Jonah Bolden

Sixers Notes: Butler, O’Brien, Embiid, Bolden

Jimmy Butler returned to Minnesota on Saturday for the first time since being traded from the Timberwolves, helping the Sixers take a 118-109 victory in a hostile environment.

Butler’s departure from the Wolves was a shock for both the team and its fans this season. The 29-year-old being vigorously booed during pre-game intros and every time he touched the ball during Saturday’s contest.

“I don’t care about being loved all the time,” Butler said postgame, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN. “It’s no fun that way.”

Butler has thrived in situations like these during his career, raising his effort level and becoming a fiercer competitor. Although he struggled shooting the ball (just 4-of-17 from the floor), he finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals to help seal the Sixers’ victory.

“He thrives under blankets of controversy,” coach Brett Brown said before the game. “I greatly respect it, and I think when you look at the high-level competitors, it is part of their DNA. It is certainly part of his DNA.”

Butler has carried this gene throughout his eight-year career, and it’s that competitive nature he’ll bring to the table with the Sixers as they look to make a deep playoff run this spring. He’s scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency on July 1.

There’s more out of Philadelphia today:

  • Brett Brown will bring in senior advisor Jim O’Brien to replace assistant Billy Lange on his coaching staff, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lange left the Sixers this week to become the next head coach at Saint Joseph’s. O’Brien served as an NBA head coach for nine seasons, including one campaign with the Sixers in 2004-05.
  • Resting Joel Embiid for three games is a smart decision for the Sixers as they prepare for the playoffs, Brown said Saturday night, as relayed by ESPN.com. “This is not sort of a reaction to symptoms,” Brown said. “It’s just load management. Again, we’re just trying to be smart and deliver him to play in the playoffs ready to go.” Embiid sat out of Saturday’s game and has already been ruled out of Monday’s game against Dallas and Wednesday’s game against Atlanta. He’ll be re-evaluated before the team’s home contest against the Bucks on Thursday.
  • Jonah Bolden will look to seize his opportunity as the postseason nears, writes Brian Seltzer of NBA.com. Bolden started in place of Embiid on Saturday, recording 19 points, 8 rebounds, three blocks and a game-high plus-22 net rating. “When it comes down to playoff time, the rotation does shorten up,” Bolden said. “The opportunity is now, whether the opportunity is now or in the playoffs, just making the most of it whenever it comes.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/22/19

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Sixers assigned big man Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s PR department tweets. Bolden is averaging 16 PPG and 12 RPG in 33.3 MPG over six appearances with the Blue Coats, who play a back-to-back this weekend.
  • The Spurs recalled rookie guard and first-round pick Lonnie Walker IV from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. In 28 games with Austin, Walker IV is averaging 16.7 PPG in 27.5 MPG.
  • The Magic assigned guard Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland ahead of the G League’s team back-to-back games this weekend, the team’s PR department tweets. Frazier is averaging 12.1 PPG in 29.8 MPG over 16 games with Lakeland.
  • The Knicks recalled center Luke Kornet from Westchester, the team’s PR department tweets. Kornet is averaging 18.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG in 32.5 MPG over 11 games with Westchester.
  • The Jazz assigned first-round pick and guard Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s PR department tweets. Allen is averaging 17.5 PPG in 31.8 MPG while starting 11 games for the Stars.
  • The Warriors assigned rookie guard and first-round pick Jacob Evans III to Santa Cruz, according to a team press release. In 20 games with Santa Cruz, he’s averaging 11.5 PPG and 2.5 APG in 26.4 MPG.

Sixers Notes: Buyout Candidates, Milton, Roster Spot, Bolden

The Sixers are in position to be among the league’s most active teams once the trade deadline passes and buyout season begins, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Philadelphia still has its entire $4.449MM room exception available and can offer players the chance for a significant role on a title contender.

Last year, the Sixers improved their shooting in the buyout market by adding both Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Bodner admits it’s hard to pinpoint who this year’s candidates will be, as much depends on how the playoff races develop between now and the deadline date of February 7.

