Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

Sixers To Sign Malcolm Thomas

October 25 at 9:25pm CDT By Cray Allred

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.

Sixers Waive Lee, Gordon, Roberts Jr.

October 25 at 6:51pm CDT By Cray Allred

6:51pm: Philadelphia has officially waived all three players, the team announced via press release.

6:14pm: Although no team announcement has been made, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets that the Sixers have waived Drew Gordon, Malcolm Lee, and Ronald Roberts Jr. All three were on low-risk, four-year contracts with Philadelphia.

The Sixers will be on the hook for partial guarantees of $35K, $40K, and $50K for Roberts Jr., Gordon and Lee, respectively. Coach Brett Brown has mentioned the D-League as a possibility for Roberts Jr., who broke off an overseas deal to join the Sixers in camp. The team is allowed to retain the D-League rights for up to four players cut before the season.

The cuts bring the Sixers roster down to 17, two above the maximum they can carry into the regular season. The team has plenty of flexibility as it approaches the deadline to trim the roster, with seven remaining contracts that aren’t guaranteed, as well as plenty of cap room to eat guaranteed salary if they choose to do so.

Nets Waive Casper Ware

October 25 at 12:09pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Nets have officially waived Casper Ware, the team has announced. Brooklyn had acquired Ware yesterday in the deal that sent Marquis Teague to the Sixers. Ware’s contract was non-guaranteed so the move won’t cost the team any cash. This also reduces the Nets’ preseason roster count to 15, which is the regular season maximum.

The 24-year-old Ware was playing in Italy last season before he signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Sixers, who then signed him to a low-risk multiyear deal. The Nets never figured to keep Ware, and he was acquired strictly as a means to remove Teague’s fully guaranteed deal from their books.

In nine career games, all with the Sixers, Ware has averaged 5.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, and 1.1 APG. His slash line is .429/.333/.833.

And-Ones: Teague, Thomas, Free Agents

October 24 at 10:29pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The trade that sent Marquis Teague to the Sixers in exchange for Casper Ware allows the Nets to create a $1,120,920 trade exception equivalent to Teague’s salary. The Sixers, who are well under the cap, can’t create an exception since exceptions, by definition, are only available to teams above the cap.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The NBA’s new $24 billion dollar TV deal will bring with it a number of problems, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. With the salary cap expected to increase significantly, the owners likely will try to push for a hard cap during the next CBA negotiations, though commissioner Adam Silver tried to downplay that as not being a make-or-break demand, notes Amick.
  • The Thunder have informed Lance Thomas that he will make the team’s regular season roster, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). Thomas is the only player remaining on the team whose contract isn’t at least partially guaranteed after Oklahoma City waived  Michael Jenkins, Richard Solomon and Talib Zanna earlier today.
  • Agents are optimistic about next summer’s free agent market, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News hears. One agent explained to Deveney that he’s confident teams will spend more freely because they know a massive influx of TV money is on its way eventually, even if the league doesn’t work some of the forthcoming revenue into the salary cap for 2015/16. The league’s $66.5MM cap projection is a conservative one, as Deveney writes, having heard from a GM who thinks the cap could go as high as $72MM.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Nets, Sixers Swap Marquis Teague, Casper Ware

October 24 at 3:24pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:24pm: The Sixers have followed with a formal announcement of their own. The press release notes that Philly will receive the more favorable of Milwaukee’s and Sacramento’s second-round picks in 2019.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets 2:47pm: The Sixers have acquired Marquis Teague and a protected 2019 second-round pick from the Nets in exchange for Casper Ware, as Brooklyn announced via press release. The pick headed Philadelphia’s way originally comes from Milwaukee as compensation for the Bucks hiring of coach Jason Kidd. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the clubs were in trade talks about Teague, and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News wrote that the clubs were close to finalizing a deal.

Teague is entering the third year of his rookie scale contract, set to pay him more than $1.12MM this season, which is fully guaranteed. A decision is due by a week from today on his fourth-year team option worth in excess of $2.023MM, but a report during the offseason indicated that Brooklyn was unlikely to pick that up. It’s unclear if Philadelphia is similarly willing to pass on the option, though the Sixers have tens of millions more in terms of cap flexibility than the Nets do to keep the point guard on the books.

