Sixers Rumors

Sixers Sign Shaquille Harrison To Camp Deal

3:04pm: The Sixers have officially signed Harrison, the team announced today in a press release.

8:51am: Free agent guard Shaquille Harrison is signing a training camp contract with the Sixers, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Harrison, who will turn 28 next Wednesday, appeared in a total of 34 games last season — 17 for Utah and 17 more for Denver, plus nine playoff contests for the Nuggets. Although he provided his usual stellar perimeter defense, he struggled offensively, averaging 2.1 PPG on .333/.188/.818 shooting in 9.8 minutes per contest during the regular season

Harrison, who has also spent time with the Suns and Bulls, has put up 5.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.5 APG on .436/.283/.717 shooting in 173 career games (15.2 MPG).

It seems unlikely that Harrison will find his way onto Philadelphia’s regular season roster, since the team has 14 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Paul Reed on a non-guaranteed deal. But he’ll get a chance to make an impression in training camp and perhaps the preseason — a strong showing would increase his likelihood of catching on with another team if he’s cut by the 76ers.

Harrison will be the 18th player on the Sixers’ preseason roster. The team has also reportedly agreed to sign Haywood Highsmith, but would still have an open roster spot if and when that deal gets done.

Tyrese Maxey Denies That Reps Want Him Out Of Philadelphia

Shortly after word first surfaced in August that Ben Simmons intended to hold out this fall in an effort to force the Sixers to trade him, one report indicated that fellow guard Tyrese Maxey might be included in any Simmons trade. The thinking, according to that report, was that agent Rich Paul – who represents both Simmons and Maxey – preferred to have both his clients out of Philadelphia.

However, asked at Media Day on Monday about that rumor, Maxey denied it, telling the media that he and Paul were “sitting there laughing at it.” Maxey added that he has no desire to leave Philadelphia (Twitter link via Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer).

I don’t know where that came from,” he said (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic). “… I love being here and I love the city. I can’t wait to get started.”

As we noted when we relayed that August report on Maxey, the idea that Paul had the desire and the leverage to get the 20-year-old included in a Simmons deal always seemed a little far-fetched. Maxey is entering just the second season of his four-year rookie contract and showed plenty of promise as a rookie, reducing the likelihood that the 76ers would be strong-armed into moving him.

If Simmons continues to hold out and the Sixers don’t find a trade in the short-term future, Maxey figures to take on a significantly increased role to start the 2021/22 season. Head coach Doc Rivers strongly hinted earlier today that Maxey would become Philadelphia’s starting point guard as long as Simmons remains AWOL.

Daryl Morey, Joel Embiid Discuss Ben Simmons’ Holdout

As expected, Ben Simmons wasn’t present at the Sixers‘ Media Day on Monday, and his absence was the subject of plenty of discussion during the press conferences with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, head coach Doc Rivers, and star center Joel Embiid, among others.

As Kyle Neubeck of tweets, Morey confirmed that Simmons and his camp asked the team for a trade as far back as the draft combine in Chicago this spring. However, Philadelphia’s head of basketball operations insisted that the club didn’t want to make a trade then or now, suggesting that there’s still “a lot of hope” for reconciliation (Twitter link via Chris Mannix of

Morey pointed to this year’s standoff between the NFL’s Green Bay Pacers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers – who is still with the team – as an example of how a relationship that seemed destined for an end can still be mended (Twitter link via Michael Lee of The Washington Post). According to Morey, he hasn’t talked to Simmons himself in about six or seven weeks, but remains in frequent communication with the 25-year-old’s representatives (Twitter link via Neubeck).

Asked about next steps if Simmons remains away from the team, Morey hinted that fines will be coming, telling reporters that it’s “very clearly spelled out” in both Simmons’ contract and the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement what will happen (Twitter link via Neubeck). For what it’s worth, sources have told Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that Simmons isn’t concerned about the potential fines and that money is playing “no role” in his decision-making.

