Sixers Rumors

Five Draft-And-Stash Players Worth Knowing

Not every player drafted in a given year signs an NBA contract right away. Each year, at least a handful of draftees are “stashed” either in the G League or in various professional leagues around the world. The NBA team that drafted the player retains his exclusive NBA rights as he continues to develop his skills elsewhere.

Some of these players never end up making it to the NBA, whether by choice or because they don’t turn into an NBA-caliber contributor. Their draft rights eventually become more useful as placeholders in minor trades than for the possibility of the player coming stateside.

But many draft-and-stash players do eventually turn into useful contributors. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Davis Bertans, Cedi Osman, Dario Saric, Willy Hernangomez, Raul Neto, and Furkan Korkmaz are among the current NBA veterans who were stashed for at least one year after being drafted before signing an NBA contract.

Another member of that group? Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, the 41st pick in the 2014 draft, who remained in Serbia for a year before signing with Denver in 2015.

None of the players currently being stashed overseas are likely to turn into a Jokic-esque superstar at the NBA level, but there are certainly a few who look capable of cracking a rotation sooner or later.

Here are five of the most noteworthy draft-and-stash played worth keeping an eye on at the moment:

Vasilije Micic

  • Current team: Anadolu Efes (EuroLeague)
  • Drafted: 2014 (No. 52 overall)
  • NBA rights held by: Oklahoma City Thunder

Long considered one of the best guards in Europe, Micic was the EuroLeague’s Most Valuable Player in 2021 and has been named the MVP of the league’s Final Four in each of the last two seasons.

It looked like there was a chance he’d make his way to the NBA for the 2022/23 season, but there were a number of hurdles to overcome. Micic was reportedly seeking a salary close to the full mid-level exception and wanted a real, defined role rather than just coming over to sit on the bench.

The biggest roadblock may have been the fact that his NBA rights are held by the Thunder — the Serbian would reportedly prefer to join a contender, and Oklahoma City remains very much in the rebuilding stage.

Despite some offseason trade rumors, the Thunder ultimately held onto Micic and he opted to re-sign with Anadolu Efes in Turkey. He’s once again thriving in EuroLeague play, ranking third in points per game (18.9) and second in assists per game (6.6) through nine appearances.

Micic will turn 29 in January, so if he wants to try to make his mark in the NBA, it probably has to happen soon.

Sasha Vezenkov

  • Current team: Olympiacos (EuroLeague)
  • Drafted: 2017 (No. 57 overall)
  • NBA rights held by: Sacramento Kings

Vezenkov is coming off his best season in 2021/22, having led the Greek Basket League in scoring en route to an MVP award and a championship. He also earned a spot on the All-EuroLeague First Team.

The 27-year-old forward has looked even better so far in the ’22/23 season. Through 10 EuroLeague games, he’s second in scoring (20.1 PPG) and first in rebounding (8.7 RPG), leading Olympiacos to a 7-3 record.

After acquiring Vezenkov’s rights from Cleveland in a draft-day trade, the Kings reportedly planned to meet with him during the Las Vegas Summer League to discuss his future. However, that meeting didn’t end up taking place and Sacramento ultimately didn’t sign Vezenkov for the 2022/23 season.

It’s unclear whether it was the Kings or Vezenkov who backed off a potential deal, but based on how this season has played out so far, there’s reason to believe both sides could be more interested in teaming up next summer. Sacramento is off to a 10-7 start and has one of the NBA’s most exciting offenses, while Vezenkov is making a legitimate case for a EuroLeague MVP consideration.

Juhann Begarin

  • Current team: Paris Basketball (EuroCup)
  • Drafted: 2021 (No. 45 overall)
  • NBA rights held by: Boston Celtics

Still only 20 years old, Begarin played a significant role for Paris Basketball last season during the team’s first year in France’s top league (LNB Pro A) and is doing so again in 2022/23. The French shooting guard is a long-distance threat who showed off his scoring ability in Las Vegas this July, averaging 18.2 PPG in five games for Boston’s Summer League team.

It makes sense that a team with title aspirations like the Celtics wasn’t necessarily eager to bring over a 20-year-old prospect right away, but it seems like it’ll be just a matter of time before he gets his shot.

Former NBA assistant Will Weaver, who is now Paris’ head coach, raved about Begarin last month, referring to him as an NBA-caliber player who “can make an impact in Boston.”

Filip Petrusev

  • Current team: Crvena zvezda (EuroLeague)
  • Drafted: 2021 (No. 50 overall)
  • NBA rights held by: Philadelphia 76ers

Still just 22 years old, Petrusev already has an impressive international résumé. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Adriatic League (ABA) in 2021 as a member of Mega Basket, then won a EuroLeague title with Micic and Anadolu Efes in 2022.

The forward/center is currently playing for Crvena zvezda in his home country of Serbia and has been an effective role player in 10 EuroLeague appearances, averaging 7.0 PPG and 4.7 RPG on .543/.455/.625 shooting in 18.4 MPG. In five ABA games, his shooting percentages have been even better (.609/.800/.824).

Petrusev was reportedly interested in joining the Sixers this past summer, but there wasn’t room for him on a veteran-heavy roster. He has since expressed confidence in Philadelphia’s “plan” for him and said he believes competing in the EuroLeague will be a boon for his development.

Gabriele Procida

  • Current team: Alba Berlin (EuroLeague)
  • Drafted: 2022 (No. 36 overall)
  • NBA rights held by: Detroit Pistons

Procida is one of eight prospects who are playing in international leagues this season after being selected in the 2022 draft. The Italian wing was the first of those eight players to come off the board in June and may be the most intriguing of the bunch at the moment.

Although he’s only 20 years old, Procida is playing a rotation role for Alba Berlin in EuroLeague competition, averaging 7.2 PPG with a .351 3PT% in 16.7 minutes per contest.

Procida’s contract with Alba Berlin is a three-year deal and details about possible NBA outs haven’t been reported, so it’s unclear if and when we might see him in the NBA. However, he told Orazio Cauchi of BasketNews that the Pistons are in frequent contact with him and visited him in Berlin, so it sounds like he’s in the club’s plans going forward.

Atlantic Notes: Harris, Grimes, Tatum, Brown, Raptors

Though Sixers starting power forward Tobias Harris may be a trade candidate down the line, Philadelphia needs his two-way contributions while weathering injuries to the team’s three leading scorers, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harris, the Sixers’ fourth-leading scorer, has two years and $76.9MM remaining on his current maximum-salary contract with the club. In his last two contests – with James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey out – Harris is averaging 21.5 PPG while taking 20.5 field goals a night. For the 2022/23 season, the 6’8″ vet is averaging 15.6 PPG, on 13.1 field goal tries.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks guard Quentin Grimes has been logging significant minutes of late, having been promoted to a starting role in the absence of injured wing Cam Reddish, per Peter Botte of The New York Post. “I feel great,” Grimes said of the opportunity. “I feel like I’m kind of back to my old game shape, really.Zach Braziller of The New York Post scouts how Grimes can help New York though his shooting, perimeter defense, and passing.
  • Ahead of his Mavericks’ 125-112 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, All-Star guard Luka Doncic praised Boston as “probably” the league’s best team, adding that All-Star swingmen Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum could be the team’s best tandem, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Tatum and Brown combined for 68 points in Boston’s win over the Mavs.
  • The Raptors front office does not yet have enough information about the team’s roster to have made a determination about how best it can approach this season’s trade deadline, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Injuries and illnesses have affected several key players, including forward Pascal Siakam and shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. have impeded the team’s appraisals.

Sixers Notes: Simmons, Embiid, Maxey, Offseason Moves

Before Ben Simmons faced the wrath of Philadelphia fans Tuesday night, he spoke to the media about his relationship with some of his former Sixers teammates and admitted that he hasn’t been in contact with Joel Embiid, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons and Embiid were an uneasy pairing as the Sixers’ two stars during their time together, and they’ve remained distant since Simmons was dealt to the Nets.

“I mean, you’re not cool with everybody,” Simmons said. “You are not texting everybody. I mean, there’s certain people that you don’t talk to all the time. I have friends that I don’t talk to all the time, but we’re still cool. But that’s how life went.”

Pompey notes that the two stars’ games never fit together well and their personalities prevented them from connecting off the court. People close to Simmons thought he was more effective in games that Embiid didn’t play, according to Pompey, and Simmons believed Embiid was taking shots at him through his public comments during last year’s holdout.

Simmons took the high road on Tuesday, telling reporters that he enjoyed his time playing alongside Embiid.

“Obviously, it didn’t work out,” he said. “But you know, that’s life. Not everything works out in your favor. So I wish him the best. Obviously, not a championship … but the best.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • Simmons believes Philadelphia has a future star in third-year guard Tyrese Maxey, who is currently sidelined with a fracture in his left foot, Pompey adds. “He’s incredible,” Simmons said. “He’s growing. He’s playing with great confidence. For me, when I see him, I love seeing him with the ball. I think he should definitely handle the ball a lot more than what he is, but he’s growing. He’s young. And I can’t wait to see in the future.”
  • When considering Simmons’ fallout with the franchise, Sixers management doesn’t get enough criticism for trying to trade him one month into his new contract, Marc Stein argues in his latest Substack piece. Simmons’ five-year extension had just taken effect during the 2020/21 season when president of basketball operations Daryl Morey offered him to the Rockets as the centerpiece in a potential James Harden deal.
  • With Maxey, Harden and Embiid all currently injured, the Sixers are in danger of sliding down the Eastern Conference standings until they can get healthy, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The team already went through the adversity of a slow start, with Doc Rivers briefly becoming the betting favorite as the first coach to fired. Windhorst notes that part of the problem is limited production from offseason additions, as P.J. Tucker is averaging just 4.0 points per game and Danuel House is contributing 4.5 PPG.

Sixers Sign Saben Lee To Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 23: The Sixers have officially signed Lee and waived Foster, the team confirmed today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 22: The Sixers will sign point guard Saben Lee to a two-way deal, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps tweets.

Philadelphia waive Michael Foster Jr. to clear a spot for Lee, Bontemps adds. The hope is that he’ll clear waivers and join the 76ers’ G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.

Lee spent the last two seasons with the Pistons after being the 38th pick of the 2020 draft. He appeared in 85 games for Detroit, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .434/.265/.731.

Lee was included in the preseason trade with the Jazz that landed Bojan Bogdanovic in Detroit. He failed to make the Jazz’s opening night roster and was waived. He then signed with Phoenix and was quickly waived; the Raptors signed and waived him in mid-October.

Toronto gave Lee an Exhibit 10 contract and he has played for Raptors 905, their G League team, so far this season. Lee was averaging 21.7 points and 6.0 assists in seven G League appearances.

Foster, a rookie forward, had his Exhibit 10 contract converted into a two-way deal in mid-October. He made a brief appearance in Tuesday’s win over the Nets. Foster played for the G League Ignite last season.

Lee provides some depth at the point guard spot with Tyrese Maxey sidelined by a foot fracture and James Harden out due to a foot strain.

Joel Embiid Out At Least Two Games With Left Foot Sprain

Sixers center Joel Embiid will miss the team’s next two games with a sprain in his left foot, tweets Shams Charania of the Athletic. Embiid’s condition will be reevaluated later this week.

The injury likely occurred in Saturday’s game when Georges Niang accidentally landed on Embiid’s leg during a fast break, notes Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link).

Philadelphia will host the Nets on Tuesday and then travel to Charlotte the next night. If Embiid’s condition improves, he could be cleared to return Friday at Orlando.

The Sixers are already playing without injured guards James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, but Tobias Harris could be close to returning, tweets Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harris missed the past two games with hip soreness, but he was able to practice Monday morning.

Embiid, the runner-up in the MVP voting the past two years, is playing at a high level again this season, averaging a career-high 32.3 points through 12 games, along with 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 blocks.

Tyrese Maxey Out 3-4 Weeks With Foot Fracture

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey has suffered a small bone fracture in his left foot, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Sources inform Woj (via Twitter) that Maxey will be sidelined for at least three-to-four weeks with the ailment.

Maxey first injured the foot during a 110-102 victory over the Bucks Friday night, and was wearing a walking boot after the game. The team then had Maxey undergo imaging to determine the extent of the injury.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets, the Sixers are now going to be missing both pieces of their starting backcourt. James Harden continues to recover from a foot strain and remains on track to return to the floor for Philadelphia early next month. In the meantime, even more of the scoring burden figures to fall to Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid.

A 6’2″ combo guard, Maxey had been enjoying a career season in his first 15 games with the club this year, averaging 22.9 PPG on .462/.422/.738 shooting splits, along with 4.4 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.0 SPG.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Montrezl Harrell Involved In Postgame Altercation

Having made just 4-of-15 free throw attempts in an eight-point loss in Philadelphia on Friday night, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo came back out onto the Wells Fargo Center court after the game, hoping to make 10 shots in a row from the foul line before calling it a night.

