Philadelphia 76ers

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Jack, Sixers

Markel Brown picked up an extra $50K in guaranteed salary when he remained on the Nets roster through Tuesday, when his partial guarantee increased from $150K to $200K, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders first reported and as is shown on our Schedule of Salary Guarantee Dates. You can view Brooklyn’s full 2015/16 salary cap outlook here.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite being regarded as one of the worst teams in the league for the past two seasons, the Sixers are finally ready to be competitive, Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders writes. Taylor isn’t predicting that Philly will make the playoffs in 2015/16, but does believe that a 10 win improvement over last season’s total of 18 certainly is within reach, and that the franchise could use that as momentum moving forward. The Basketball Insiders scribe also defends the selection of Joel Embiid with the No. 3 overall pick in 2014, noting the unusually high rate of injury among that draft class, and believes that the center could still end up being regarded as a solid choice by GM Sam Hinkie.
  • Nets point guard Jarrett Jack isn’t worried about those who doubt his ability to run a team and take over as the starter for Deron Williams, Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News writes. “I’ve started in New Orleans,” Jack said. “And I’ve had countless other times- I started in Toronto. I’ve started in a few places so we’re just going to have to wait and see. Just answering questions is not going to show or prove anything on my behalf, so I’m just waiting until I can show and prove.” Williams and the franchise reached a buyout arrangement in July.
  • Jack, who was teammates with Andrea Bargnani in Toronto, believes that the oft-injured forward can have a productive season in Brooklyn if he can remain healthy, Abramson also relays. “Yeah, me and Dre [Bargnani] played together in Toronto,” Jack said. “So I know the type of player he’s capable of being, the talent he possesses. I think just the thing with him man, hopefully his health. Hopefully he can stay healthy throughout the course of the season and be that player that people thought he was when they drafted him No. 1 overall in Toronto.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: Morris, Clarkson, Sims, Koufos

Markieff Morris demanded a trade last month, but the Suns are giving no outward appearances of a rift, going so far as to tweet birthday greetings with an illustration of the now 26-year-old, which strikes an awkward tone in light of the power forward’s recent comments. The Suns “need and want” Morris, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic wrote last week, so it would appear the team is making its best to attempt to patch up the relationship before the start of training camp at month’s end. Morris wasn’t planning a verbal offensive when he came across Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, to whom he expressed his demand, Coro notes, though John Gambadoro had heard a week before Morris made the demand that the former 13th overall pick wanted out of Phoenix. See more on the Suns amid the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • The Excel Sports Management agency has ended its relationship with Lakers point guard Jordan Clarkson, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. It’s an unusual move, since players typically make the call to change agents, and not the other way around. Clarkson, the 46th overall pick from last year’s draft who far outstripped expectations as a rookie, is set for restricted free agency next summer. Agent Mike George had been Clarkson’s primary representative.
  • Suns camp signee Henry Sims is determined to prove his production for the Sixers wasn’t merely a product of playing for an inferior team, as he tells tells Coro for a separate piece. The three-year NBA vet saw inconsistent playing time in his season and a half in Philadelphia, though he doesn’t begrudge the chances the Sixers gave him when they did put him on the floor, Coro notes. “Being gritty is how I made my name,” Sims said to Coro. “It’s how I earned my way. But getting up and down like they do here is something I can do. Here, the talent is off the chart. Even though they’re young guys, they’ve been in the league a while. You’ve got the head of the snake, Eric Bledsoe, making it easier — he and B-[Brandon] Knight. I’ve still got tons to prove.”
  • Kosta Koufos left an elite Western Conference team when he departed the Grizzlies for Sacramento this summer, but he believes the Kings can make the playoffs, and he has enduring respect for George Karl, who once coached him on the Nuggets, as Koufos expressed on SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter links; full audio here).

Sixers Interested In Kendall Marshall

TUESDAY, 10:27am: Marshall has been with the Sixers at their practice facility over the past few days, a league source tells Jake Fischer of SI Now, who speculates that a training camp invitation appears on the way (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 8:45am: The Sixers have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent Kendall Marshall, league sources have informed Michael Kaskey-Blomain of ESPN’s TrueHoop Network (on Twitter). The Timberwolves are reportedly eyeing the point guard as well.

Philadelphia currently has a roster count of 19 players, though only 12 possess fully guaranteed deals, which means that Marshall would have a strong chance to make the club’s regular season roster. Also working in Marshall’s favor would be the Sixers’ distinct lack of depth at the one spot. The team currently has Tony Wroten penciled in atop the depth chart, with Isaiah Canaan, Scottie Wilbekin, and Pierre Jackson in the mix as well.

