Philadelphia 76ers

Several Teams Interested In Otto Porter

The Wizards have no intention of letting Otto Porter walk in restricted free agency, but a bevy of rival teams will try to pry him from Washington, Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports. The Nets have long been interested in Porter and Deveney adds that the Sixers and Magic will consider making the small forward an offer this summer.

It was recently reported that an extension for John Wall will be at the top of the team’s list and the organization would like to get that done before moving onto other objectives, which include a Porter deal. One anonymous GM cautions that Washington shouldn’t wait too long to come to terms with the Georgetown product.

“If his situation goes past the first couple of days of free agency, it will cost them because some of these teams that have space and miss out on the players they have in mind to start with are going to move quickly to the restricted [free agents],” one GM told Deveney. “And Otto Porter is going to be at the top of that list, even at $100 million.”

The Mavericks had intended to pursue Porter, but that was before they acquired a restricted free agent of their own in Nerlens Noel. Deveney suggests that Dallas may not be looking to tie up its cap space on a rival restricted free agent while its own player is free to sign with other teams. Noel is expected to receive a lucrative offer from the franchise and once he signs with the team, nearly all of the team’s cap space will be exhausted. Then again, Owner Mark Cuban could always work out a verbal agreement with Noel, akin to what Detroit did with Andre Drummond, which would allow the Mavs to use its cap space on other players before circling back to a Noel deal.

Porter, who went to college in the Washington area and is comfortable in the city, has little reason to give the Wizards a discount, Deveney adds. It was previously reported that Porter could be a candidate for a max contract. The salary cap is projected to come in at $101MM next year, meaning the soon-to-be 24-year-old could command a starting salary of slightly over $25MM in a four-year deal worth north of $115MM.

Brandon Austin Cleared To Play In NBA, Worked Out For Sixers

A “secret arbitration ruling” within the league is helping Brandon Austin to have an opportunity to play in the NBA, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Austin faced separate sexual assault allegations at two schools—Oregon and Providence—during his collegiate career and while he was never charged a crime, he was kicked off of both basketball teams.

Last summer, the league sent a memo to all 30 franchises which instructed any team interested in signing either Austin or another unnamed player to call the NBA office, sources tell Lowe. Teams that called the league were told about the allegations and the teams were warned that the two players could face discipline once they signed with a club.

The National Basketball Players Association felt the league had overstepped its boundaries. It filed an arbitration claim and the arbitrator agreed that the NBA could not fine or suspend players for allegations which occurred prior to entering the league. The league then sent a follow-up memo to all teams which told teams that it had the authority to “disapprove” any contract of a player based on Adam Silver’s broad authority. The league’s constitution states that “all players shall be of good moral character.”

In all, the ruling stated that the league can reject any contract, but can not impose punishment for a prior act once a contract is signed.

Austin worked out with the Sixers last week, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 6’7″ point guard previously talked to Pompey about the past allegations, stating that “everything was consensual.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Austin told Pompey last summer. “The intention wasn’t wrong. I just made a mistake. A lot of people make mistakes. I just grew from it, and I continue to [grow] today.”

The Sixers told Pompey that they are only making their gym available for Austin as they have and will do for local NBA and D-League players this summer.

Sixers Willing to Sell Picks?

  • The Nets may target Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons in free agency, according to NetsDaily. GM Sean Marks has identified small forward as the primary position of need, and Simmons has been outstanding in the playoffs. Simmons, who will be a restricted free agent, has averaged 16 points per game in the Western Conference finals and is shooting 40% from 3-point range. The website also says Brooklyn might be the team to gamble on oft-injured Harry Giles in the draft, and identifies the Sixers, Celtics and Jazz as teams that could be most willing to sell some picks.

Draft Notes: Fox, Ntilikina, Chartouny

De’Aaron Fox was eyeing Sacramento as a destination even before the Kings moved up in the lottery, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com tweets. The Kings need a long-term option at the point guard position and Fox could be the answer when they pick at No. 5. Howard-Cooper notes that Fox is friends with center Willie Cauley-Stein.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears that the Knicks, Mavericks, Sixers and Kings are the franchises which spent the most time scouting Frank Ntilikina in France over the past month. Ntilikina is the 10th best prospect in the draft, according to Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony.
  • Joseph Chartouny will withdraw from the draft and return to Fordham next season, sources tell Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The point guard scored 11.9 points and dished out 4.6 assists during his sophomore campaign at the university.
  • While it appears the Ball family may get their dream outcome of Lonzo Ball playing for the Lakers, Adi Joseph of USA Today lays out four scenarios that could hurt LaVar Ball‘s master plan.

