Hollis Thompson has been with the Sixers through three of the worst seasons in franchise history and he hopes to remain with the team as it starts to improve, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Thompson and Nerlens Noel are the only players who have been part of Philadelphia’s roster since 2013/14, and despite his seniority the 6’8″ swingman isn’t guaranteed a spot this season. Thompson averaged 9.8 points per night in 77 games last year, but he finds himself in a familiar position — facing a preseason battle just to make the team. Even if he is on the roster when the season starts, Thompson knows his fate won’t be fully determined until all contracts become guaranteed on January 10th. “In the beginning in the first year, it was stressful,” Thompson said. “But I think at this point, literally, my entire career, I could have been gone anytime before January, and I got paid. At this point, I’m used to it.”
There’s more news out of Philadelphia:
- Joel Embiid had his best game of the preseason Saturday, giving the Sixers another reason to believe he can overcome the foot problems that cost him his first two NBA seasons, Pompey notes in a separate piece. Embiid put up 12 points, four rebounds and a block in a little more than 13 minutes of action against a Cavaliers team that he still holds a grudge against for passing on him in the 2014 draft. “I felt more comfortable tonight,” Embiid said. “I’m still thinking that I should have been the number one pick. They didn’t pick me. So that had something to do with it.”
- Richaun Holmes is having a productive preseason, but will have a tough time getting minutes in a crowded frontcourt, Pompey writes in another story. Holmes scored 10 points in 12 minutes in the Sixers’ first preseason game, then followed that up with a 20-point, 12-rebound performance on Thursday. Pompey suggests that Holmes may have to settle for playing time in the D-League.
- Coach Brett Brown is optimistic about Jahlil Okafor‘s progress despite lingering pain in his right knee, according to Brian Seltzer of NBA.com. “We haven’t seen much of him in practice,” Brown said. “People shouldn’t get nervous about that. It’s part of bringing him back in the mix. Our anticipation is that he’s not that far away, and I do look forward to getting him playing again. I really look forward to getting him playing again.”