Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

Eastern Notes: Smart, Sixers, Mitchell

November 26 at 10:12pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Celtics rookie Marcus Smart has begun practicing but is still limited in what he is able to do on the court, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reports. Head coach Brad Stevens is eager for Smart to return to action but stressed that Smart would only return when the player felt comfortable, notes Forsberg. “I think, obviously, you want him to be as close to pre-injury [health] as possible, otherwise he shouldn’t be full-go,” Stevens said. “Is there a transition period? Absolutely. But sometimes in those first couple days, you’re so excited to be back out that you actually play pretty darn well. So it’s just a matter of him getting back out here and it’s more about the conditioning than anything else right now, just because he hasn’t done anything on the court, physically, as far as 5-on-5, in the last three weeks.”

Here’s more from the east:

  • With the Celtics‘ early-season record a disappointing 4-8, Stevens said that he doesn’t sense any overwhelming frustration among his players, Forsberg writes in a separate article. “I don’t sense the frustration level to be as high as maybe it’s made out to be, because a lot of that is made out after a game where you lose close and, that soon after, everybody’s disappointed, everybody is — you lose a little perspective immediately after a game,” said Stevens.
  • “Everyone in the league knows” that some sort of lottery reform is on its way, even though the owners rejected the league’s last proposal, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The widespread negative perception of the Sixers‘ radical rebuilding hasn’t changed in front offices around the league, as Berger notes. One GM told Berger that aside from Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams and Joel Embiid, the majority of Philly’s players wouldn’t be claimed off waivers if the Sixers were to release them.
  • When Detroit assigned Tony Mitchell to the Grand Rapids Drive earlier today he became the first player that the Pistons have sent to their new D-league affiliate, as Peter J. Wallner of MLive.com examines. Mitchell is expected to return to Detroit on Thursday.
  • Michael Carter-Williams has been struggling for the Sixers since returning to the lineup after his preseason injury. If the young point guard hopes to remain a part of the team’s future he’ll need to improve his decision-making with the ball and his body language when things don’t go well, Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Sixers, Furkan Aldemir Agree To Four-Year Deal

November 25 at 8:09am CST By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 8:09am: There is a team option on the deal in addition to the non-guaranteed salary involved, according to John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com. The deal is pending FIBA clearance, and while it’s expected to become official within the next few days, there’s a decent chance it takes as long as a week, Gonzalez writes. In any case, the NBA has filed a request for a FIBA letter of clearance, Raznatovic tweets (hat tip to Mark Porcaro of Secret Rival). The letter of clearance is a standard document that must be obtained whenever a player moves from a league in one country to another.

MONDAY, 6:14pm: Sixers coach Brett Brown cautioned that the team’s situation with Aldemir isn’t as clear-cut as the reports have made it seem, tweets Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.

4:16pm: The final two seasons of the deal are non-guaranteed, according to Tom Moore of Calkins Media (on Twitter).

1:26pm: The Sixers and draft-and-stash prospect Furkan Aldemir have agreed to a four-year deal that features two guaranteed seasons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Wojnarowski adds that the final two seasons are team options, but since only one year may be an option season, it sounds like it’ll be non-guaranteed for at least year three. It’s possible that year four is both a team option and non-guaranteed. Misko Raznatovic, the agent for the 6’9″ power forward, told Cem Pelister of CNNTurk.com that his client had terminated his contract with Turkey’s Galatasaray and the 6’9″ power forward wrote on his Facebook page that he had opted to explore a future in the NBA, as we noted earlier. The Sixers, who obtained the NBA rights to Aldemir in the 2013 Royce White trade with the Rockets, must unload one of their 15 players before their deal with Aldemir can become official.

Aldemir does his best work on the boards, as evidenced by his 9.1 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game in 11 contests so far this season for Galatasaray, which was reportedly behind on payments in the three-year, $5.3MM deal that Aldemir had signed in the offseason. The 23-year-old has played exclusively overseas since entering the draft in 2012, when the Clippers made him the 53rd overall pick before sending him to the Rockets the next day.

The deal marks one of the first attempts that Philadelphia has made to cash in on its store of overseas talent that includes the rights to No. 12 overall pick Dario Saric and two other 2014 draftees. The Sixers have plenty of cap room to have lavished Aldemir with more than the minimum salary, but it seems unlikely that it took a significant chunk of money to lure him, particularly given Philly’s willingness to guarantee the first two seasons of the deal. The Sixers have been carrying only eight players known to have fully guaranteed salary for this season, one in which they’ve lost their first 13 games in the midst of a radical rebuilding project.

