Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers, James Webb III Agree To Two-Year Deal

The 76ers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract for undrafted free agent James Webb III, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Charania, the former Boise State forward will get a partial guarantee on his new deal with Philadelphia and will have a chance to compete for a roster spot.

Webb, who left Boise State after his junior year, ranked 72nd among the top 100 prospects at DraftExpress.com. ESPN’s Chad Ford was even more bullish on Webb, placing him 60th on his big board prior to the draft. Last season, the 6’9″ forward appeared in 29 games for the Broncos, averaging 16.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest.

Philadelphia will have plenty of cap room at its disposal once the new league year begins in July, but given his status as an undrafted free agent, Webb seems unlikely to sign for more than the minimum. If it is indeed a minimum-salary contract, he’d be in line for $1,448,720 over two years.

The Sixers brought Webb in as part of a group workout in late May.

International Prospects: Luwawu, Korkmaz, Zubac

Each year, the draft brings questions about which foreign players are ready for the NBA immediately and which ones will remain overseas for a year or more. A few answers were provided tonight:

  • Greek center Georgios Papagiannis, drafted 13th overall by the Kings, has a buyout cost with his Panathinaikos club, tweets Sean Cunningham of ABC10 in Sacramento. However, GM Vlade Divac says the price is manageable and promises Papagiannis will be with the Kings next season.
  • French swingman Timothe Luwawu, whom the Sixers drafted at No. 24, plans to join the team next season, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.
  • Furkan Korkmaz, the Sixers‘ pick at No. 26, will not be in Philadelphia for 2016/17, according to international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The Turkish forward will be stashed overseas for at least a year.
  • The Lakers plan to have Croatian center Ivica Zubac on their roster next season, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. L.A. took Zubac with the second choice in the second round. He had received a “soft promise” from the Lakers if he fell to the 32nd pick, according to Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • German small forward Paul Zipser will play for the Bulls during the 2016/17 season, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. Givony believes the 22-year-old can find a role in Chicago right away.
  • Egyptian forward Abdel Nader of Iowa State, the Celtics‘ pick at No 58, has agreed to spend next season in the D-League, according to Givony (Twitter link). Players who agree in advance to be stashed in the D-League don’t count against the salary cap.

Draft Rumors: Celtics, Bender, Ingram, Valentine

The Celtics weren’t able to find “realistic deals” for the No. 3 pick, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. There was speculation that several teams, most notably the Sixers, were trying to acquire the pick to get their hands on Providence point guard Kris Dunn, but the Celtics never found an offer they liked. Instead, Boston used the pick to grab California power forward Jaylen Brown, whom the team intends to keep, according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said the team never came close to making a deal, tweets Adam Kauffman of WBZ News Radio in Boston. “We did not sniff a trade today,” Grousbeck said. “It was a collection of rip-off attempts, and we laughed at them.”

There’s more as draft night heats up:

  • French power forward Guerschon Yabusele, the Celtics’ pick at No. 16, will probably be a draft-and-stash player, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.
  • The NBA opt-out clause for Dragan Bender is $1.2MM, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The Croatian big man, who was selected fourth overall by the Suns tonight, will contribute to his release, says Pick.
  • Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said his team received a lot of trade interest in the No. 2 pick, but was’t offered anything compelling enough to give up the rights to Brandon Ingram, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Bulls will keep Denzel Valentine, who was their choice at No. 14, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Chicago had him ranked second on its draft board behind Dunn.
  • Before they made their pick at No. 13, the Kings called the Pistons about the possibility of moving back to No. 18, but Detroit turned down the offer, reports Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers (Twitter link).
  • The Cavaliers, who currently don’t have a pick in either round, are trying to obtain a second-round choice, tweets Chris Haynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Timberwolves, Bulls Discussing Dunn, Butler Deal

8:41pm: The Bulls’ negotiations with the Celtics at No. 3 for Dunn were more serious than their talks with the Wolves for Dunn, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne adds that Chicago was listening on Butler, rather than shopping him.

Shelburne agrees that the Bulls’ talks with Boston more serious than their discussions with Minnesota, and says Butler looks poised to stay put for now. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the Wolves haven’t given up on a potential deal, but the longer they go without an agreement, the less likely it is to happen.

8:06pm: There are plenty of conflicting reports out there on the Bulls/Timberwolves talks now. ESPN’s Marc Stein tweets that discussions are in the advanced stages, and other reporters have suggested the deal is still very much in play. However, NBA.com’s David Aldridge (Twitter link) has been told there’s “no chance” of the trade being completed, and some reporters have echoed that report as well.

7:45pm: The Bulls and Wolves continue to have “serious talks” about a trade that would involve Butler and Dunn, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter), there is a strong sentiment within the Bulls front office to enter full rebuilding mode and trade for Dunn. There’s “rising optimism” on both sides that a deal can get done, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

7:22pm: The Timberwolves are still trying to get the Bulls to agree to a deal involving Jimmy Butler and Providence point guard Kris Dunn, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. A potential deal between Minnesota and Chicago broke down earlier because the Bulls wanted Zach LaVine to be included rather than Ricky Rubio, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link).

The Bulls and Sixers were both trying to obtain the No. 5 selection before the Wolves took Dunn, Stein tweeted. Philadelphia offered the same package to Minnesota that it presented Boston for the third pick, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

If the Timberwolves hold onto Dunn, that probably means Rubio‘s days in Minnesota are numbered, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who adds that Rubio has been shopped all week. The initial feeling is that the Wolves are likely to hold onto Dunn, despite aggressive offers from interested teams, according to Stein (Twitter link). Dunn was atop the draft board of new coach executive Tom Thibodeau, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link).

