Philadelphia 76ers Rumors

Tony Wroten Suffers Torn ACL

January 27 at 1:49pm CST By Eddie Scarito

TUESDAY, 1:49pm: Wroten said Monday night that he, doctors and GM Sam Hinkie were still deliberating whether the ACL requires surgery, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Still, it’s unlikely that Wroten plays again this season.

FRIDAY, 4:53pm: Sixers guard Tony Wroten was diagnosed with a partially torn ACL in his right knee, and the injury will require surgery to repair it, the team has announced. Philadelphia said that Wroten will be out indefinitely, and though it did not provide an estimate when he could return to action, this injury likely means that Wroten will be done for the season.

In the team’s official statement, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said, “During our game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 16th, Tony Wroten suffered an injury to his right knee. Over the past week, we have worked closely with Tony, our medical and sports performance teams, his representatives, and renowned specialists in order to reach an accurate diagnosis and provide him with the best possible care. After this extensive process, it has been determined that Tony sustained a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and that the best course of action for Tony’s basketball career is to repair his ACL surgically.  While the precise timing and details of the procedure are still being finalized, what has been determined is that the ACL will need to be surgically repaired. Until the procedure takes place, we are unable to provide a specific timeline for his return to play.

The injury to Wroten could impact whether or not the Sixers would still look to deal Michael Carter-Williams, a move that the team was reportedly exploring recently. The only other point guard currently on Philadelphia’s roster is Larry Drew II, whose initial 10-day contract will expire this Sunday. The Sixers can only ink Drew to one more 10-day deal this season, at the completion of which the team would need to sign him for the remainder of the season or let Drew remain a free agent. The Sixers currently have 16 players on their roster, including the suspended Andrei Kirilenko.

Wroten had been also been mentioned as a trade candidate earlier this month. The Clippers were reportedly interested in obtaining him, though with their recent trade for Austin Rivers, and with president of basketball operations Doc Rivers saying recently that the team intends to use its remaining roster spots to add veteran players next month, Los Angeles had likely moved on from its interest in Wroten prior to his injury, though that is just my speculation.

The 21-year-old guard has one season remaining on his current deal, and is set to make $2,179,353 for the 2015/16 campaign. In 30 appearances this season, including 15 as a starter, Wroten was averaging 16.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. His slash line was .403/.261/.667.

Ronald Roberts To Play In Philippines

January 27 at 1:01pm CST By Chuck Myron

Former Sixers power forward Ronald Roberts is signing with the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippines, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, who indicates that the 23-year-old has already put pen to paper. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported earlier today that the team was on the verge of luring him overseas with a “big-money” offer (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether the deal includes an NBA escape clause.

Roberts has been playing in the D-League since the Sixers released him last month, and the affiliate of the Warriors had just acquired his rights from Philadelphia’s affiliate a week ago. He spent less than a week on Philadelphia’s NBA roster in December, having been signed to replace Jorge Gutierrez and let go to accommodate Furkan Aldemir. The Adam Pensack client was also with the Sixers during the preseason, and he played for Philly’s summer league team after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s last summer.

The first-year pro didn’t make it into a regular season game for the Sixers, and he averaged just 4.8 minutes per game across three appearances during the preseason. Before the season, he broke off a deal to play in France that would have given him more than the $35K partial guarantee the Sixers promised him on his training camp deal, though he picked up nearly another $50K for his brief stint with Philadelphia last month.

Bucks, Hornets, Sixers Interested In Gary Talton

January 27 at 10:29am CST By Chuck Myron

The Bucks, Hornets and Sixers are exploring the idea of signing D-League point guard Gary Talton, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. The second-year pro from the University of Illinois at Chicago is first among current D-League players in assists per game, with 10.2 in 26 appearances. He’s split the season between the affiliate of the Rockets and his current team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, who share affiliation with 13 NBA teams, including the trio of clubs Charania identifies as interested parties.