Eastern Notes: Love, Kirk, George, Sixers

November 24 at 7:12pm CST By Arthur Hill

The Cavaliers are confident Kevin Love will be in Cleveland for the long run, but rival GMs aren’t so sure, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Berger notes that when the Heat formed their “Big Three” four years ago, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all signed six-year deals that contained opt-outs after four. But under the new CBA, there’s a disincentive for a player to accept an extension before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Love has a $16.7MM player option for next season. There’s more on the Cavs amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

    • The Cavs are actively seeking immediate help in the frontcourt, tweets Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. Cleveland would love to pry Timofey Mozgov from the Nuggets, but so far those efforts have been fruitless.
    • Cleveland made a roster move Monday, recalling center Alex Kirk from the D-League’s Canton Charge, the Cavs announced. Kirk has played two games for the Cavaliers this season and three games for the Charge.
    • The Pacers have begun to lose hope that Paul George‘s broken leg will heal in time for him to play this season, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who writes amid his weekly power rankings.
    • A source suggested to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that the Sixers would probably trade one of their existing big men if they had a chance to draft top prospect Jahlil Okafor this summer. A “bidding war” for Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel would ensue if the Sixers wind up with the No. 1 pick this year, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Smith has nonetheless heard opposing GMs say they’re reluctant to trade for any Sixers because of the losing environment those players have been a part of.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: ‘Melo, Green, Raptors, D-League

November 24 at 4:58pm CST By Chuck Myron

Carmelo Anthony admits the warm weather and the lack of a state income tax in Texas were factors he considered as he thought about signing with the Rockets this summer, but he has no regrets about his decision to return to the Knicks, as he told reporters today. Marc Berman of the New York Post has the details, including Anthony’s acknowledgment of a conversation with Dwight Howard.

“We had some great dialogue back and forth,’’ Anthony said. “I talked to him. We talked about some things. Ultimately it came down to what I really felt and really wanted at that moment. We had some contact and conversations. He tried. He tried extremely hard. It didn’t have anything to do with Dwight or James [Harden]. It came down to my own personal decision.’’

The Rockets appear none the worse for losing out on ‘Melo, having started 10-3, while the Knicks are but 4-10. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jeff Green stressed to reporters Sunday that he didn’t mean to imply that he wanted the Celtics to trade him when he expressed his frustration with the team’s losing, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com“I want to stay here,” said Green, who can opt out of his contract this coming summer “I love this team. I love being here.”
  • The Raptors rejected a draft-night offer from the Suns that would have given Toronto the draft rights to Tyler Ennis, whom the Raptors coveted, in return for 2014’s 20th overall pick and the 2016 first-rounder that the Knicks owe Toronto, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.
  • The Celtics have recalled James Young from the D-League, the team announced. It was a one-day excursion for this year’s 17th overall pick, who put up 22 points and eight rebounds Sunday for Boston’s affiliate.
  • Rookie JaKarr Sampson is back from his three-day D-League assignment, the Sixers announced. The undrafted small forward averaged 15.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in two D-League games.

Jazz Enter Andrei Kirilenko Trade Picture?

November 24 at 4:22pm CST By Chuck Myron

4:22pm: A source tells the Nets Daily scribe that the Nets and the Jazz haven’t spoken about Kirilenko, and a second source also casts doubt on Stein’s report, Windrem also writes.

8:37am: One of the options in play for the Nets should they opt to trade Andrei Kirilenko would be swapping him to the Jazz for Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Evans, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Such a deal couldn’t take place until December 15th at the earliest, because Murry signed with Utah in the offseason. The Utah possibility advances the notion that the Sixers aren’t the only team in the mix for the 33-year-old Russian-born forward. Reports Friday indicated that preliminary talks had taken place between Brooklyn and Philadelphia, but little progress has taken place in those discussions, according to Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.

Nets swingman Sergey Karasev was also a part of the conversation involving the Sixers, but Stein didn’t mention him with regard to the Jazz. The Russian ownership of the Nets is enamored with Karasev, who like Kirilenko hails from their country, writes Robert Windrem of Nets Daily. That’s a sentiment apparently shared by others around the league, as an NBA front office source suggested to Lynam that the Nets would probably be able receive a future first-round pick for Karasev, while another told her that Brooklyn was more likely to merit two future second-rounders for him. The Nets are on the lookout for draft picks and are unlikely to relinquish the ones they already have, particularly their first-round picks, according to Windrem, and teams are offering picks for Kirilenko, Windrem writes in a separate piece. The Cavs are reportedly sniffing around Kirilenko, but it’s not clear if they’re among those putting picks on the table.

Murry has been on D-League assignment since November 13th, averaging 14.5 points in 30.3 minutes per game for the Idaho Stampede. The second-year guard has yet to play in a game for Utah after spending last season with the Knicks and signing with the Jazz in the offseason for two years and $2MM, with only $250K of this year’s $1MM guaranteed. Evans, a combo forward, is in his fifth NBA season, all of which have been with the Jazz, and he has seen just 13 minutes of action across five appearances for Utah so far this year. He’s making nearly $1.795MM in fully guaranteed salary in the final season of a three-year contract.