However, as detailed in reports from Tim Bontemps of ESPN, Joe Vardon of The Athletic, and Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, after Antetokounmpo had made seven consecutive free throws, Sixers big man Montrezl Harrell came and took the ball away on Giannis’ eighth attempt. Harrell and Sixers player development coach Jason Love refused to give the ball back to Antetokounmpo, who wanted to finish his shooting routine and reportedly told Harrell that there was room for both players to shoot.

“This isn’t f—ing Milwaukee,” Harrell shouted at Antetokounmpo, according to The Athletic. “Get that s–t out of there.”

Unable to get the ball back from Harrell and Love, Antetokounmpo left the court and returned with two new balls to continue shooting free throws. By that point, however, Sixers arena workers had positioned a large ladder in front of the basket Giannis had been using. When the staffers refused to move the ladder out of the way, Antetokounmpo tried to shove it aside and ended up knocking it over, as captured in a Twitter video.

Antetokounmpo ultimately did finish his foul shooting while Harrell worked out at the other end of the court and continued to shout at him. Once Giannis left the court for good, his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo came out and spoke to Harrell, according to Vardon, who says Harrell told Thanasis, “I’ll beat your a–“ and “You better send that s–t back to the locker room.”

Harrell, believed to be upset that Giannis was preventing him from doing his own on-court postgame work on the 76ers’ home court, left without speaking to reporters. Giannis – described by both Vardon and Owczarski as “agitated” – discussed the incident at length.

“Obviously I had a very bad night from the free throw line,” Antetokounmpo said, per Owczarksi. “Now, I take pride in getting better every single day. After the game I decided to go try and make some free throws. My goal, every time I step on the line is to make 10 in a row and I was shooting free throws. I was at seven, I think. A player, I don’t want to mention names, and a coach, basically told me to leave the court, while behind me there was another space to do their routine.

“I respect every player. I know some players don’t play now, they want to get some extra work, want to work on their skills and stuff, and I said, obviously we can shoot together. They told me no, this is their court, I should leave. I was like, ‘I have three more free throws, I was at seven, I want to try to make 10 in a row.’ I shot my eighth one. Came and took the ball away from me and I was very surprised. I feel like it’s very unprofessional. I would never take the ball away from a professional athlete when he’s trying to do his job.”

Harrell did post a tweet late on Friday night, briefly explaining his side of the interaction: “Aye make sure you get the complete story I ask the man can he get off the court so I can workout they had to change the court over he ignore me so hey that’s what you get! Respect is respect! GOODNIGHT!”

As for the video that showed him pushing down the ladder that arena staffers had put in front of the basket, Giannis said he wasn’t trying to disrespect anyone.

“Did I meant to push the ladder all the way down? I totally did not. I think I pushed it and it got caught and fell,” Antetokounmpo said. “But people are going to make it look the way they want it to look. I know what happened.

“I don’t know if I should apologize because I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, except the ladder just fell. I feel like it’s my right for me to work on my skills after a horrible night from the free throw line. I think anybody in my position that had a night like me would go out and work on his free throws. And if they didn’t, they don’t really care about their game.”

It’s unclear at this point whether or not any of the players involved in the postgame incident will be fined by the NBA.

Tyrese Maxey To Undergo MRI After Injuring Left Foot

9:37pm: Head coach Doc Rivers said Maxey was in a walking boot after the victory over Milwaukee, and while he anticipates Maxey will miss some time, he won’t know for sure until tomorrow’s MRI (Twitter link via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps).

8:08pm: Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey will undergo an MRI on his left foot Saturday after injuring it in Friday’s game against the Bucks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Initial X-rays on his foot were negative, sources tell Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Maxey was having an excellent first half prior to the injury, recording 24 points (9-of-12 shooting), four rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes. He was ruled out for the second half.

Evidently the injury occurred when Maxey was fouled, as he was clearly limping, frustrated and in a lot of pain. He went straight to the locker room after shooting his free throws, per Kyle Neubeck of (Twitter link).

Fellow guard James Harden remains sidelined with his own foot injury, so a potential extended absence for Maxey would obviously be difficult for the Sixers to overcome. However, there’s no reason to believe that’s the case yet, since he won’t have the MRI until tomorrow.

The 22-year-old is averaging 22.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.1 steals on .448/.408/.750 shooting through 14 games (37.5 minutes) for Philadelphia. As a former first-round pick in his third season, Maxey will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.