Talton went undrafted in 2013, though the Grizzlies, under former CEO Jason Levien, were among the teams to work him out prior to the draft. He had a more limited role with Houston’s D-League affiliate last season, but this year, he’s seeing more minutes and has upped his three-point percentage from 31.2% to 40.6%. He was just a 29.3% shooter from behind the arc in two seasons of NCAA play.

Milwaukee waived combo guard Nate Wolters shortly before it lost Kendall Marshall for the season with a torn ACL, though the Bucks have 14 players signed for the rest of the season and reportedly plan to give Kenyon Martin a contract for the balance of 2014/15, too. Charlotte has a full roster but is seeking point guard help in the wake of Kemba Walker‘s injury, which the team hopes will allow him to return six weeks from now. The Sixers just signed point guard Larry Drew II to another 10-day contract Monday, and they, too, have a full roster.

Atlantic Notes: Prince, Harris, Ainge, Mullens

January 27 at 8:59am CST By Chuck Myron

Tayshaun Prince is playing well and has helped the Celtics close to within two games of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but while Brad Stevens is clearly a fan of his game, Prince’s performance is making him a more valuable trade chip, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. The C’s have reportedly been attempting to deal Prince for draft considerations. There’s more on the Celtics amid the latest from around the Atlantic Division:

  • A close friend of Tobias Harris told Marc Berman of the New York Post last week that the forward wants to win a championship with the Knicks, but Harris’ father disputes the notion that his son is anxious to play for New York, as Torrel Harris tells Isaiah Narciso of The Gospel Times. The Knicks apparently plan to pursue the soon-to-be restricted free agent.
  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge waffled about his future while the Celtics were a winning team, but he’s committed to seeing Boston’s rebuilding project through and says he’s “ready for the long haul,” as he tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • Byron Mullens has changed agents, hiring Todd Ramasar of Stealth Sports, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The center, who played briefly in China this season and saw his last NBA action for the Sixers last year, had been with Lee Melchionni of the Wasserman Media Group.

Eastern Notes: Kobe, Wizards, Durant, Lopez

January 26 at 12:59pm CST By Chuck Myron

Kobe Bryant wanted to join the Wizards more than a decade ago when Michael Jordan was with the team, Bryant acknowledged to Michael Lee of The Washington Post. While Jordan was playing with the Wizards, Bryant told him several times that he wanted to come to Washington, assuming that Jordan would again head basketball operations for the Wizards as he did before his comeback, sources tell Lee. Jordan was confident he would sign Bryant when he became a free agent in 2004, Lee hears, but the current Hornets owner never got that chance, since then-Wizards owner Abe Pollin decided against letting Jordan run the front office upon his final retirement from playing in 2003. The Wizards missed out on a star then, but they have their sights set on acquiring one a dozen years later, as we detail:

  • It’s a long shot but more than a pipe dream that the Wizards would land Kevin Durant when he hits free agency in 2016, as TNT’s David Aldridge writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. A D.C. income tax loophole would allow Durant to save more than $700K per year in tax payments if he played for the Wizards instead of the Thunder, as Aldridge explains. However, the Thunder, who hold Durant’s Bird rights, can offer better annual salary raises than the Wizards or any other team can.
  • J.R. Smith got over some initial mixed feelings about the trade that sent him from the Knicks to the Cavs and calls playing for Cleveland “the best situation for me as a person,” as he told Aldridge for the same piece. Smith has a player option worth nearly $6.4MM for next season.
  • Trade candidate Brook Lopez would prefer to stay with the Nets, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes amid his weekly power rankings.
  • Scouts, coaches and GMs at the D-League showcase were puzzled when the Sixers signed Larry Drew II, who had been playing for the Heat’s affiliate, to a 10-day contract earlier this month, as Gino Pilato of D-League Digest hears (Twitter links). Drew put up strong numbers, with 10.1 assists per game and 40.4% three-point shooting in 21 D-League appearances this year, but there were other, more intriguing prospects, Pilato believes. Drew signed his second 10-day deal with Philly earlier today.