Kirilenko makes more than $3.326MM in fully guaranteed salary this season on an expiring deal, so the structure of the possible Utah swap would be a money-saver for the Nets in raw salary as well as luxury tax. He makes about $531K more than Murry and Evans combined, and the Nets could save more if they cut Murry after they traded for him. Murry will have earned more than his $250K partial guarantee by December 15th, but the Nets could still save about $712K of his $1MM salary. Brooklyn would have to drop a player to accommodate such a deal with Utah, since they’re at the 15-man roster limit, as our roster counts show. It’s unclear if the Jazz, Kirilenko’s original team, would waive him after acquiring him as the Sixers would reportedly be likely to do.

Aldemir Leaves Turkish Team, In Play For 76ers

November 24 at 11:33am CST By Chuck Myron

11:33am: Aldemir confirmed that he is leaving Galatasaray and has decided to come stateside in a message on his Facebook page, as passed along by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (translation via Ahmet Melik Subaşi).

“Playing in the NBA is one of my greatest dreams, just like all the basketball players,” Aldemir wrote in part. “I had some positive conditions to realize this dream in last couple of days. We have considered those conditions with my family and my agent, and we have decided that an experience in USA will be much [more] efficient for my personal career and development.

9:54am: Sixers draft-and-stash prospect Furkan Aldemir has ended his contract with Galatasaray of Turkey and is headed to the Sixers, agent Misko Raznatovic tells Cem Pelister of CNNTurk.com (translation via Can Pelister of Trendbasket, on Twitter). It’s not entirely clear whether there’s a deal in place with Philadelphia, since details are often lost in translation. Aldemir, a 6’9″ power forward, was the 53rd overall pick in 2012, and the Sixers acquired his NBA rights during the summer of 2013 as part of the Royce White trade with the Rockets.

Aldemir signed a new three-year, $5.3MM deal with Galatasaray this past offseason, though it sounds like the club is behind on its payments to him, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. The 23-year-old was averaging 8.1 points and 9.1 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game across 11 appearances so far this season, demonstrating his skill on the boards. Still, he saw fewer than seven minutes a game in six appearances for the Turkish national team in the FIBA World Cup this summer.

The Sixers would have to cut a player to accommodate a deal with Aldemir, since they have 15 players already, as our roster counts show. Still, Philadelphia has plenty of flexibility, since only eight of those players have fully guaranteed salary.

Atlantic Notes: Bass, Faverani, Calderon, Sixers

November 23 at 12:50pm CST By Arthur Hill

The CelticsBrandon Bass may have increased his trade chances with a strong start to the season, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Bass is earning $6.9MM in the final season of his contract, and should be appealing to a contending team between now and the trade deadline. “If there’s a team competing for a championship and they could steal him, that’d be big,” said Rajon Rondo“He’s one of the best mid-range shooters in the league.”

There’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Bulpett also reports that Vitor Faverani is holding out hope of playing for the Celtics this season after two surgical procedures to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Faverani originally had the knee worked on in March, then went through a second procedure five weeks ago. “The bad thing is that I worked really hard all summer, and I got injured one more time,” he said. “I just have to recover. That’s my life. That’s all I can do right now.”
  • The Celtics assigned James Young to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, the team announced via press release. This is his second stint with the Red Claws, after appearing in one game last week. He has played in three games for the Celtics, averaging 3.0 points in 3.9 minutes.
  • Carmelo Anthony expects the Knicks to improve now that Jose Calderon is back on the court, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Anthony praised Calderon’s understanding of the game, and said scorers always love playing with skilled point guards. “His IQ out there on the basketball court, I think is very high,” Anthony said. “That’s something that, at that position, we’ve been missing.” Calderon, who came to the Knicks in an offseason trade with the Mavericks, missed the first 13 games of the season with a strained calf.
  • Fans of the winless Sixers shouldn’t expect a turnaround any time soon, opines Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He said Philadelphia is committed to its strategy of trying to improve by getting high draft picks, even though it hasn’t landed the team an obvious franchise player so far.