Sixers Gauging Interest In Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle

The Sixers have begun preliminary check-ins with rival teams to discuss who may or may not be available in trades, and Tobias Harris is among the players who have been discussed, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Kyle Neubeck of provides more context on Charania’s minor rumor involving Harris, writing that there have been a lot more trade talks than normal prior to December 15, when most free agents signed in the offseason become trade-eligible, and “Harris’ name has been has been discussed quite a bit already.”

Neubeck also hears that Matisse Thybulle is drawing interest from opposing teams, and expects the fourth-year swingman to be a fixture in trade rumors leading up to the February deadline.

Harris’ name has popped up multiple times in the rumor mill over the past couple years, but as Neubeck notes, his salary — which pays him $37.6MM this season and $39.3MM in 2023/24, the final year of his contract — makes him difficult to move. Harris is a solid player, but just isn’t valued at what he currently makes, and replacing his production while likely not getting equal value in return doesn’t make much sense for a contending club like the Sixers, Neubeck adds.

Harris will miss Friday’s home game against Milwaukee with left hip soreness, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

As for Thybulle, he is one of the most unique players in the NBA because he’s an elite defender — he earned All-Defensive nods each of the past two seasons — but a major negative on offense. That makes his value difficult to gauge, because he was a liability in last season’s playoffs and has struggled mightily to start ’22/23, averaging just 1.5 points on .296/.188/.333 shooting (small sample size) in 13.1 minutes per night across 13 games.

Thybulle will be a restricted free agent next summer after failing to reach a rookie scale extension with Philadelphia. The former 20th overall pick will earn $4.4MM in the final season of his rookie contract.

And-Ones: Trade Market, Spain, Coaches, Overtime Elite

Even though we’re only a month into the 2022/23 NBA season, some front offices are “beginning to get itchy trading fingers,” writes Steve Bulpett of, citing league sources. While the in-season trade market often doesn’t heat up until December 15, when most offseason signees become trade-eligible, some clubs may already be looking to make changes, according to executives who spoke to Bulpett.

“Everyone comes into the year having talked themselves into their roster,” one general manager said. “But then we start playing the games and soon enough reality sets in. Some teams shouldn’t read too much into it, because it takes time for guys to get on the same page if you’ve made some changes. But even though it’s crazy, some guys look at the standings and think, ‘Oh, s–t, I better do something.’ … And some of them are going to be under pressure to do something. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens after December 15.”

Bulpett’s story features some speculation from executives about what struggling or inconsistent teams like the Lakers and Nets might do on the trade market, as well as a suggestion from one exec that clubs’ financial situations will be worth monitoring as the trade deadline nears.

“There could be some interesting players out there as we get deeper into the season, because I think teams are going to be looking to dump salary once it’s clear they’re not in the playoff mix — or maybe in the mix but with no chance to do anything if they get there,” the executive said. “Teams are going to start looking at that luxury tax bill and their record, and the two just aren’t going to mesh.

“Where it could get interesting is if some guys get the idea they need to make a splash to keep their jobs. But I think you’re going to see some owners step in and look at the bottom line. What’s funny is that they may end up saving their GMs from themselves — you know, keep them from doing something stupid.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Spain has leapfrogged the United States as the No. 1 national team in FIBA’s men’s basketball rankings, according to a press release. The U.S. had held the top spot in FIBA’s rankings since 2010 and has won the last four Olympic gold medals, but finished seventh in the 2019 World Cup (which Spain won) and third in this year’s AmeriCup.
  • Zach Harper of The Athletic divides the NBA’s 30 coaches into “hot seat” tiers, starting with the ones who definitely aren’t going anywhere – such as Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra – and working his way down to the coaches who might want to keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date — Tom Thibodeau of the Knicks and Doc Rivers of the Sixers are in that final tier.
  • A panel of writers weighs in on the biggest surprises of the NBA season to date. Besides obvious choices like the Warriors‘ struggles and the Jazz‘s unexpected early success, the panel singled out the Pacers for their solid start and noted that offensive production has been off the charts in the early going.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic checks in on where Overtime Elite stands heading into its second year, highlighting some of the tweaks the league has made. Among those tweaks? Offering recruits a choice of a scholarship or a salary, allowing them to leave the door open to eventually playing college ball by retaining their amateur status, if they so choose. “The scholarship option (for high-school aged recruits) has been big for us, if not bigger than NIL,” OTE general manager Damien Wilkins said. “Because now we can go out and recruit without restrictions. There’s no real downside.”