The Sixers acquired swingman Sonny Weems to reach the salary floor but they plan to take a hard look at him, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The Sixers claimed Weems from the Suns on Monday, allowing them to reach the minimum team salary requirement for the season since they’ll get credit for his full $2.814MM salary, even though they’ll only have to pay less than $700K, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (Twitter link). The Sixers made similar moves to reach the floor last season, including a claim of power forward Thomas Robinson, whom they did not re-sign, Pompey notes. Weems may be a different case. Robert Covington, Nik Stauskas and Hollis Thompson are the only true wing players on the roster, and thus Weems should get some opportunities to play, Pompey adds. A league source conceded to Pompey that it looks unseemly for the Sixers to work the system to meet the salary floor two years in a row but argued that the team has a legitimate need for a wing player that Weems can fulfill.
In other news around the league:
- Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic has to prove he’s part of their future, now that he’s returned from an appendectomy, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times opines. He endured major growing pains during his second season with the team prior to the injury and he now has to work his way back into shape and be productive, Cowley continues. “You can’t play scared that if you get hit, something may happen, or you’ll have a setback,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told Cowley and other members of the Chicago media. “You just have to go out there and react and play. I think it was big step for Niko. Now it’s a matter of getting his lungs in shape and getting his wind back.’
- Point guard D.J. Augustin has revived his career with the Nuggets, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. Augustin averaged 12.8 points and shot 54.3% on 3-point attempts in his first nine games with Denver after he was acquired in a trade deadline deal from the Thunder. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City has averaged 16.4 turnovers, fourth-most in the league, since the trade, Horne notes.
- The Warriors recalled power forward Kevon Looney from their D-League affiliate, as the Santa Cruz Warriors tweet.
- The Thunder assigned forwards Josh Huestis and Mitch McGary to their D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, according to the team’s website. Huestis has already appeared in 16 D-League games this season, while McGary has played 17 games with the Blue.