Sixers Owner Thinks Team Is Stacked

  • Managing owner of the Sixers, Josh Harris, is confident in the direction of the franchise, even after this week’s lottery results that didn’t exactly work out in their favor, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “We now are stacked for the future,” Harris said. “We have a young team already. So that leaves some slots for some vets to put around our young guys and teach them about what it’s like to be in the NBA.”

Draft Notes: Smith Jr., Kapita, Motley

Dennis Smith Jr. is drawing interest from several lottery teams, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog reports. The Knicks, Sixers, Wolves, and Kings have all reached out to the point guard to set up a workout. Smith is projected to be one of the top point guards taken on June 22 with Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony ranking him as the fourth-best player at the position and seventh-best player overall.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

Sixers' Cap Flexibility Won't Last Forever

  • Although the Sixers head into this summer with plenty of cap flexibility, they shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that they’ll need to account for big raises for their young players on rookie contracts in the not-too-distant future, writes David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News. Joel Embiid will be the first youngster in line for a big payday, as he becomes extension-eligible for the first time this offseason.

Embiid Likes Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum At No. 3

  • In the wake of Tuesday night’s draft lottery results, Joel Embiid shared his thoughts on the potential No. 3 pick for the Sixers, per Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com. Embiid acknowledged that Fultz and Ball will likely be gone by the time Philadelphia picks, but identified Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum as two targets for his team.
  • Earlier today, we rounded up a few Celtics-related items and examined the Sixers‘ salary cap situation for 2017/18.
  • In the wake of Tuesday night’s draft lottery results, Joel Embiid shared his thoughts on the potential No. 3 pick for the Sixers, per Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com. Embiid acknowledged that Fultz and Ball will likely be gone by the time Philadelphia picks, but identified Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum as two targets for his team.
  • Last week, we heard that Furkan Korkmaz would like to join the Sixers for the 2017/18 season, but that report came with the caveat that Philadelphia is “in no rush” to bring over the 2016 first-rounder. President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo essentially confirmed as much on Wednesday, suggesting that the 19-year-old may not be physically ready for the NBA, and adding that Korkmaz’ buyout also complicates the situation. Tom Moore of The Bucks County Courier Times has the details and the quotes from Colangelo.
  • Earlier today, we rounded up a few Celtics-related items and examined the Sixers‘ salary cap situation for 2017/18.

2017 Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Philadelphia 76ers

After three straight seasons of the Sixers failing to reach the 20-win mark, fans in Philadelphia finally got a thrilling glimpse of the future in 2016/17, as Joel Embiid made his NBA debut and looked like a potential franchise player. Embiid’s rookie season was cut short by more injuries, as was Ben Simmons‘, but assuming the 76ers have better health luck going forward, there’s plenty of reason for optimism — and the team still has plenty of cap flexibility to continue adding talent.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Sixers financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2017:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

  • Alex Poythress ($1,512,611 qualifying offer / $1,512,611 cap hold)
  • Total: $1,512,611

Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000

Maximum Cap Room: $55,186,167

  • The Sixers have eight players on guaranteed salaries, a cheap team option for Covington that will be exercised, and a cap hold for their No. 3 overall pick. Throw in a couple cap charges for empty roster spots and their team salary is a modest $45,813,833. Even if the Sixers retain a couple of their non-guaranteed players, as expected, they’ll have more than enough space for a maximum salary contract, with plenty of room to spare.

Footnotes:

  1. There are conflicting reports about whether or not Henderson’s contract has a partial guarantee or no guarantee. Either way, Henderson’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after June 30.
  2. Covington’s salary remains non-guaranteed if team option exercised; becomes partially guaranteed ($53,547) after August 9.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and The Vertical was used in the creation of this post.

Hoops Links Vol. 5: Shirley Temple Lies, Milkshake Theft, More

Welcome to the fifth installment of Hoops Links, where we round up our favorite content from around the NBA blogosphere and shine a light on it here. Every week we set out to feature entertaining, original content powered by the blogging community.

See your own piece plugged? Well done! Now share the love by spreading the word about Hoops Links – we’re talking favs, retweets, postcards to mom and everything in between. Help us build a bigger stage for your best work!