He speculates Trevor Ariza could be a possibility if the Wizards aren’t in contention next month and can’t find a team willing to trade for his $15MM salary. Bodner mentions the Timberwolves’ Anthony Tolliver as another possibility, along with Knicks’ center Enes Kanter and Bulls’ center Robin Lopez, although neither is an ideal fit as a backup to Joel Embiid. The Knicks’ Courtney Lee and the Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith could both provide outside shooting, but Bodner believes the team has a greater need for perimeter defenders.

There’s more Sixers news to pass along, all courtesy of Bodner:

  • Shake Milton is approaching the 45-day limit on his two-way contract and is likely to receive a standard deal soon. However, Bodner cautions that the new arrangement might be temporary if Philadelphia finds a couple of players to add through trades or buyouts. The Sixers acquired Milton’s rights on draft night after he was taken 54th overall by the Mavericks. He has appeared in 11 games this season, averaging 3.4PPG in 7.7 minutes per night.
  • Bodner questions why GM Elton Brand has kept a roster spot open throughout the season when the team is already shorthanded because of injuries to Markelle Fultz, Zhaire Smith and Justin Patton. Brand has claimed it’s to preserve flexibility for future moves, but Bodner notes it would have been easy to add someone to the roster and cut them before salaries became guaranteed for the rest of the season last week.
  • Jonah Bolden has played well, but his shooting issues make it risky to insert him into the starting lineup. Bodner states that Bolden makes the Sixers a better defensive team and provides offensive rebounding in addition to energy and athleticism, but he is hitting just 16.7% on 3-pointers, something opposing teams will exploit, especially in the playoffs.

Atlantic Notes: Kurucs, Celtics, Bolden, Ntilikina

As the Nets have played well in recent weeks, one of the bright spots has been the play and development of Rodions Kurucs, the 20-year-old rookie selected in the second round of the 2018 draft. As Greg Joyce writes for The New York Post, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson believes that there is more to come for Kurucs.

Kurucs is coming off a career-high 24 points against the Pacers, a game in which he often spent his time on the floor guarding Victor Oladipo. As Joyce points out, Atkinson thinks that his recent play isn’t a flash in the pan situation, as he has been impressed with the rookie’s awareness on the floor.

Kurucs received his opportunity to start when Allen Crabbe went down with an injury, but with the way Kurucs is playing, it will be tough for the Nets, winners of eight of the past nine games, to take Kurucs out of the starting lineup.

There’s more from the Atlantic division:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/21/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Sixers recalled Jonah Bolden from their Delaware affiliate, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. Bolden has bounced between the two teams since the G League season started. The big man has appeared in nine games with Philadelphia and six with Delaware, where he’s averaged 16.0 PPG, 12.2 RPG and 3.7 APG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/18/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignment and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers have assigned Brandon Ingram to the G League for a rehab assignment and since recalled him, according to the team’s website. The former No.2 overall pick is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • The Lakers have recalled Rajon Rondo from the South Bay Lakers, according to team’s website. The assignment was part of Rondo’s rehab from a broken right hand.
  • The Sixers have assigned Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. This is Bolden’s seventh assignment in the G League this season.
  • The Wizards assigned Okaro White to the Capital City Go-Go, according to the team’s website. White scored a season-high 31 points in a game during his last stint in the G League.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/14/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans have assigned Frank Jackson and Kenrich Williams to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Since New Orleans doesn’t have an NBAGL affiliate of its own, Jackson and Williams will join the Texas Legends, Dallas’ affiliate, and are suiting up for the Legends tonight against Austin.
  • Rookie forward Jonah Bolden has been recalled to the NBA by the Sixers, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bolden posted 19 points, nine rebounds, and four assists on Thursday for the Delaware Blue Coats.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/11/18

As we detailed earlier today in a full story, the Knicks assigned veteran wing Courtney Lee to the G League to get in some minutes and improve his conditioning. Lee struggled a little with his shot for the Westchester Knicks on Tuesday night, scoring 16 points on 7-of-21 shooting (1-of-9 on threes).

