Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers, Melo Trimble Agree To Deal

The Sixers have reached an agreement on a free agent contract with former Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, reports Chris Haynes of (Twitter link). Trimble was draft-eligible this year, but wasn’t one of the 60 picks made on Thursday night.

Trimble is coming off a 2016/17 season in which he averaged 16.8 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 3.6 RPG for the Terrapins. The 6’3″ guard was a junior last season, but elected to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility by entering the draft a year early. He ranked 84th on DraftExpress’ big board.

The 76ers have now reached reported deals with both Trimble and Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. since the draft ended. The expectation is that those players will be in camp with Philadelphia this fall, though neither deal can be made official until after the new league year begins in July, and camp signings often aren’t finalized until later in the offseason.

Sixers Will Ink James Blackmon Jr. To Free Agent Deal

Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. has agreed to an undrafted free agent contract with the Sixers, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Blackmon put up 17.0 points and 4.8 rebounds during his junior year with the Hoosiers. He has a reputation as an excellent shooter, but at 6’3″ he may be undersized to play his natural position of shooting guard in the NBA.

Blackmon was ranked 84th in the nation on Chad Ford’s list of the top 100 prospects and 83rd by Draft Express.

Bucks To Acquire Sterling Brown From Sixers

The Bucks and Sixers have reached an agreement on the No. 46 overall pick, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Charania reports (via Twitter) that Milwaukee is acquiring the pick – and the draft rights to SMU’s Sterling Brown – from Philadelphia.

Brown is a 6’6″ senior who averaged 13.4 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Mustangs this season. He is the younger brother of former NBA player Shannon Brown.

In addition to top pick Markelle Fultz and Anzejs Pasecniks at No. 25, the Sixers came away from the draft with two second-rounders, Jonah Bolden at No. 36 and Mathias Lessort at No. 50.

Clippers To Acquire No. 39 From Sixers, Draft Jawun Evans

The Clippers have reached a deal for the No. 39 overall pick, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Charania reports (via Twitter) that Los Angeles will acquire the pick from the Sixers, gaining the draft rights to former Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans. The Sixers will receive cash in return, per David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

Reports from earlier today had indicated that the Clippers were calling teams in the middle of the second round in an effort to get back into the draft. Los Angeles found a willing trade partner in the Sixers, who were loaded with second-rounders — Philadelphia entered the night with Nos. 36, 46, and 50 in addition to No. 39.

The Sixers aren’t eligible to receive more than $100K in cash in a trade this month, having already used most of their $3.5MM limit for the 2016/17 league year. As such, it seems likely that the two teams will wait until July to finalize the deal.

Magic Trade 25th Pick To Sixers

The Sixers acquired the rights to Orlando’s pick at No. 25 and used it to select Anzejs Pasecniks, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. Orlando will receive a 2020 first-rounder that originally belonged to the Thunder and the less favorable pick of the Nets’ and Knicks’ 2020 second-rounders, according to David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

Pasecniks is a 7’2″ center out of Latvia who is a former teammate of Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis. He weighs just 226 pounds and will need to add bulk to be effective in the NBA, so he may have to spend at least one more season overseas.

Orlando came into tonight with four picks, but wound up with just Jonathan Isaac at No. 6, plus whomever it takes at No. 33. The 35th selection was traded to the Grizzlies in a separate deal.

The 2020 first-round pick headed to Orlando in the deal is top-20 protected in 2020, ’21, and ’22. If it doesn’t convey in one of those three years, Orlando would instead received the Thunder’s 2022 and 2023 second-round picks.

Sixers Make Markelle Fultz Top Pick

Three days after completing a deal for the No. 1 pick, the Sixers used it as expected, taking point guard Markelle Fultz out of Washington.

There was no suspense surrounding the selection, as Philadelphia made its intentions clear from the time trade talks began with the Celtics. Sixers officials didn’t sign off on the deal until they received Fultz’s medical records and brought him in for a visit.

An explosive 6’4″ freshman, Fultz is expected to team with last year’s top pick, Ben Simmons, and center Joel Embiid to form a Big Three for the future in Philadelphia. The addition of Fultz may signal a turnaround after years of losing that began when former GM Sam Hinkie launched The Process in 2013.

Fultz has topped nearly every mock draft since the season began, and the Celtics would have been overwhelming favorites to draft him if they had kept the pick. Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds during his only season with the Huskies and gets near-unanimous approval from NBA scouts.

Philadelphia has four picks remaining, all the in second round, at 36, 39, 46 and 50.

Colangelo Seeking Additional First-Rounder

  • The Sixers are trying to obtain another first-rounder in the bottom third of the draft by packaging the No. 36 and No. 39 overall picks in the second round, David Aldridge of tweets. President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo said earlier this week he was still seeking another first-round pick even after the trade with the Celtics for the No. 1 overall pick was finalized.

Hoops Links Vol. 10: The Process, The Godfather, More

Tired of mock drafts yet? I didn’t think so. Still, it’s important to pace one’s self on a fine day such as this. Before the day is done there will be 60 new NBA players and half that many Woj bombs (we hope), so take a fleeting moment to read about the NBA landscape in general before zeroing in on obscure international sleeper picks and combine results.

To be featured in next week’s Hoops Links (where we prance about telling everybody on the internet why we love the NBA blogosphere so much), submit your favorite articles for nomination. Connect with Austin Kent on Twitter (@AustinKent) as our Thursday publication date approaches and tell us why you think your content deserves a shout out in this most heralded of link dumps.

Kyle Lowry verticalThe offseason is a trying time for sports fans as the balance between passion and rationality can be difficult to strike. For South of the 6ix, Adam Corsair used recent confusion surrounding Kyle Lowry and the Raptors as a telltale example of why fans should be leery of unsubstantiated rumors. Until a decision is made and deal is done, there are too many variables at play for fans to take things at face value all the time.

Author: Adam Corsair – @ACorsair21
Rating: 8 out of 10 Grains of Salt
Link: Kyle Lowry free agent rumors.

A pair of news reports that came out this week suggest that the Spurs could be considering a home run swing in free agency this summer, and Jesus Gomez of Pounding the Rock has broken down exactly what that might look like. The combination of Pau Gasol opting out and the club supposedly shopping Danny Green frees up cap space, and a few other moves could get the Spurs into a scenario where they could offer max money.

Author: Jesus Gomez – @JejeGomez_PtR
Rating: 8 out of 10 Pennies Pinched
Link: Spurs could make big free agent pitch.

Around this time five years ago, the Sixers swung a deal for Andrew Bynum. This, Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers writes, was the true start of “The Process.” In the years since, Sam Hinkie has come and gone, assets have come and gone, and now the franchise approaches the NBA Draft with more optimism than they’ve had since the Allen Iverson Era. Here’s a a celebratory reminder of all that Philly fans have been through and why it was worth it.

Author: Michael Levin – @Michael_Levin
Rating: 8 out of 10 Bowling Injuries
Link: The Process, in summary.

The Suns were wise to turn down an offer for DeAndre Jordan this week, but only because the price was too high. Given more reasonable terms, an acquisition of the three-time All-NBA big man could be wise. For Valley of the Suns, Lucas McLean breaks down scenarios in which Phoenix could make a play for the center and what that could mean.

Author: Lucas McLean – @LucasMcLean
Rating: 7 out of 10 Airplane Emojis
Link: DeAndre Jordan could fit with Suns.

Hockey fans saw an expansion draft unfold in Las Vegas last night, prompting Shameek Mohile of Piston Powered to think about what the Pistons might do in a similar situation. Notably unprotected throughout the hypothetical exercise were Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer, while the prioritization of those protected was telling in and of itself.

Author: Shameek Mohile – @ShamShammgod
Rating: 8 out of 10 Marc-Andre Fleury Knights Jerseys
Link: The Pistons in an expansion draft.

Nikola Pekovic verticalWhen the Timberwolves waived Nikola Pekovic this week it brought an official end to an era. In honor of the hulking big man, John Meyer of Canis Hoopus published a streamable video-filled recap of the Godfather’s NBA tenure. It wasn’t always graceful, but that doesn’t mean Pek’s stint in Minnesota didn’t have its fair share of highlights and laughs.