Cavaliers Notes: Kirilenko, James, Blatt

November 23 at 8:50am CST By Arthur Hill

In need of an athletic defender on the wing, the Cavaliers are keeping an eye on Andrei Kirilenko‘s situation with the Nets, reports Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group. Kirilenko was rumored this week to be involved in a possible trade to the Sixers, who are expected to waive him if the deal goes through.  He is making more than $3.3MM this season and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Here’s more from Cleveland:

  • LeBron James told Joe Vardon of Northeast Ohio Media Group he is accepting blame for the Cavaliers‘ slow start, and that was before Saturday’s 17-point loss to the Raptors“I can sustain my effort as well, as close to 48 minutes as possible, and the guys that feed off me,” James said.  “I’ve been kind of waiting around a little bit to see what may happen, sometimes it’s been good, sometimes it hasn’t been good.” James was expected to make the Cavs instant contenders after he left the Heat to join the team as a free agent during the summer, but Cleveland has struggled to a 5-7 start.
  • James also took a hit from Chris Fedor of Northeast Ohio Media Media Group, who said the best player in the NBA hasn’t performed like it during the Cavaliers‘ four-game losing streak. Fedor faults James for poor play and bad body language and says as team leader James needs to set a better example for his impressionable teammates.
  • Saturday night’s collapse offered more proof that the Cavaliers are “fragile,” opines Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. That was James’ assessment of the team, and Amico wholeheartedly agrees, pointing out the inexperience of rookie head coach David Blatt, a weak bench that was outscored 51-19 by the Raptors’ reserves and a consistently poor defensive effort.

Eastern Notes: McDaniels, Sixers, Cavs, Pistons

November 22 at 8:43pm CST By Chris Crouse

With the Sixers season already taking a turn for the worse, rookie K.J. McDaniels needs to play more, argues Tom Moore of Calkins Media. McDaniels, who signed an unusual deal for a second-round draft pick that keeps him under contract for only one season, is averaging 9.3 points per game while playing only 22.6 minutes per game. If McDaniels continues to show potential, he could end up with a more lucrative deal than most players with his experience and draft status. If that is the case, his success may pave the way for other second-round picks to emulate his strategy of signing just a one-year deal, though that is just my speculation.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Sixers do not have a timetable for when the team’s turnaround will begin, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The team began this season with a record of 0-12. Pompey compares the club to the 2007 SuperSonics, who lost their first eight games on their way to 20-62 record. The main difference between the two teams is that the Sonics had Kevin Durant during his rookie season, while the Sixers currently lack so much talent that many suggest the top team in college could beat them.
  • Kevin Love hasn’t looked like the superstar who many people hailed him as last summer, writes Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Kawakami also cites the Cavs’ current need for an additional wing defender as further evidence that the team shouldn’t have traded Andrew Wiggins. While Wiggins isn’t totally developed as an NBA player, defense is one of his specialties. Cleveland is reportedly one of the teams looking to add Wolves defensive specialist Corey Brewer to its roster.
  • If the Pistons attempt to trade any of their players this season, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings make the most sense as candidates due to their large contracts, opines David Mayo of MLive.com in his weekly mailbag. Although trading one or both of these players would financially benefit the team long term, Detroit has no financial urgency to move either contract as the team will be comfortably under the NBA’s salary cap this offseason. Mayo suggests that while the team may have the financial flexibility to re-sign Greg Monroe, it is unlikely he stays since he already turned down a substantial offer from the Pistons and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

And-Ones: Smith, Moreland, Sampson

November 21 at 10:26pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Minnesota is the latest team to be besieged by injuries, with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin out indefinitely and Ronny Turiaf also expected to miss time. Also among the Timberwolves to sit on the sidelines in street clothes tonight is Nikola Pekovic, who has a sprained wrist. With the league-maximum 15 players on their roster, the Wolves would not be able to sign another player without being forced to release someone. But if at least three of the players miss three consecutive games and an independent physician declares that they and a fourth player are likely to continue to miss time, Minnesota could apply to the league for a hardship provision that would grant them the ability to temporarily carry a 16th player. Still, “they don’t hand those things out like candy,” as Flip Saunders noted of the league’s willingness to grant 16th roster spots, in spite of recent allowances for the Thunder, Pacers and Grizzlies, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Kings have sent Eric Moreland to the Reno Bighorns, the team announced. This will be Moreland’s second assignment to the D-League this season. The 22-year-old power forward has yet to make a regular season appearance for Sacramento
  • The Sixers have assigned JaKarr Sampson to the Delaware 87ers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Sampson’s first trip to the D-League this season, and the rookie is averaging 2.0 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in nine NBA appearances.
  • Former Blazers first round pick Nolan Smith is headed back to the NBA D-League, Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reports. Smith had cut ties with Turkey’s Galatasaray back in October and intends to use the D-League to showcase his talents for NBA teams, Pilato notes. The D-League will assign Smith to one of its teams through its waiver system. The 26-year-old point guard spent 2011/12 and 2012/13 with Portland, averaging 3.3 PPG and 1.2 APG in 9.9 minutes per contest. Smith had received partially guaranteed offers from the Bulls and the Thunder this summer but instead chose to try his luck in Turkey.