Here are the rest of today’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Assignments:

  • The Jazz assigned Grayson Allen and Georges Niang to the Salt Lake City Stars in advance of the team’s game tonight against Austin, the team announced in a press release.
  • Rookie point guard Elie Okobo was assigned to the G League today by the Suns, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). Okobo, who has been in and out of Phoenix’s rotation this season, started at the point for Northern Arizona tonight.
  • The Bucks assigned D.J. Wilson to the G League in advance of the Wisconsin Herd’s two-game road trip this week, according to the club (Twitter link). A first-rounder in 2017, Wilson still isn’t part of Milwaukee’s rotation, having played just two games for the Bucks this season.
  • Sixers rookie Jonah Bolden was recalled from the G League this morning, then re-assigned several hours later, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic (Twitter links). Bolden has averaged a double-double in four G League contests, posting 15.5 PPG and 12.3 RPG in Delaware.

Recalls:

  • After helping lead the Memphis Hustle to a Monday victory with 25 points and 10 boards, Ivan Rabb was recalled to the NBA today by the Grizzlies, according to the club (Twitter link).
  • The Hawks recalled Daniel Hamilton from Erie, as Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Hamilton posted back-to-back double-doubles for the BayHawks during his latest G League stint.
  • 2018 first-round pick Troy Brown was recalled to the NBA by the Wizards, the team announced today (via Twitter). Brown has averaged 18.3 PPG on 47.5% in four NBAGL games this season.
  • The Pelicans have recalled Frank Jackson from the G League, per a team press release. New Orleans doesn’t have its own affiliate, so Jackson had been with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ NBAGL squad.
  • The Bucks recalled Christian Wood from the Wisconsin Herd today, according to RealGM’s transactions log. Wood has appeared sparingly in just six games for Milwaukee in 2018/19.

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Irving, Bolden, Scariolo

The Sixers‘ options with Markelle Fultz are limited, Chris Mannix of SI.com writes in the wake of this week’s news that the former No. 1 overall pick is dealing with shoulder and wrist injuries. After a report suggested Fultz would prefer a change of scenery, agent Raymond Brothers quickly denied that he had ever given any indication to the 76ers that his client wants to be dealt. Even if Philadelphia wanted to make a deal, it would be difficult to extract much value for the young point guard at this point.

According to Mannix, one rival executive suggested to him that the Sixers ought to make a call to the Suns – who badly need a point guard – to discuss a swap centered around Fultz and Trevor Ariza. Ariza would be a good fit for a Sixers team that could use another three-and-D wing, but he’s a 33-year-old veteran on a one-year deal — he wouldn’t exactly be a substantial return for a player who was drafted first overall just 17 months ago.

In Mannix’s view, the best path for the Sixers and Fultz, once he’s healthy, might be a G League assignment. A stint with the Delaware Blue Coats would give the 20-year-old an opportunity to run an offense and regain his confidence in a low-pressure environment. It would be a risk – if Fultz struggles in the G League, his value would decline even further – but Mannix contends that it makes more sense than having the second-year guard sit on the bench in Philadelphia.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said today that he only wants to play in the NBA until his early-to-mid-30s, tweets Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com. Irving is still only 26 years old, so it’s probably worth checking back in and gauging his stance again a few years from now.
  • Sixers rookie forward Jonah Bolden recently sustained a small cortical crack in the proximal fibula of his right leg during a G League game, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com. Bolden is expected to be sidelined for the time being, and will be re-evaluated next Thursday.
  • Following the Raptors‘ game on Friday against Washington, assistant coach Sergio Scariolo will head over to Europe to coach Spain for a pair of 2019 World Cup qualifying games next week, as Doug Smith of The Toronto Star details. It’s a rare opportunity for an NBA assistant like Scariolo, who said the Raptors approved the time off when he initially signed his contract during the offseason. “Without even myself working one hour on the floor, they had already given me this permission and I am really thankful,” Scariolo said.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/15/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA: