Philadelphia 76ers

Insurance Could Be Issue For Embiid’s Next Deal

The Sixers are unlikely to secure disability insurance on center Joel Embiid if they sign him to a long-term deal, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Embiid’s pro career was stalled for two seasons by right foot ailments and his 2016/17 campaign was limited to 31 games by a left knee injury. He’s still a prime candidate for the Rookie of the Year award after averaging 20.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 2.5 BPG when he was able to take the court.

Embiid is eligible for a rookie extension this summer and Marks suggests that Philadelphia should follow the Nets’ lead on the sticky insurance issue. Under the multi-year terms that Brooklyn stipulated when re-signing center Brook Lopez, its contractual obligations would have been cut in half in the second year and down to 25% in the third year if Lopez had re-injured his right foot and wound up playing fewer than 60 games and averaged less than 15 minutes. Marks suggests the Sixers should wait until next summer and see if Embiid can play regularly next season. Embiid, who will make $6.1MM in the 2017/18 season, becomes a restricted free agent in the summer of 2018.

There are built-in risks if the Sixers take a wait-and-see approach with Embiid. He could opt to sign his qualifying offer of $8MM and become an unrestricted free agent the following summer. He could also sign a monster offer sheet from another team willing to risk the possibility of Embiid suffering a major injury setback with any contractual protections like the Lopez deal.

Philadelphia appears optimistic that Embiid will be ready to go next season and GM Bryan Colangelo said recently he expects Embiid’s body will hold up on back-to-backs. Embiid underwent arthroscopic knee surgery late last month.

Sixers Notes: Colangelo, Simmons, George, Covington

Bryan Colangelo has become the least trusted GM in Philadelphia, charges Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hayes blasts Colangelo for being evasive about releasing injury details regarding Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Dario Saric and others, and more recently for refusing to say whether Ben Simmons will play in the Summer League. The writer contends that Simmons needs the work to help with his transition to point guard and criticizes Colangelo for not being more open about the team’s plans.

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • A long string of injuries and the February trades of Noel and Ersan Ilyasova made Colangelo’s first full season in charge look like another Sam Hinkie season, writes Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Ford adds that the team wasn’t able to address several important questions for the future of the franchise, such as whether Simmons can handle the point guard role, if he and Embiid are an effective combination and if Jerryd Bayless can be counted on as a starter.
  • Pacers forward Paul George might be worth a gamble if the Sixers want to make a splash this summer, Ford writes in a separate column. George has a player option for 2018/19, which means he will be effectively entering the final year of his contract next season. With rumors that he is interested in joining his hometown Lakers, Indiana may be tempted to move him in a trade instead of losing him with nothing in return. The Sixers have young talent to offer, and may have two high picks, depending on the results of next month’s lottery. “At the three, Robert Covington kind of has that position locked up with not a lot of depth at the position currently,” Colangelo recently told reporters. “But we’ve got some interesting draft prospects in the top 10 that happen to address that situation and that need.”
  • Covington underwent minor arthroscopic surgery this week to fix a meniscus tear in his right knee, the Sixers announced on their website. Covington will rehab the knee in Philadelphia and is expected to be ready for full basketball activities this summer.

Sixer To Address Four Spot

  • GM Bryan Colangelo said the Sixers will address the power forward position this offseason, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News relays. “I think the stretch-four position is something, backing up Dario [Saric] or starting in front of Dario, whichever it is if we can find someone that’s better. We’ve got to probably address that four position,” Colangelo said.
  • GM Bryan Colangelo said the Sixers will address the power forward position this offseason, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News relays. “I think the stretch-four position is something, backing up Dario [Saric] or starting in front of Dario, whichever it is if we can find someone that’s better. We’ve got to probably address that four position,” Colangelo said.
  • The Sixers need to sign Ersan Ilyasova in free agency, Cooney contends in the same piece. The scribe pegs the power forward’s market value at $10-12MM per year, which he considers a reasonable rate for a player who fits in well next to Joel Embiid in the frontcourt.

Rodriguez Hopes To Stick In NBA; Covington Undergoing Surgery

Earlier today, we passed along Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s comments to reporters, including his assertion that Carmelo Anthony might be “better off somewhere else.” We also rounded up a few end-of-season items on the Sixers. We’ve still got a handful of Atlantic notes to relay, so let’s dive right in…

  • Veteran point guard Sergio Rodriguez is facing free agency and may not be back with the Sixers next season, but he said on Thursday that he’d like to “try to stay in the NBA and play a few more years here,” tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com. Rodriguez spent the previous six seasons with Real Madrid before signing with Philadelphia last summer.
  • Sixers forward Robert Covington is undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Covington’s recovery isn’t expected to take more than four to six weeks, so he should be good to go well before training camp.