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Asked today about Simmons, Embiid replied, “Of course we want him back, he’s a big piece of what we’ve been building the past few years” (Twitter link via Neuebeck). The star center added that he’s “disappointed” with how the situation has played out. I really hope he changes his mind,” Embiid said. “… I do love playing with him because he adds so much to our team. We’ve been building this team around us. I don’t see it as ‘This is my team’. I don’t care about any of that” (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic).
  • Embiid said today that dealing with trade rumors is something all players have to learn to deal with (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN). “If the Warriors called and offered Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) for me, do you think the Sixers would say no to that?” Embiid asked. “… I wouldn’t say no to that.”
  • Embiid confirmed that he and some teammates tried to travel to California to meet with Simmons. As The Athletic reported over the weekend, Simmons turned down that meeting. I guess we got to let him be himself,” Embiid said (Twitter link via Neubeck).
  • As Darryn Albert of Larry Brown Sports relays, Danny Green – in the most recent episode of his podcast – also discussed that attempted sit-down with Simmons. “This has nothing to do with the organization,” Green said. “This has to do with us. We just want to meet with him on a personal level, on a human being, friend level. If he still considers us friends, we don’t know if that’s the case yet or not.”
  • Rivers declined to state his plans for the point guard position if Simmons doesn’t return, but strongly implied that Tyrese Maxey would be in line for the role, tweets Bontemps.

Sixers Notes: Wall, Simmons, Embiid, Training Camp

John Wall‘s contract and injury history prevent him from being a realistic option for the Sixers as they try to work out a Ben Simmons trade, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. The Rockets and Wall have agreed that he won’t play again until he’s traded elsewhere, but Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is looking for a far greater return for Simmons than the 31-year-old point guard.

Wall will make $44.3MM this season and has a $47.4MM player option for 2022/23, which means he, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris would take up a huge chunk of the Sixers’ salary cap over the next two years. Philadelphia can only take back about $39.5MM by trading Simmons, so the team would have to include at least one more player in any deal for Wall.

Wall played just 40 games last season, which was his first after returning from an Achilles injury. Although he averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per night, there are concerns about his overall game and his fit alongside Embiid due to his limited outside shot. Bodner believes the Rockets would have to include several high-value draft picks to get Morey’s attention and doesn’t see the teams as realistic trading partners.

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst hears that Sixers fans are part of the reason Simmons wants to leave. Appearing on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Windhorst says Simmons’ relationship with the city soured last season (hat tip to Alek Arend of The Spun). “It’s not just that he doesn’t wanna play there anymore,” Windhorst said. “He doesn’t want to be in front of those fans. I don’t think he ever intends to show his face there again unless he’s part of the visiting team.”
  • The Simmons drama will continue to hang over the Sixers until he either reports to the team or is traded, states Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons has insisted that he won’t be present when training camp opens this week, and he reportedly turned down an offer to meet with teammates who want to smooth over the situation. Hayes contends that Simmons’ stance shows a lack of concern for his teammates, the organization that made him the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016, and the fan base that has supported him.
  • Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at several other training camp storylines, including how Embiid adjusts in the post-Simmons era, the development of second-year guard Tyrese Maxey and other young players, and the addition of Andre Drummond, who has a long-simmering rivalry with Embiid.

Timberwolves Notes: Rosas, Gupta, Finch, Simmons, Towns

The impending ownership change played a role in the surprising dismissal of Gersson Rosas as the Timberwolves‘ president of basketball operations, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

Minority partners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, who will eventually take over for Glen Taylor, are doing a full investigation into the franchise and discovered “disenchantment” among front office employees, sources tell Krawczynski. Considering the team’s poor record with Rosas in charge, Lore and Rodriguez determined that he would eventually need to be replaced, and that decision was sped up with the discovery that Rosas was having a “consensual intimate relationship” with another member of the organization.

Sachin Gupta, who was chosen to replace Rosas, has strong relationships with the new ownership group and will be given a chance to win the job on a more permanent basis, according to Krawczynski’s sources. He has full power to make decisions on trades and other personnel moves, but will be watched closely to make sure the owners are happy with the direction of the franchise. The Wolves are seeking stability and don’t appear to be searching outside the organization for someone else to take over.

Gupta is a strong supporter of coach Chris Finch, whose job will be safe despite the loss of Rosas, who hired him in February. Finch has “nearly universal approval” throughout the organization, along with the trust of the players. However, he may need a successful season to keep his job if a new lead executive is eventually hired.