Marshall’s 2014/15 campaign was cut short when he tore his right ACL in January while playing for the Bucks, who had made the unusual move of guaranteeing his non-guaranteed salary before the season, more than two months before they needed to make a decision on the matter. The 24-year-old made 28 appearances for Milwaukee prior to his injury, and he averaged 4.2 points, 1.0 rebound, and 3.1 assists in 14.9 minutes per contest. His career numbers through parts of three NBA seasons are 5.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 5.4 APG to go along with a slash line of .405/.377/.593.

Suns Sign Cory Jefferson, Henry Sims

SATURDAY, 3:15pm: The signings are official, according to the RealGM transactions log. No formal announcement has been made by the Suns.

TUESDAY, 6:16pm: The Suns have agreed to training camp deals with Henry Sims and Cory Jefferson, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports. The length and terms of the contracts are unknown, but they are likely minimum salary agreements that include little or no guaranteed money, though that is merely my speculation. Phoenix already has 15 players on its roster, including 13 with fully guaranteed pacts.

Sims, 25, made 73 appearances for the Sixers last season, including 32 starts. He averaged 8.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 19.2 minutes per contest. His career numbers through three NBA campaigns are 7.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.1 APG to go along with a slash line of .475/.174/.760. The big man wasn’t tendered a qualifying offer by Philadelphia this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Jefferson, the final pick of the 2014 draft, appeared in 50 games for the Nets this past season, averaging 3.7 points in 10.6 minutes per game. The 6’9″ forward was waived by Brooklyn back in July so the team could avoid his non-guaranteed salary becoming partially guaranteed for $150K.

No. 60 Pick Luka Mitrovic Extends Overseas Deal

Luka Mitrovic, the 60th pick in this year’s draft, has reached an extension with Crvena Zvezda of Serbia that runs through the 2016/17 season, according to the Euroleague’s website (hat tip to Sportando’s Enea Trapani). It’s unclear if the deal includes an NBA out that would allow him to sign with the Kings, who acquired his NBA rights from the Sixers last month as part of the Nik Stauskas trade.

It’s no surprise to see Mitrovic remain overseas, as Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi reported shortly after Philadelphia made him the final pick in June that he would do so. The 22-year-old’s contract had been set to run through this coming season, as Mark Porcaro shows in our register of Draft Rights Held Players, so the extension tacks on another year.

The Mark Fleisher client is well-regarded, having been the 39th overall prospect in this year’s draft according to Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings. Mitrovic, a 6’8″ power forward, averaged 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game this past season for Crvena Zvezda. He just gained a new teammate with NBA experience, as Gal Mekel has signed to play with the club.

The Sixers also sent the rights to No. 47 overall pick Arturas Gudaitis to Sacramento in that swap. Gudaitis signed for at least two years with Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania before the trade became official.

Suns Sign Deonte Burton

The Suns have signed unrestricted free agent Deonte Burton, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). It is a non-guaranteed training camp pact, adds Pincus, and most likely for the league minimum, though that is merely my speculation. The agreement will also include limited injury protection, Pincus adds, so it is likely an Exhibit 9 contract. The addition of Burton will give Phoenix a roster count of 18 players, including 13 with fully guaranteed deals.

Burton, 24, went undrafted out of Nevada in 2014 after averaging  20.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists against 2.0 turnovers in 38.6 MPG as a Senior. His career NCAA numbers were 16.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 4.0 APG to accompany a shooting line of .439/.337/.751.

The guard appeared in the 2014 summer league with the Wizards before catching on with the Kings for training camp. Burton was cut by Sacramento last October and later signed with Germany’s Ratiopharm Ulm for the remainder of the 2014/15 season. His numbers in 31 appearances for Ratiopharm were an underwhelming 2.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, and 0.5 APG in 10.1 minutes per contest. Burton played in the 2015 NBA Salt Lake City Summer League for the Sixers’ squad.

And-Ones: Williams, Thomas, Nunnally

Alan Williams, who starred at UC Santa Barbara and made an impact during summer league, was surprised that no NBA team was willing to give him a guaranteed contract, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Instead, Williams signed with the Double Star Eagles in Qingdao, China, grabbing an overseas spot that usually isn’t available once NBA training camps end in October. “It gave me financial stability, which is something a lot of people don’t get in their first year,” Williams said. “It gives me an opportunity to go out there and develop my game more and play for a pretty good team. Culturally, I get to go to a whole different continent and see how they play.” Williams thought he might get more interest from NBA teams after an impressive performance with the Rockets‘ summer league squad. He averaged  20.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games and was named to the all-NBA Summer League second team. Williams is hoping for another shot at the NBA once his CBA season ends in February or March.

