldn’t be happier about the changes. “It’s more relaxed, more chill, an opportunity we can get some work in,” Wade said. “We can actually make some mistakes and not do things as great and not really be talked about as much. We’re a team that needs time individually to get comfortable with whatever roles we’re going to be in. It’s good it’s quiet.”
  • Although Kevin Love‘s neck injury isn’t believed to be too serious, Jeff Caplan of NBA.com wonders if LeBron’s new teammates can stay healthy. Caplan points out the injury history of Love and Kyrie Irving and notes how crucial it is that the new big three get as much time on the court together as possible
  • There are Atlantic Division teams that have young players with the potential to improve such as Terrence Ross of the Raptors and Tyler Zeller of the Celtics, writes Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com. Mason Plumlee of the Nets, Iman Shumpert of the Knicks and Michael Carter-Williams of the Sixers are also among the players Tjarks lists as internal improvement candidates for the coming season.

Eastern Notes: Saric, Hamilton, Thibodeau

October 16 at 5:57pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Dario Saric is unlikely to end up signing with the Sixers this season even as his father threatens to find a way out of the forward’s deal with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes, sources tell Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com. Shorr-Parks hears there’s no buyout clause in the Efes deal, so Saric couldn’t come to NBA next season, either, as he hinted he might, unless Anadolu Efes consents.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Positions won’t play much into the Sixers‘ thinking when the team decides on its opening night roster, as coach Brett Brown said, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m not out to construct an incredibly well-balanced team,” Brown said. “If we’ve got to tilt because we’ve got a bunch of interesting wings, then that’s the way we will go. … This team is going to be fluid, as we all know.”
  • Jordan Hamilton said he knows he’s working to impress not just the Raptors but for the other 29 teams, too, in case Toronto doesn’t retain his partially guaranteed contract come opening night, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Hamilton is up against Greg Stiemsma and Will Cherry, each of whom has the same $25K partial guarantee, with seemingly one regular season roster spot to go around for the three.
  • There’s more talk around the Bulls that the team will give Tom Thibodeau a raise than that the coach will be on his way out of Chicago in the foreseeable future, as USA Today’s Sam Amick writes in a piece that sizes up the job security of all 30 coaches.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Saric, Thompson, Carter-Williams

October 14 at 3:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The father of lottery pick Dario Saric is upset about his son’s lack of playing time for Turkey’s Anadolu Efes and is threatening to end his son’s deal with the Euroleague team, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. Predrag Saric said he’ll look for someone who would finance a buyout if his son, whose NBA rights belong to the Sixers, doesn’t start to see the floor soon, as he told Hrvoje Slišković of Jutarnji.hr, a outlet in Saric’s native Croatia. Dario agreed to a long-term contract with Efes shortly before the draft, one that was to keep him out of the NBA for at least this season and likely until 2016, but it’s not clear if Predrag’s agitation is a precursor to an early NBA jump, particularly since he’s advocated in the past for his son to remain in Europe. There’s more on the Sixers in our look around the league:

  • There have been conflicting reports about whether Klay Thompson is asking for the maximum salary in an extension with the Warriors, but Thompson’s father says it’s indeed the max that he’s after. Mychal Thompson made his comments Monday on his own ESPNLosAngeles radio show (audio link), as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group transcribes.
  • Mychal, a former Lakers player, also signaled that he’d like to see his son play for the Lakers at some point, Leung observes in the same piece.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown clarified to reporters that the team never gave a recovery timetable for Michael Carter-Williams, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Carter-Williams said yesterday that he was told when his shoulder surgery took place in May that he would be out six to nine months. Indeed, Philly’s release at the time stated that there was no timetable. Pompey and other reporters gave a two-to-four month estimate shortly after the surgery based on the way others have come back from the injury.
  • Shawn Marion, who left Dallas for the Cavs this summer, still has a bitter taste in his mouth from the Mavs‘ decision to let go of Tyson Chandler soon after the team won the championship in 2011, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance to defend [our title],” Marion said.