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • The front office shakeup won’t affect the Wolves’ chances of trading for Ben Simmons, Krawczynski adds in the same piece. Gupta was involved in the team’s negotiations with Philadelphia, according to sources, and like Rosas, he worked with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey in Houston. Minnesota’s main obstacles to landing Simmons are a lack of assets that appeal to Philadelphia and the difficulty of finding a third team to facilitate a deal.
  • Acquiring Simmons may be the only way to keep Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota for the long term, suggests Michael Rand of The Star-Tribune. The Wolves seem likely to miss the playoffs again with their current roster, which increases the chances that Towns will ask for a trade next summer when he will have just two years left on his contract.
  • The bad decisions made by Rosas show the importance of finding the right person to run the team, states John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger notes that the Wolves have a history of front office failure, which is why they have just one playoff appearance over the past 17 years.

Ben Simmons Rejects Meeting With Teammates

Sixers star Ben Simmons recently rejected the opportunity to meet with his teammates in Los Angeles, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania reports that players such as Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle planned on traveling to meet with Simmons and change his mind about requesting a trade.

Simmons communicated that he didn’t want his teammates to make the trip, as he has no interest in playing for the Sixers this season. The 25-year-old has held firm on his stance and appears to be mentally checked out from Philadelphia, Charania writes.

Along with various players, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers also recently expressed some hope that Simmons would change his mind and return.

“There’s been so many times this has happened (in sports) that hasn’t been reported…and the guy comes back,” Rivers said last week, as relayed by Kyle Neubeck of “So listen, we’re going to go through it. We’re gonna always do what’s best for the team, but I can tell you up front, we would love to get Ben back, and if we can, we’re gonna try to do that. Ben has a long contract, so it’s in our hands and we want him back.”

The Sixers have received interest for Simmons, but no trade is imminent, according to Charania. The team will host its media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday. With Simmons, the club finished 49-23 last season — good for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Simmons is coming off a season where he averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. The defensive-minded point forward struggled in the Sixers’ second-round series against the Hawks, however, harming his trade value among rival teams.

Assuming Simmons doesn’t show up for training camp next week, Philadelphia can fine him or withhold game payments. He’s currently in the second season of a five-year, maximum-salary extension signed during the summer of 2019.

Stein’s Latest: Timberwolves, Ujiri, Simmons, Lacob, Dragic

Incoming Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore won’t assume majority control of the the franchise from Glen Taylor until 2023, but they’re operating in some ways as if they’re already the team’s primary owners, says Marc Stein of Substack.

Shortly after Gersson Rosas was dismissed this week, Timberwolves reporter Dane Moore suggested (via Twitter) that rumors have circulated for months that Rodriguez and Lore want to bring in a “top-five” front office executive. Stein doesn’t specifically confirm that rumor, but he corroborates it, writing that word circulated at Summer League in August that A-Rod and Lore would have loved to make a run at veteran executive Masai Ujiri, who ultimately re-upped with the Raptors.

While those reports suggest that the Wolves’ new ownership group wants to make a splash, league sources tell Stein that Sachin Gupta is expected to get every chance to impress the team during his time running the basketball operations department. According to Moore (Twitter link), Gupta – whose title is executive VP of basketball operations – doesn’t technically have the “interim” tag attached to his position, an indication that he’ll receive serious consideration for the permanent job.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest NBA roundup:

  • According to Stein, teams around the NBA are skeptical that the Sixers genuinely want to bring back Ben Simmons, viewing Doc Riversmedia comments on Wednesday as an attempt to regain trade leverage rather than a legitimate effort to mend the team’s relationship with Simmons.
  • It may seem odd that Warriors owner Joe Lacob was fined for comments about Simmons that didn’t even mention him by name and made it clear that Golden State isn’t really interested in the Sixers star. However, Stein says the tampering penalty was “as automatic as these ever get,” since there was no doubt Lacob was referring to Simmons, and his comments could be viewed as an attempt to diminish the 25-year-old’s trade value.
  • It doesn’t appear that any deal involving Goran Dragic is imminent. Stein writes that the Raptors want to be as competitive as possible this season, and Dragic can help with those efforts. Toronto also believes that more appealing trade scenarios could arise once the season gets underway and more teams need a point guard due to injuries or underperformance.

Sixers Sign Second-Rounder Charles Bassey

2:25pm: The Sixers have officially announced their deal with Bassey, issuing a press release to confirm the signing.

11:42am: Charles Bassey has agreed to a three-year contract with the Sixers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The deal, which provides a full guarantee in the first year and a partial guarantee in the second, was confirmed by his agents, Adie von Gontard and Daveed Cohen.

The 20-year-old center out of Western Kentucky is one of the last players taken in this year’s draft to sign a contract. He was selected with the No. 53 pick, which Philadelphia acquired from the Pelicans for $2MM in a draft-night trade.