Ware, another point guard, has a much less decorated pedigree than the other player in the trade. He’s on a non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary, and he seems a long shot, at best, to remain with Brooklyn until opening night. The now 24-year-old was playing in Italy last season before he signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Sixers, who followed up with a low-risk multiyear deal.

The Nets are likely to waive Ware, a source confirms to Andy Vasquez of The Record, who adds that the team is likely to keep the 15 remaining players on its roster for opening night. That’s a boon for Jorge Gutierrez and Cory Jefferson, who have partially guaranteed contracts, and Jerome Jordan, whom coach Lionel Hollins has advocated keeping in spite of the center’s non-guaranteed deal.

Teague heads to a Sixers team with an unsettled roster featuring 20 players just three days in advance of Monday’s deadline for teams to cut down to no more than 15 guys. He becomes just the 10th fully guaranteed contract on Philly’s books. It’s the second trade within the calendar year of 2014 for Teague, whom the Bulls shipped to Brooklyn in January.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sixers, Nets Close To Marquis Teague Trade

October 24 at 8:23am CDT By Eddie Scarito

FRIDAY, 8:23am: The teams are close to finalizing the trade, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. A future second-round pick would accompany Teague to Philadelphia, Bondy adds, though he doesn’t specify whether another second-round pick would go back to the Nets.

THURSDAY, 6:53pm: Teague landing in Philadelphia is “most likely” to happen, tweets Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com.

5:14pm: No cash will be changing hands, a source tells Robert Windrem of Nets Daily, who adds that the Sixers will likely send a future second-round pick Brooklyn’s way (Twitter links).

4:29pm: The Sixers are in discussions to acquire Marquis Teague from the Nets, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting. The Nets wouldn’t receive anything of significance in return for the third-year guard out of Kentucky, notes Wojnarowski. Teague is set to make $1,120,920 this coming season, and his deal includes a team option for 2015/16 that would pay Teague $2,023,261.

Teague was the No. 29 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and spent parts of two seasons with the Bulls before being dealt to the Nets last season for Tornike Shengelia. Teague’s career numbers over 88 career appearances are 2.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, and 1.4 APG. His career slash line is .349/.220/.686.

The 6’2″ point guard has seen limited action in the preseason and doesn’t figure to see much playing time behind Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack in Brooklyn’s rotation. If the Nets only take back a draft pick in return this deal would get their preseason roster count down to 15. The Sixers still have a number of decisions to make with their roster currently sitting at 20. If they didn’t send a player Brooklyn’s way in the trade, then someone would need to be waived prior to the trade being finalized.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Hawks, Knight, Ware

October 23 at 3:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Heat front office wasn’t deflated when they learned that LeBron James and his talents were returning to the Cavs, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. Miami’s brass looked at the departure as a new opportunity and a fresh chapter, notes Zillgitt. The team wasn’t interested in a long rebuilding process, and Zillgitt points to the team bringing back Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as well as signing Josh McRoberts and Luol Deng as proof that the team still intends to be contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Here’s more from the east:

  • The Hawks have hired Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports to help facilitate the sale of the franchise, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).
  • With 16 players remaining on their preseason roster the Celtics have at least one more personnel move to make prior to the regular season commencing. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com hands out his preseason grades for the players and notes where each currently fits in Boston’s plans.
  • New Bucks team owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry face their first major franchise decision, Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times writes. The two have to decide the contract future of Brandon Knight, whom they have until October 31st to work out an extension with or else he is eligible to become a restricted free agent next summer, notes Woelfel. Knight’s numbers and age compare favorably with Eric Bledsoe‘s, but many around the league feel that the Suns overpaid when the re-signed Bledsoe to a five year, $70MM deal, so Knight may be hard pressed to duplicate Bledsoe’s near $14MM per season average, the Journal Times scribe relays.
  • The Sixers still have 20 players on their preseason roster and a number of decisions to make before Saturday’s deadline to waive players so that they’re off the team by the time opening-night rosters are set on Monday. Casper Ware is in camp on a non-guaranteed deal, but has a very real shot to stick with the team, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com writes. “I feel good about it,” Ware said. “I don’t know what they have planned, I just control what I can control and play hard.”

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).