If you want to hit us up with a link in the future, make sure to drop me a line on Twitter (@AustinKent) or even just email HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws. Remember, we want to be intrigued and captivated. It also helps if the content is relatively fresh (considering we publish on Thursdays).

Without further ado…


With a roster full of young players and a negligible chance of winning a meaningful amount of ball games, the Suns made the decision with months remaining in the season to tank unabashedly. After Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, in which Phoenix dropped from a projected No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed, Adam Maynes of Valley of the Suns wrote a spirited column suggesting that the organization got what it deserved.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Angry Earl Watsons
Author: Adam Maynes – @Adam4America
Link: Phoenix Suns tank fail


Joel Embiid verticalWe’re all happy to buy into the quirky Joel Embiid narrative whenever the goofy big man does something like sip a Shirley Temple on live television. But what if we’re living a lie? Kyle Neubeck of Liberty Ballers revealed that the pink beverage at Embiid’s side during the Draft Lottery was little more than a prop.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Red Pills
Author: Kyle Neubeck – @KyleNeubeck
Link: Joel Embiid’s Shirley Temple prop


Are the Bulls less likely to deal Jimmy Butler to the Celtics now that Boston has landed the No. 1 pick in the draft? Vijay Vemu of Blog A Bull suggests as much, writing that Danny Ainge took a risk holding onto the pick at the deadline rather than going the safe route and dealing for an established star.

Rating: 7 out of 10 Fortunate Gambles
Author: Vijay Vemu – @VJVemu
Link: Jimmy Butler to Celtics less likely


The Hawks could have done more to involve Dwight Howard in their offense, Da’Vonte Hughes of Soaring Down South writes, suggesting that the big man had reason to be upset with how he was utilized during his first season Atlanta.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Neglected Supermen
Author: Da’Vonte Hughes – @CookieByNature
Link: Dwight Howard non-option for Hawks


Did you forget that Joel Anthony was still in the NBA? You aren’t alone. Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie noticed the big man’s name trending on Twitter and discovered that people all around the world were shocked to see the veteran big man suit up in the Spurs‘ blowout loss Wednesday.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Two-Time NBA Champions
Author: Dan Devine – @YourManDevine
Link: Joel Anthony trends on Twitter


There are similarities between Jimmy Butler and Stanley Johnson, including underwhelming freshman and sophomore seasons, says Luke Wolthuis of Piston Powered. Could Johnson, a well-built two-way forward, make a leap similar to that of Butler’s in Year 3?

Rating: 7 out of 10 Better Late Than Nevers
Author: Luke Wolthuis – @WolthuisLuke
Link: Stanley Johnson, Jimmy Butler comparison


Harrison Barnes verticalAlthough he may not win the award, Harrison Barnes deserves a spot in the Most Improved Player conversation, Sam Guertler of Mavs Moneyball suggests. The forward’s offensive game improved dramatically in his first year as a targeted weapon in Dallas, without any compromise in efficiency.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Additional Better Late Than Nevers
Author: Sam Guertler – @SamGuertler
Link: Harrison Barnes Most Improved Player


It takes a delicate balance of usefulness and expendability for a player to suit up for three different franchises in one season. This year, Ersan Ilyasova dressed for the Thunder, Sixers, and Hawks, and still managed to set a new career high for points in a season. Miles Wray of The Step Back took a good long look at how the season stands up historically.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Bonus Points For Playing For Two Altogether Different Teams Last Year
Author: Miles Wray – @MilesWray
Link: NBA players who play for three teams in one season


It was hard to evaluate the first season in the NBA for Jakob Poeltl, a lottery pick on a reigning Eastern Conference Finals squad, but Brian Boake set out to do so anyway for Raptors Rapture. In Poeltl, the Raptors have a cheap, malleable option to audition as their Stretch 5 of the Future.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Teenage Mutant Ninjas
Author: Brian Boake – @NewmarketBrian
Link: Jakob Poeltl’s future with Raptors


Over the years, Gregg Popovich has simply owned Mike D’Antoni in the NBA playoffs, so much so that the J.R. Wilco over at Pounding the Rock had a particularly specific video commissioned just to drive home the point.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Academy Award-Winning Method Actors
Author: J.R. Wilco – @JRWilco
Link: Gregg Popovich, Mike D’Antoni History

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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