6:22pm: The signing is official, the Sixers announced in a press release.
1:31pm: The Sixers will sign point guard Phil Pressey using a hardship provision for a 16th roster spot, a source tells Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link). Coach Brett Brown expressed a preference for the team to add a point guard as he spoke with reporters today, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Big man Furkan Aldemir was reportedly a likely addition, but he’s close to signing a deal to play in Turkey. The Sixers qualify to petition the league for the right to add a 16th player, one more than the regular season limit, because Joel Embiid, Carl Landry, Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten are all expected to miss at least the next two weeks. Robert Covington, who aggravated a sprained right MCL in practice Tuesday, will also likely miss the next two weeks, Pompey wrote today in a separate piece.
Pressey, 24, had just joined the roster of the Idaho Stampede, the the Jazz’s D-League team, after Utah had designated him as an affiliate player. Thus, Pressey is poised to become the first D-League call-up of the year, notes Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (on Twitter). The Jazz briefly had him on their NBA roster after snagging him off waivers from the Trail Blazers, for whom he played in training camp. Pressey lost a training camp battle for the third point guard job in Portland to Tim Frazier, a former Sixers point guard.
The Celtics, who released Pressey this summer, remain the only NBA team for which he’s ever seen regular season action. He impressed as a rookie in 2013/14, posting a 3.2-to-1.2 assists-to-turnovers ratio in 15.1 minutes per game for Boston.
Hardship provisions had been rare before last season, when the league granted them to a handful of injury-hit teams. The Sixers will have a 10-day window to keep a 16-man roster before they must reapply to the NBA. They can keep Pressey if they wish once their other players return to health and the extra roster spot is no longer available to them, but they would have to offload someone else to do it. The Sixers nonetheless have a wealth of cap flexibility, with only 10 fully guaranteed deals among the 15 players already on the roster. The team is also about $4MM below the league’s $63MM minimum team salary.
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