Sixers Sign Larry Drew II To Second 10-Day Pact

January 26 at 11:56am CST By Chuck Myron

The Sixers have signed Larry Drew II to his second 10-day contract with the team, Philadelphia announced via press release. His initial 10-day deal expired at the end of Sunday. This will be the final 10-day arrangement this season between the Sixers and the point guard, who’ll have to decide whether to ink a deal for the rest of the season or part ways when his latest contract runs out.

Drew has seen fairly heavy use during his time with the Sixers, appearing in six contests for an average of 18.7 minutes per game. He’s putting up 4.7 points and 4.3 assists per night, his solid ball-distribution representative of his time for the Heat’s D-League affiliate earlier this season. The ASM Sports client set a D-League record for assists in a single game with 23 on Christmas Day.

The 24-year-old Drew will continue to help bolster a Sixers team that’s lost backup point guard Tony Wroten to a torn ACL. Drew’s new contract puts Philadelphia back up at 16 players, one more than the standard 15-man limit. Andrei Kirilenko‘s presence on the suspended list gives the team the extra roster spot.

Atlantic Notes: Plumlee, Nets, Galloway, Sixers

January 24 at 7:05pm CST By Arthur Hill

Rival teams keep asking the Nets about Mason Plumlee, the one player they least want to trade, reports Howard Megdal in a special story for USA Today. The second-year center has seen his role expand under new coach Lionel Hollins. “[Former coach Jason Kidd] gave me very specific instructions,” Plumlee said. “He gave me exactly what I wanted, so when I did what he wanted, I stayed on the floor. It jump-started my career. Now on this team, they need me to do more.” Plumlee is under the Nets’ control through the 2017/18 season.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets rookie Cory Jefferson could see his minutes rise as the result of the loss of Mirza Teletovic, writes Reed Wallach of Netsdaily.com. The team announced Friday that Teletovic will miss the rest of the season while he undergoes treatment for blood clots in his lungs. Wallach expects Joe Johnson to see more time as a stretch four, but also forecasts an increased role for Jefferson.
  • Confidence has helped Langston Galloway make the switch from the D-League to the Knicks‘ starting lineup, according to Jonah Ballow of Knicks.com. Galloway received the first D-League callup in team history on January 7th, shortly after guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were traded to Cleveland. He quickly became a fan favorite and helped the floundering Knicks to a three-game winning streak. “He is playing with a confidence,” said teammate Carmelo Anthony.  “He’s been playing like that when he was down in the D-League and he’s carrying it over to us now.”
  • The Sixers will have plenty of cap room this summer, but don’t expect them to use it on a big-name free agent, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Moore expects GM Sam Hinkie to pass on players like Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard and stick to the strategy of rebuilding through the draft.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Kidd, Fisher, Harris

January 24 at 1:14pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Heat team president Pat Riley denies a report from last week indicating that the team proposed a deal that would send Chris Andersen, Norris Cole and Josh McRoberts to the Nets for Brook Lopez, notes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Riley insists the Heat haven’t made any offers to any team, and that while the Heat have had conversations with other clubs, they aren’t active on the market, as Jackson transcribes in a second piece. The executive doesn’t feel the team needs an upgrade to make the playoffs and indicated that he would only commit to salary beyond next season for a star, Jackson adds.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Bucks coach Jason Kidd doesn’t believe that Kobe Bryant‘s latest injury will be a career-ending one, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel writes. Kidd also spoke about how his own career ended, which he says was on his own terms, Gardner notes. “I would say, yes, in a way I did get to go out on my terms, but I had no gas left in the tank,” Kidd said. “It was an easy call. I got to make the call, but the car had no gas. A lot of times for athletes, we want to be able to go out on our own and not with an injury. You want to play and you want to leave feeling you’ve given everything to the game.
  • Knicks rookie coach Derek Fisher didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to get his players emotionally ready to compete, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “Probably what jumps out the most is you still have to work pretty hard to motivate and inspire guys at this level,’’ Fisher said. “Something a guy who came into the league in 1996, that wasn’t required. If you weren’t self-driven and self motivated, you couldn’t get on the floor. As a player for 18 years, my brain worked that way. It’s one area that continues to evolve — find ways to help my guys be more inspired and more motivated.’’
  • With the highly touted NBA draft class of 2014 not quite living up to the hype thus far, David Thorpe of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) looks at a number of rookies who have stood out. These players include Nikola Mirotic (Bulls), Jerami Grant (Sixers), and Elfrid Payton (Magic).
  • The Cavs assigned Joe Harris to the Canton Charge, their D-League affiliate, the team announced.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Hoops Rumors Weekly Mailbag 1/18/15-1/24/15