Sixers Notes: Okafor, Brown, Colangelo, Embiid

Center Jahlil Okafor wasn’t among the players identified as “keepers” for next season by Sixers coach Brett Brown in a news conference today. Brown listed Ben Simmons, Joel EmbiidTimothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Richaun Holmes, Robert CovingtonDario Saric, Nik Stauskas and T.J. McConnell, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Okafor was the subject of numerous trade rumors prior to February’s deadline. and his future with the organization remains uncertain. Brown said Okafor understands this is an important offseason for him (Twitter link), adding, “Our mission this summer is to get his body right.” (Twitter link). GM Bryan Colangelo, who also spoke to reporters today, didn’t say that trading Okafor will be a priority, but he noted, “If a deal comes along that makes sense for both, we’ll listen.” (Twitter link).

There’s more today out of Philadelphia:

  • Brown and Colangelo both identified shooting as the Sixers’ most pressing offseason need. Brown said the team also needs to find a backup power forward, sign some veterans, assess Simmons’ abilities as a point guard and find the right shooting guard to play alongside him, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.
  • Brown added that early-season injuries to Simmons and Jerryd Bayless were the biggest obstacles the Sixers faced in their 28-54 season (Twitter link). Simmons fractured a bone in his right foot during training camp and missed the entire year. Bayless, who signed a three-year, $27MM deal last offseason, tore a ligament in his left wrist during camp and was limited to three games. “You felt like you just blew out your backcourt in about a week,” Brown said.
  • The Sixers are expecting a much healthier version of Embiid next season, Pompey tweets. After missing his first two NBA seasons, Embiid was limited to 31 games in his rookie year. Although he played spectacularly, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, Embiid was on a minutes restriction and Philadelphia’s medical staff was very cautious about his availability. “I don’t think back-to-backs will be an issue” for Embiid next season, Colangelo said.
  • Colangelo promises an aggressive approach in free agency, saying, “If there is the right free agent to spend money on, we will.” (Twitter link). The Sixers will enter the July bidding with more than $50MM available under the salary cap. Colangelo also vowed to be “prudent and wise” with any signings (Twitter link).

2017 NBA Draft Lottery Odds

With the NBA’s 2016/17 regular season now in the books, the odds for this year’s draft lottery have been set. With the help of our Reverse Standings, as well as information from LotteryBucket.com, here is the 2017 lottery order, along with each team’s chances of landing a top pick:

  1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets)
    • No. 1: 25.0%
    • Top-3: 64.3%
    • Lowest pick: No. 4
    • Note: Celtics acquire pick due to ability to swap first-round picks with Nets.
  2. Phoenix Suns
    • No. 1: 19.9%
    • Top-3: 55.8%
    • Lowest pick: No. 5
  3. Los Angeles Lakers
    • No. 1: 15.6%
    • Top-3: 46.9%
    • Lowest pick: No. 6
    • Note: Pick will be sent to Sixers if not in top 3 (odds: 53.1%).
  4. Philadelphia 76ers
    • No. 1: 14.7%
    • Top-3: 45.3%
    • Lowest pick: No. 7
    • Note: Sixers have right to swap picks with Kings, so their No. 1 and top-3 odds are a little higher than they otherwise would be. No. 1 and top-3 odds for Sixers’ own pick are 11.9% and 37.8%, respectively.
  5. Orlando Magic
    • No. 1: 8.8%
    • Top-3: 29.12%
    • Lowest pick: No. 8
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves
    • No. 1: 5.3%
    • Top-3: 18.3%
    • Lowest pick: No. 9
    • Note: Timberwolves won tiebreaker with Knicks.
  7. New York Knicks
    • No. 1: 5.3%
    • Top-3: 18.2%
    • Lowest pick: No. 10
    • Note: Knicks lost tiebreaker with Timberwolves.
  8. Sacramento Kings
    • No. 1: N/A
    • Top-3: 2.5%
    • Lowest pick: No. 11
    • Note: Sixers have right to swap picks with Kings, rendering No. 1 pick impossible and greatly reducing odds of top-3 pick.
    • Note: Pick will be sent to Bulls if not in top 10 (odds: 0.01%).
  9. Dallas Mavericks
    • No. 1: 1.7%
    • Top-3: 6.1%
    • Lowest pick: No. 12
  10. New Orleans Pelicans
    • No. 1: 1.1%
    • Top-3: 4.0%
    • Lowest pick: No. 13
    • Note: Pick will be sent to Kings if not in top 3 (odds: 96.0%).
  11. Charlotte Hornets
    • No. 1: 0.8%
    • Top-3: 2.9%
    • Lowest pick: No. 14
  12. Detroit Pistons
    • No. 1: 0.7%
    • Top-3: 2.5%
    • Lowest pick: No. 14
  13. Denver Nuggets
    • No. 1: 0.6%
    • Top-3: 2.2%
    • Lowest pick: No. 14
  14. Miami Heat
    • No. 1: 0.5%
    • Top-3: 1.8%
    • Lowest pick: No. 14