The delay in signing reportedly stemmed from Bassey’s desire to get two years of fully guaranteed money, which is unusual for a player drafted that low. A report last month indicated he may sign his non-guaranteed one-year tender rather than agreeing to a multiyear deal, but it sounds like the two sides were able to reach a compromise.

The deal will come out of Philadelphia’s mid-level exception.

Bassey was named Conference USA Player of the Year last season as a junior with the Hilltoppers after averaging 17.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. He was also selected as a third-team All-American by the U.S. Basketball Writers.

Details On Timberwolves’ Dismissal Of Gersson Rosas

The Timberwolves‘ dismissal of president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was made for “performance reasons,” a high-ranking team source told Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic. The team’s lack of success during Rosas’ tenure was a key factor in the decision, and complaints from staffers about Rosas’ leadership also played a part, per The Athletic’s duo.

However, another issue that factored into the timing of the move was the fact that the Wolves recently learned that Rosas – who is married – had a “consensual intimate relationship” with a member of the organization, according to Krawczysnki and Charania, who suggest that the relationship made several people within the franchise uncomfortable.

The Athletic’s deep dive into the situation in Minnesota’s front office uncovered sources who said Rosas worked his staffers long hours without giving them much input into personnel decisions. Some members of the front office took issue with those decisions, such as the one to include such light protections (top-three) on the first-round pick the Wolves sent Golden State in the D’Angelo Russell trade.

Rosas did have backers within the organization, including some who reached out to The Athletic in recent weeks to defend the way things were going, per Krawczynski and Charania. Some of Rosas’ defenders believe the pandemic and the change of ownership were factors that contributed to tension in the front office, while Rosas himself “vehemently disputed” that there were any significant problems with the team’s culture.

Still, many of The Athletic’s sources described Rosas’ tenure as dysfunctional, and when those complaints reached ownership, Glen Taylor, Alex Rodriguez, and Marc Lore decided the situation was untenable and a move needed to be made sooner rather than later.

“It’s hard,” said one staffer who followed Rosas to Minnesota after he was hired in 2019. “He’s not who I thought he was.”

The report from Krawczynski and Charania is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber. Here are some of the other highlights:

  • New interim head of basketball operations Sachin Gupta is well-regarded by team officials and is expected to get a chance to earn the permanent job, sources tell The Athletic. However, Krawczynski and Charania note that Gupta did “butt heads” with Rosas this summer when Gupta sought to make a lateral move to the Rockets for a similar job with higher pay, and Rosas blocked him. Rosas defended the decision by saying that the move wouldn’t have been a promotion, and it was too close to the draft and free agency to let a top executive with so much knowledge of Minnesota’s plans leave to join a rival. According to The Athletic, Rosas “banished” Gupta from the team’s offices in August and allowed him to seek employment elsewhere at that point, but Gupta decided to stay with the Wolves after ownership got involved.
  • Some player agents had issues with Rosas’ negotiating tactics, according to Krawczynski and Charania, who point to the team’s recent contract talks with Jordan McLaughlin as one example. A source tells The Athletic that Rosas reneged on promises about the role McLaughlin would have going forward after Patrick Beverley was acquired. Although agents recognized Rosas’ primary allegiance was to the organization, they expected better treatment in certain scenarios, according to The Athletic’s duo. “Rosas was the cause of mishaps and pulled his promises,” the source said of the McLaughlin negotiations.
  • Rosas’ decision to replace head coach Ryan Saunders with Chris Finch during the season without considering any other candidates – including minority candidates – wasn’t popular with some staffers, and neither was the decision to part with veteran scout Zarko Durisic last year, per Krawczysnki and Charania. Some people believed those moves flew in the face of Rosas’ portrayal of the organization as a “family.”
  • Krawczynski and Charania say Rosas was “working feverishly” this offseason to try to acquire Ben Simmons, who was viewed by some people in the organization as the roster’s missing piece. It’s unclear if Gupta will have the same level of interest in the Sixers star.
  • A report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report confirms and adds some details to many of the issues reported by The Athletic, including the recent discovery of Rosas’ “consensual extramarital affair” with a team staffer. Becomes New Patch Partner

  • The Sixers have signed a deal with to be their new jersey patch partner, according to a team press release. According to Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the multiyear deal is worth eight figures annually and is among the top five most lucrative jersey ad deals in the league.