January 24 at 11:44am CST By Eddie Scarito

In addition to our weekly chat, which Chuck Myron facilitates every Wednesday, we have added a second opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap, or the NBA draft? Drop me a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com or @EddieScarito on Twitter. Now for this week’s inquiries:

“If the Knicks win the lottery this year and have the No. 1 pick, who would they choose out of Emmanuel Mudiay, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Jahlil Okafor? Mathias

This will be an interesting draft for the Knicks, since it will be Phil Jackson‘s first after a full season as an executive, and he doesn’t have any track record to draw from for reference as to what he might do. Having stated that caveat, I don’t see how New York could pass on Okafor, who is by far the top talent in this draft class. The only way I can see Okafor slipping out of the top slot is if he suffers an injury between now and when his predraft workouts occur. The only other factor that could change Jackson’s focus, possibly to Mudiay, is if Jackson somehow gets the indication that Marc Gasol wants to come to New York via free agency. But that’s an extremely unlikely scenario.

“With all of the trade talk surrounding Michael Carter-Williams, wouldn’t the Sixers be more inclined to trade K.J. McDaniels first? After all, GM Sam Hinkie slipped up in the contract process with McDaniels following the draft. Why not move him and get a return before he can walk?” — Pete D.

I agree with you that Hinkie probably made an error in not signing McDaniels to more than a one-year deal. That kid is a keeper. But it’s for just that reason that I don’t see Philly dealing McDaniels unless the team is absolutely blown away by an offer. But Philadelphia isn’t likely to garner much for what could potentially be just a few months’ rental of McDaniels. Teams will likely be wary of what it might cost them to retain him when he hits restricted free agency this summer. This would likely knock down any potential return that Philadelphia might receive for McDaniels. So I think that Hinkie should, and will, hold onto him, and then do his best to sign McDaniels to a long-term contract this summer. So while he’ll end up costing the Sixers more than if they had simply offered him a guaranteed deal from the start, I think McDaniels is too strong of an asset to give up on this season. Plus, Philly will have ample cap space to match whatever offer sheets McDaniels would garner, within the bounds of the Gilbert Arenas provision and as long as a team doesn’t throw a Chandler Parsons-like contract offer at McDaniels (not very likely). If McDaniels does sign a bloated offer sheet, Philly will just have to swallow hard and let him go.

“Who is more likely to change teams as a free agent this summer — LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol?”  Steve-O

My honest answer would be neither, but that would be cheating! If I had to pick, I would choose Aldridge as the player more likely to change zip codes and uniforms. Gasol essentially grew up in Memphis, having attended high school there while Pau Gasol was playing for the Grizzlies. Memphis has a solid team that can offer him the most money, and the younger Gasol isn’t a headline chaser, so moving to a major market would likely hold little appeal. Sure, the Spurs may be an intriguing possibility, given how stellar that organization is. But San Antonio’s core won’t be around for too much longer. So why would Gasol risk heading into a potential rebuilding situation when Memphis will remain a contender over the next few seasons?