Author: John Meyer – @TheDailyWolf
Rating: 9 out of 10 Brandon Knight Body Slams
Link: Celebrating Nikola Pekovic’s career.

The Nets were wise to capitalize on their valuable cap space and land D’Angelo Russell, who has the sort of potential star power that Brooklyn’s roster lacked. Ti Windisch of The Step Back writes that the 2015 second overall pick will be given every opportunity to succeed with the new club, and that the organization finally appears to have a plan.

Author: Ti Windisch – @TiWindisch
Rating: 8 out of 10 Inappropriate Ravens
Link: D’Angelo Russell could thrive with Nets.

The staff at Mavs Moneyball is well aware that LeBron James could hit the open market next offseason and isn’t wasting any time brainstorming potential ways to lure the biggest of fish to the Mavs. Consider the plethora of “Dear LeBron James” letters penned by the blog and let us know which you think would be the most effective.

Author: Rebecca Lawson – @BeccaAfterSix
Rating: 8 out of 10 Elevator Pitches
Link: Mavericks writers recruit LeBron James.

I’ll admit, it’s easy to pile on the Warriors these days, but that doesn’t mean there’s any logic behind it. Count Ron Moskovitz of Golden State of Mind the latest to be offended by the lack of respect Stephen Curry gets from a significant portion of the basketball community. The scribe puts a Dave McMenamin tweet on blast while reminding us all that the back-to-back Warriors MVP is a genuine “bet-the-house franchise changing solo talent.” Y’know, he’s not wrong.

Author: Ron Moskovitz – @Hotspurrrr
Rating: 9 out of 10 Supervillains
Link: Steph Curry disrespected, again.

Until Paul George is formally traded away from the Pacers or he officially signs with the Lakers next summer, there will be a whirlwind of speculation about possible trade suitors. Minh Dao of Rip City Project has capitalized on the growing notion that the All-Star will be on the move sooner rather than later, making the case for the Trail Blazers as a viable option.

Author: Minh Dao – @BeyondTheArcBTA
Rating: 8 out of 10 ESPN Trade Machines
Link: Blazers should trade for Paul George

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis

It has been another eventful day in the NBA, as a new name has entered the rumor mill as a possible trade candidate: Kristaps Porzingis. Reports have suggested there is a “frenzy of interest” in Porzingis, and the Knicks haven’t shot down potential suitors, though their asking price is said to be very high. The Celtics are reportedly among the teams with interest.

As we wait to see how serious the Knicks are about moving Porzingis, here are a few more noteworthy updates on his possible availability:


  • A plugged-in source who spoke to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) says to “disregard” the Porzingis buzz, telling Beck that the Knicks are taking calls but aren’t shopping the Latvian.



  • According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix (Twitter link), the Knicks asked the Suns for the No. 4 pick and Devin Booker in exchange for Porzingis. Gambadoro is as plugged in as anyone on Suns news, and asking for Booker makes sense for a team seeking a “front-line guard,” which we heard earlier. So this is perhaps an indication of New York’s asking price for Porzingis.
  • One general manager tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link) that the Porzingis rumor feels more like a “message” than something the Knicks are seriously considering. Deveney doesn’t speculate about the specifics of that message, but presumably it’s one aimed at Porzingis’ camp.
  • League sources tell Jordan Schultz of The Huffington Post (Twitter link) that Phil Jackson would like to dump Joakim Noah‘s contract in a Porzingis deal, though it’s not clear if that’s a deal-breaker. While getting Noah off the cap would certainly be huge for the Knicks, attaching him to Porzingis would risk significantly reducing the latter’s trade value.

Atlantic Notes: Pre-Draft Workouts, 76ers, Nets

Although likely no other pre-draft workout will top the excitement of Markelle Fultz‘s with the 76ers on Saturday, followed by media availability, and the subsequent finalizing of the blockbuster trade that would bring Fultz to Philly, the Sixers held another session on Tuesday, Keith Pompey of reports. Participants included Kris Jenkins (Villanova), Michael Young (Pittsburgh), Kadeem Allen (Arizona), Michael Ojo (Florida State), and Youssoupha Fall (France).

Here are more pre-draft workout updates from the Atlantic division:

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