Sixers Notes: Simmons, Saric, McConnell

The Sixers lost to the Celtics in Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals and Lavoy Allen believes that if Philadelphia had prevailed in that contest, the franchise would be in a much different position, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays.

“We would have had a couple of more years with [Nikola Vucevic], Andre Iguodala, and a few of the guys,” said Allen. “We would have had some more good years if we would have kept that team together.”

Instead, the team pivoted, making a trade for Andrew Bynum. The big man wasn’t able to stay on the court and a year later, The Process was born.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Coach Brett Brown would like to see Ben Simmons participate in summer league, but it’s unclear if the 2016 No.1 overall pick will be healthy enough to play, Pompey passes along in the same piece. “His health and the judgment of his health rules the day. I don’t know what that looks like when we are talking about the summer league,” Brown said.
  • Brown would like to see the Sixers add shooters this offseason, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News relays. “We need shooters,” Brown said. “That’s kind of the bottom line. We need to get Ben Simmons the ball, we need to have Joel be Joel, and get a bunch of shooters around them.”
  • Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes Dario Saric is best suited for a role off the bench next season. The scribe believes Joel Embiid needs someone who can shoot from behind the arc next to him in the frontcourt and Saric only made 31.1% of his 3-point attempts this season.
  • If the Sixers want to win next season, T.J. McConnell may give them the best chance to do so, Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News opines. Hayes is a fan of the point guard’s defense and he believes McConnell will return better immediate value at the position than Simmons or a first-round draft pick would.

Sixers Sign Alex Poythress For Rest Of Season

The Sixers have signed Alex Poythress for the remainder of the season, the team reports in a press release on its official site. The team has one more game left this season, a matchup against the Knicks on Wednesday.

Previously inked to a 10-day deal because Philadelphia had qualified for a hardship exception, Poythress is eligible to re-sign with the club because that exception was extended.

The Kentucky product has appeared in five games for Philadelphia. He averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game.

Austin Kent contributed to this post

Embiid Give Philadelphia Hope

The Sixers are near the top of our Reverse Standings, owning a record of 28-52. The team is optimistic that it can climb the real NBA standings next season and Joel Embiid is a major reason why there’s hope, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Simmons, Fultz, Oakley

Aside from the mercurial debut by Joel Embiid, the most important thing to happen for the Sixers this season has been the development of young players, Derek Bodner writes on his websiteDario Saric, Robert Covington, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Richaun Holmes and T.J. McConnell have all seen significant playing time and should be important components of the team going forward. Bodner adds that coach Brett Brown is living up to the reputation that he had as a player development specialist when former GM Sam Hinkie hired him in 2013.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Brown is dismissing rumors that rookie Ben Simmons has grown two inches during the season, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. That story apparently started with a comment made by World B. Free on a Cavaliers broadcast last month. “I can feel comfortable saying no, he has not grown to 7 feet,” Brown said. “I wish he had.” The first pick in last year’s draft, Simmons missed the entire season after breaking a bone in his right foot during training camp.
  • University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz, a possible top pick in this year’s draft, is visiting Madison Square Garden today to watch the Knicks, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. New York, which occupies the sixth spot in our latest Reverse Standings, is hoping for some lottery luck to have a chance at Fultz.
  • Former Knicks star Charles Oakley will appear in court Tuesday for charges stemming from his February run-in with team owner James Dolan that resulted in his ejection from the arena. Oakley, who is charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of criminal trespass, told Dan Gelston of The Associated Press that he has no regrets about the incident. “I would have done everything just the same way,” Oakley said. “I didn’t do nothing. I was only in the arena five minutes. I didn’t know you could get in that much trouble in five minutes. I’d take my chances and do the same thing again.”
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