There’s more news tonight from around the basketball world:

  • Tyrus Thomas, the fourth pick in the 2006 draft, still dreams of returning to the NBA, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thomas missed the entire 2013/14 season after undergoing an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for an arachnoid cyst. He signed a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies in January, but only appeared in two games. At 29, he is training for another shot at the league and hopes to be in someone’s camp next month.
  • James Nunnally has signed with Sidigas Avellino of the Italian Serie A, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Nunnally, another UC Santa Barbara product, appeared in a combined 13 games with the Hawks and Sixers during the 2013/14 season. He spent last season with teams in Spain and Israel, and played for the Pacers‘ entry in this year’s summer league.
  • Several teams took risks this summer, and Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders evaluates the best and worst of them, including the Lakers‘ and Knicks‘ draft picks, the Rocketsdeal for Ty Lawson, the Raptors giving big money to DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph and the Kingsgamble on Rajon Rondo.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Johnson, Crawford

Sixers center Joel Embiid underwent a second surgical procedure on his injured right foot this week, and he is expected to miss the entire 2015/16 campaign as a result. While the news that the 2014 No. 3 overall pick will miss his second consecutive campaign is bad enough, there’s also a strong chance that Embiid will also miss the beginning of the 2016/17 season, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (video link), with a hat tip to Chris Walder of TheScore.com.

Talking to my sources, they want to see him return around October – not this October, but the next October, for that season,” Pompey said. “And he may not even return for the start of that season. He may miss a couple games. But that’s their goal.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors will miss Amir Johnson ‘s intangibles and hustle this season, with the forward having signed a two-year, $24MM pact with the Celtics this offseason, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “He went from a role player to a very big piece of what we were doing,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of his former player. “He became the core of what we were doing in Toronto. We went from a young, up and coming team to grow. We’ll miss his leadership, his toughness. He has a quiet toughness about him that we will miss with our team.
  • The Knicks reportedly have interest in acquiring Jamal Crawford from the Clippers, and Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders believes that landing Crawford would take additional pressure off of Carmelo Anthony on the perimeter and also provide good spacing for the entire Knicks offense overall. Greene also notes that trading for the guard wouldn’t have a negative impact on the Knicks’ salary cap since Crawford is in the final season of his current deal.

Eastern Notes: Embiid, D-League, Bulls

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie noted that while Joel Embiid adhered to the prescribed recovery plan for his injured right foot, the team would have liked the center to be more focused at times regarding his rehab, Tom Moore of Calkins Media writes. “He [Embiid] gets thrown into the NBA and the thing you love the most is taken away from you,” Hinkie said. “I found his diligence to be good. At the same time, I’ve had conversations with him that everybody’s got to step up their focus. The stakes are very high. It’s clear to everyone however high they were, they’re higher [now].” Embiid underwent a second surgical procedure on his injured right foot this week, and he is expected to miss the entire 2015/16 campaign.

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The Raptors have secured the D-League rights to several players via the expansion draft, and a number of recognizable names are up and down the list, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca notes (on Twitter). Some of the better known players selected by the team include Earl Clark, Nolan Smith, Dee Bost, Dahntay Jones, and Ricky Ledo, Grange relays.
  • The Bulls chose to stand pat for the most part this offseason regarding making roster moves, with the team still believing that its core has the capability of reaching the NBA Finals, a plan that center Joakim Noah agrees with, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com writes. “I think continuity is gonna be great for us,” Noah told Goodwill. “Even though it’s the same group, it’s still gonna be change at the leadership role as far as coaching. So it’s gonna be very different. So having the same team brings stability as well.
  • Lamar Patterson, who inked a two-year pact with the Hawks this offseason, hopes that shedding 22 pounds of weight from his 6’5″ frame will help him earn a regular season roster spot, Jake Fischer of SI.com writes. The guard spent last season with Tofas Bursa of Turkey, averaging 11.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game. Patterson, who turns 24 next month, led the Hawks in scoring at the Las Vegas Summer League with 13.1 PPG to go along with 5.1 RPG in 25.8 MPG.

The Kevin Love Trade: One Year Later

The one-year anniversary of the Kevin Love trade is Sunday, but we’ll get the jump today and look back at last year’s foremost blockbuster. The official announcement of the deal, which took place on August 23rd, 2014, was a long time coming, as the Cavs and Timberwolves had been working on the swap for months and had to wait for Andrew Wiggins to become eligible for inclusion in the deal. The Sixers became involved during the process, and they scored a first-rounder and two players in exchange for Thaddeus Young.

The Cavs, who went to the Finals, and the Timberwolves, who finished with the league’s worst record, won the lottery and picked Karl-Anthony Towns No. 1 overall, have predictably taken divergent paths since the swap. The Sixers have continued in their slow rebuilding, with their involvement Love trade just one part of a lengthy process. However, the story for many of the figures involved is more complicated.

Below is a look at each of the six players in the trade and what’s happened to them in the past 12 months. We’ve also broken down the fate of the draft pick promised as part of the deal. See it all here:

  • Kevin Love (Timberwolves to Cavaliers) — The past season was one to forget for Love, who put up his worst numbers of the past five years. Some of that was to be expected, as he figured to play more of a complementary role on a team with greater talent than he’d ever played with in Minnesota, but Love and new Cavs coach David Blatt struggled to find a role that maximized the power forward’s abilities. A shoulder injury in the first round of the playoffs that knocked him out for the rest of the postseason somehow served as a fitting coda to a frustrating year. Rumors that he’d flee Cleveland for the Lakers or Celtics dogged Love all season, but he just as consistently denied them, and he affirmed his long-term commitment to the Cavs when he re-signed in July on a five-year max deal, one that also made clear Cleveland’s belief in him as a max player.
  • Andrew Wiggins (Cavaliers to Timberwolves) — The centerpiece of the package going to Minnesota is already well on his way to making this known more prominently as “the Andrew Wiggins trade.” He entered college two years ago with the expectation that he’d become the next NBA superstar, and while he underwhelmed at Kansas, he spent his first pro season regaining a sterling reputation. He didn’t fall too far with the Jayhawks, having done enough to become the No. 1 overall pick in 2014, and he ran away with voting for the Rookie of the Year award this spring.
  • Thaddeus Young (Sixers to Timberwolves) — The Timberwolves apparently insisted on receiving Young instead of the Heat’s first-round pick that had been Cleveland’s, in the hopes that the veteran forward would help the team compete for a playoff berth last season. Injuries scuttled the idea of a playoff run soon after the season began, and while Young was Minnesota’s third-leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, he reportedly told the Wolves he would opt out at season’s end, helping prompt them to trade him to the Nets at the deadline for Kevin Garnett. That swap completed a circle of sorts for Minnesota, which had drafted Love to replace Garnett a year after the deal that sent KG to Boston in 2007. Young fit in seamlessly with the Nets and re-signed with Brooklyn on a four-year, $50MM deal.
  • Anthony Bennett (Cavaliers to Timberwolves) — The 2013 No. 1 overall pick showed some improvement last year after his profoundly disappointing rookie season, but he still averaged only 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game. The Wolves reportedly brought up Bennett’s name in trade talk with other teams at the deadline, and they apparently spoke to the Celtics in June about the idea of dealing Bennett to Boston. In a series of polls in which Hoops Rumors readers have been reconstructing the 2013 draft, Bennett has gone undrafted through 13 picks so far.
  • Alexey Shved (Timberwolves to Sixers) — The shooting guard whose minutes had fallen off in 2013/14 after a strong rookie season in 2012/13 spent this past year bouncing from team to team. The Sixers traded him to the Rockets in December in a deal that essentially netted the Sixers the 58th overall pick in this year’s draft, and Houston flipped Shved to the Knicks at the deadline. New York reportedly failed to offer Shved the $2.814MM salary for the coming season that he had been seeking, so he instead signed with CSKA Moscow on a three-year, $10.2MM deal that makes him Europe’s highest-paid player.
  • Luc Mbah a Moute (Timberwolves to Sixers) — Mbah a Moute posted the highest points and minutes per game of his seven-year NBA career with the Sixers, whose stripped-down roster allowed him greater opportunity than ever. He also served as a mentor for fellow Cameroon native Joel Embiid as Embiid sat out the season with injury, but with Embiid’s career in limbo following another season-ending problem with his foot, Mbah a Moute signed with the Kings last month for a $1.55MM salary. However, Mbah a Moute’s health also came into question, and Sacramento voided the deal because of a shoulder issue. The union was to have filed a grievance earlier this month.
  • Miami’s top-10 protected 2015 first-round pick (Cavaliers to Sixers) — The Heat’s debt is still outstanding on the pick that was originally part of Cleveland’s ransom for LeBron James in the sign-and-trade deal that sent him to Miami in 2010. The Sixers nearly wound up with the draft choice this year, but the Heat emerged from the lottery with pick No. 10, the last within the protected range. That pick is again top-10 protected for 2016, but barring another injury-filled season in Miami, the Heat should make playoffs, an outcome that would see the selection finally convey to Philly. A slight possibility exists that the pick will end up going to the Warriors thanks to the Gerald Wallace/Jason Thompson trade. If the pick somehow falls within the top 10 again in 2016, the Heat will keep it but will be forced to send their 2017 first-rounder, with no protection, to the Sixers.

What’s your take on the trade now that a year has passed? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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