Sixers Offering Noel, Covington, Picks For No. 3

The Sixers have put Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, the No. 24 overall pick, and the No. 26 pick on the table in their talks with the Celtics for the third overall pick, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). Stein reports (via Twitter) that Boston has been holding out for a better offer, with Jimmy Butler at or near the top of Danny Ainge‘s list of targets.

Philadelphia has already nabbed Ben Simmons with the first overall pick tonight, and is believed to be targeting Kris Dunn at No. 3. According to David Aldridge of NBA.com (via Twitter), the Sixers believed a few hours ago that the Celtics and Bulls were “far along” on a trade involving Butler, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

Still, the C’s and Bulls have had extensive discussions involving Butler. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets that, in addition to the No. 3 pick, Jae Crowder has been a part of those discussions. Avery Bradley is a potential piece as well, tweets Johnson.

Sixers Draft Ben Simmons With No. 1 Pick

Ben Simmons verticalAs expected, the Sixers opened this year’s draft by taking LSU’s Ben Simmons. The 6’10” Australian native, who has been the consensus No. 1 choice since the beginning of the college season, averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his lone season with the Tigers.

After landing the top pick in last month’s lottery, Philadelphia was reportedly deciding between Simmons and Duke forward Brandon Ingram. On Tuesday, the Sixers informed Simmons that he would be their choice.

Simmons is the latest in a string of big men drafted early by the Sixers. He joins a crowded frontcourt that includes Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and maybe Croatian star Dario Saric. Philadelphia is reportedly trying to package Noel and its selections at Nos. 24 and 26 to obtain a top-eight pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Rumors: Nuggets, Celtics, Sixers, Dunn

With the 2016 NBA draft just minutes from getting underway, let’s round up some of the latest rumors from around the league…

  • According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), league executives are saying that many teams with mid-to-late first-round picks are making a “great effort” to move those selections. Already today, the Pacers have moved the No. 20 pick and the Hornets have traded No. 22.
  • The Nuggets made an effort to move up to No. 3, but felt that the Celtics were asking for too much, reports NBA.com’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics aren’t considering Croatian big man Dragan Bender with the third overall pick in the draft, reports Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Boston instead appears to be “increasingly drawn to” Providence point guard Kris Dunn. The Sixers also like Dunn a lot, and are engaged in last-minute talks with Boston, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Suns, who have frequently been linked to Marquese Chriss at No. 4, are giving “increasing consideration” to Bender at that spot, tweets ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. Meanwhile, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix is also gauging the value of that No. 4 pick in the event that Dunn is still on the board, since it sounds like there are a few teams coveting the point guard.
  • Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks thinks the draft is “a little light” in the first round, but “heavy” in the second round, and says the team is excited about the No. 46 pick. Nelson added that Dallas hasn’t ruled out trying to get into the first round for the right player (all Twitter links via Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com).

Draft Rumors: Sixers, Noel, Magic, Butler, Raps

The 76ers have had “significant engagement” with the Celtics in the last 24 hours, and those trade talks are continuing, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). However, Wojnarowski reports that Philadelphia has also recently been in touch with the Timberwolves (No. 5) and Kings (No. 8). According to Michael Scotto of The Associated Press (Twitter link), the Sixers are dangling Nerlens Noel and their two picks near the end of the first round (Nos. 24 and 26) in an effort to pick up a second top-eight pick.

Here are a few more draft rumors and updates from around the NBA:

  • There have been reports that some teams with high picks tonight – such as the Celtics at No. 3 or the Timberwolves at No. 5 – are willing to include those selections in a package for Jimmy Butler. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News suggests (via Twitter) that the Magic are also among the teams pursuing Butler, but according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (via Twitter), the Bulls forward is under the impression that Chicago intends to keep him.
  • If none of the consensus top eight players on draft boards slip to No. 9 for the Raptors, GM Masai Ujiri may end up taking Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Twitter link), who is hearing “strong rumblings” about Toronto’s interest in the big man.
  • League sources tell Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic that Washington’s Marquese Chriss is believed to be the Suns‘ preferred target at No. 4, assuming he’s available. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweets that he expects Phoenix to take either Chriss or Dragan Bender, adding that he doesn’t believe Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray are in play.
  • Ford (ESPN Insider-only link) and Jonathan Givony of The Vertical have both updated their mock drafts today to reflect the latest info they’re hearing from around the league.

Sixers Working To Acquire No. 3 Overall Pick

The Sixers are intensifying their efforts to pry away the No. 3 overall pick from the Celtics, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays (Twitter links). Numerous league sources tell Stein that Philadelphia is the most active suitor for Boston’s pick and that Nerlens Noel is the Sixers player most likely to be involved in any swap.

Boston reportedly wants to flip the pick for an established star, with Sixers 2015 lottery pick Jahlil Okafor also being mentioned as a possible trade candidate in relation to the Celtics. Philly has reportedly been pursuing a deal with the Celtics in recent weeks for the pick. With the Sixers reportedly set to take Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall selection, the team is likely seeking to add backcourt help at the No. 3 spot, with Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray all strong candidates for the franchise if Philly completes a trade with Boston. If the Celtics do hang onto the pick, the team may look to nab Dunn, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).

Noel, 22, appeared in 67 games for the Sixers this past season, averaging 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 blocks in 29.3 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .521/.500/.590.

Sixers Seeking Veteran Point Guard

  • The Sixers are in the market for a veteran point guard and were involved in trade discussions for George Hill and Jeff Teague prior to the players being dealt elsewhere, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweets.

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