As for Aldridge, he’s also unlikely to leave his current team, since the Blazers are also a solid franchise and have a talented roster. Plus, Portland could offer Aldridge nearly $30MM more than any other competing team over the life of any deal. But Aldridge is from Texas, and all three teams in the Lone Star state would likely love to add Aldridge to their rosters. But to do so all three teams would need to clear cap space to add him, or in San Antonio’s case, have Tim Duncan and/or Manu Ginobili retire. I would be stunned if Gasol ended up leaving Memphis. Conversely, I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Aldridge changed teams, but it’s still a long shot.

“Is Langston Galloway for real, and is he a big part of the Knicks next season?” NYCKingpin

I assure you, Langston Galloway exists! But seriously now. Yes, I think he’s an intriguing prospect whom the Knicks should sign for the remainder of the season when his second 10-day deal expires. I also think he’s a keeper for next season as well. From what Galloway has shown thus far, he can be quite a useful rotation piece in the future. Is he a starting-level player on a playoff team? To that I would say probably not. But he can absolutely develop into a valuable bench player on winning team. But I would temper your expectations a bit. It’s too small a sample size to accurately judge his true worth just yet. Sure, he’s putting up decent numbers, but they’re on a dreadful Knicks squad. Competing teams don’t really bring their A-game when playing against New York this season, which is also something to keep in mind when looking at Galloway’s performances. But Galloway has been the best 10-day signee in the league thus far. So at least the Knicks have accomplished something this season!

“Who is the most intriguing free agent in your opinion this summer?” Kyle M.

For my money it’s the Warriors’ Draymond Green. The 24-year-old will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so Golden State will have the opportunity to match any offer sheets that Green receives. And Green should get a few lucrative offers thrown his way with how well he is performing this season. While Green won’t be the biggest name on the market, he is the one with the most potential to end up being overpaid, since an extremely player-friendly deal is what it will likely take to discourage Golden State from matching another team’s offer sheet. But Green also has as much upside as any player who will be hitting free agency this summer, which is a huge draw.

I simply love Green’s combination of athleticism, hustle, defensive ability, and raw talent. Green’s youth is also a tremendous asset to prospective bidders since his next contract will cover his prime production seasons. Green also has the ability to blossom into a star on a team where the ball isn’t dominated by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. My only concerns regarding Green is if his breakout season is simply a product of Golden State’s system, and how much his stats have benefited from playing alongside two All-Star caliber players in Curry and Thompson. But out of all of the second-tier free agent players that will be on the market this summer, Green is the one that I would say has the most potential to be a franchise changer.

That’s all the space that I have for this week. Thanks to all those who sent in their questions. I’ll be back next Saturday to answer a whole new batch. So fire away and keep filling up my inbox with your inquiries.

Atlantic Notes: Lopez, Kidd, Robinson

January 22 at 12:30pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Nets weren’t as close to trading Brook Lopez to the Thunder as they seemed, a league source tells Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, adding that Brooklyn simply didn’t want Lance Stephenson, who would have come from Charlotte in a three-way proposal, or Kendrick Perkins. Still, a Lopez trade remains a possibility, Bucher writes, and the Nuggets are expected to make another run at him, according to Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post, just as they did when they reportedly spoke about a package with JaVale McGee as the centerpiece. There’s more on the Nets amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • “High ranking sources” in the Nets organization dispute to Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News that Mikhail Prokhorov wants to sell his majority interest in the club, but those same sources tell Abramson that it’s not out of the question that Prokhorov will give up the team.
  • The management for Jason Kidd‘s ownership stake in the Nets has asked the NBA for more time to find a buyer, reports Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com. Kidd owns one-sixth of 1% of the Nets, Soshnick notes, but he’s required to divest himself of that share, worth $2.5MM based on the Forbes valuation of the franchise, since he’s now coaching the Bucks instead.
  • Nate Robinson gave up $689K of this season’s salary of nearly $2.107MM in his buyout agreement with the Celtics, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks and Sixers both have dreadful records this season, but only in Philadelphia’s case is that according to any sort of plan, as Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines.