Philadelphia 76ers – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2019-12-11T18:13:17Z WordPress Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Wizards Interested In Keeping Davis Bertans Long-Term]]> 2019-12-11T17:44:23Z 2019-12-11T02:23:13Z The Wizards will certainly receive numerous calls on Davis Bertans before the trade deadline, but rival teams will have a tough time prying Bertans from Washington, a source tells Hoops Rumors. Many within the team’s front office are huge fans of Bertans and with the franchise looking to improve sooner than later, the Wizards could opt to keep the 27-year-old power forward with the intention of re-signing him this offseason and having him available for a more competitive 2020/21 campaign.

Bertans is making $7MM in the final season of his contract, though he’s likely to see a sizable raise on that figure this offseason given his improved play and the lack of major talent on the market. The big man’s projected market will likely play a role in what direction the team goes at the deadline, though it’s worth noting that the Wizards own Bertans’ Bird rights, so they could go above the salary cap to keep him on the roster.

Washington has a few sizeable contracts coming off its books this offseason (Ian Mahinmi at $15.4MM; C.J. Miles at $8.7MM) but still has roughly $96MM in guaranteed money allocated to just eight players for the 2020/21 campaign. Next summer’s salary cap is expected to come in around $116MM, though that is simply a projection and may not include potential ramifications from the Chinese market.

What could the Wizards net if they traded the Latvian Laser? ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported last month that a first-rounder in return isn’t out of the question. Bertans’ recent run (no player has made more 3-pointers over the last 10 games), as well as his ability to fit seamlessly on nearly any roster, makes it difficult to envision a mere protected first-round pick getting him out of Washington.

Which team would make sense for Bertans if the club dealt him away? Philadelphia could certainly use outside shooting and as I mentioned on, GM Elton Brand was just one of several Sixers executives in Washington for the team’s recent tilt with the Wizards.

Bertans came to the Wizards via the Spurs’ three-way trade for DeMarre Carroll. San Antonio selected the big man with the No. 42 overall pick back in the 2011 draft, though he didn’t come stateside until the 2016/17 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Luke Adams <![CDATA[Sixers Could Dangle Early Second-Rounders In Trade Talks]]> 2019-12-11T01:57:31Z 2019-12-10T14:23:25Z
  • O’Connor identifies the following teams as ones that appear most open to trading late first-round or early second-round draft picks: The Bucks, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Sixers, and Mavericks. Some of those clubs hold other teams’ picks and could dangle those in trade talks. For instance, Milwaukee owns Indiana’s lottery-protected first-rounder; Philadelphia has New York’s and Atlanta’s second-rounders; and Dallas controls Golden State’s second-rounder.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Scott, Nets, Lowry]]> 2019-12-08T18:57:44Z 2019-12-08T18:57:44Z Ben Simmons made his second career 3-pointer last night, but Sixers coach Brett Brown is looking forward to the day that Simmons’ long-distance shooting isn’t a story anymore, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Brown challenged Simmons to make the 3-pointer a regular part of his arsenal, telling reporters he would like him to shoot at least one every game.

    “This is what I want,” Brown said, ”and you can pass it along to his agent, his family and friends. I want a 3-point shot a game, minimum. The pull-up 2s … I’m fine with whatever is open. But I’m interested in the 3-point shot. The mentality that he has where he’s turning corners and taking that long step, that gather step, and bringing his shoulders to the rim and trying to dunk or finish tight, will equal higher efficiency, or getting fouled. That’s the world that interests me the most. Those two things.”

    Shortly after signing a five-year extension this summer, Simmons talked about becoming more of an outside shooting threat. That hasn’t materialized so far, as he has taken just four in 21 games.

    There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

    • Mike Scott took advantage of his first start of the season Saturday, delivering 21 points in a win over Cleveland, relays Mike Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Scott broke out of a shooting slump with nine first-quarter points as the Sixers built a big lead. “Just to try to find something to jump-start him,” Brown said in explaining the lineup change. “He has been down. We need him to be up.”
    • When the Nets signed DeAndre Jordan this summer, they weren’t sure how he was going to fit with Jarrett Allen, but the centers have made the pairing work, observes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Jordan and Allen are the only teammates in the league who rank in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage and rebound percentage. “During the summer, there could’ve been a lot of negative thinking in my head,” Allen said. “… But I took it as a positive. They brought him in, and he’s a great person to learn from — first-team All-Defense — he had a great background and I just tried to learn from him as much as I could.”
    • Kyle Lowry was surprised to learn that he’s the longest-serving active professional athlete in Toronto, notes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star“I thought I was going to be here for a year, two years, and be long gone,” said Lowry, who has played 507 regular season games for the Raptors. “Come up here for business and that’s about it but, at the end of the day, I think the perseverance and the work I’ve put in and the belief the organization has in me means something.”
    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Sixers Notes: Road Woes, Embiid, Clarkson]]> 2019-12-08T11:18:26Z 2019-12-07T03:29:57Z The Sixers traveled to Washington on Thursday and got ambushed by the Wizards’ high-powered offense. The loss brings the team’s record to 5-7 on the road (Philadelphia is 10-0 at home) and coach Brett Brown was asked about the team’s difference in play home vs. away.

    “I have no idea,” Brett Brown told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance at the Capital One Arena on Wednesday night. Brown added that the team was too careless both in its turnovers and in allowing Davis Bertans (7-of-13 from behind the arc) to get space early in the contest.

    “Some of it you shake your head and you give Bertans a lot of credit,” Brown said after the game. “Some of the shots that he was making you give him some credit. When you go back and you do coach stuff, and you look at it, I think the separation that he received was too careless. That’s what the game was telling you, you got it going. I didn’t think that we responded from a sense of urgency standpoint like we needed to.”

    Here’s more from Philadelphia:

    • Tobias Harris, who re-signed with Philly on a five-year deal this offseason, pinpointed the Sixers’ defense as an area that let them down on Thursday night. “We should not be losing,” Harris told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance. “There is a high expectations for our group, for our team. There are expectations to win on the road, at home. Just come out every night and play to win and to win a game. Tonight, [there is] big frustration just on how we defended, because it was like they were just picking and choosing whatever they wanted, so that is the big frustration.”
    • The game in Washington was a physical one in the paint with Moritz Wagner, Bertans, and Ian Mahinmi making Joel Embiid work for everything he got in the paint. After the contest, Embiid was experiencing hip soreness and he’s been ruled out of Saturday’s game vs. the Cavs with a left hip contusion, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Twitter link).
    • Sam Amico of hears that the Sixers are among the teams interested in Jordan Clarkson. There’s no indication on whether Cleveland is interested in dealing the combo guard.
    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Thompson, Clarkson Receiving Interest From Contenders]]> 2019-12-06T23:51:46Z 2019-12-06T02:09:43Z In an illuminating look at the state of the CavaliersSports Illustrated’s Sam Amico revealed that two Eastern Conference contenders could be destinations for a tandem of Cleveland veterans on expiring deals.

    The 2018/19 champion Raptors have a “high interest” in Toronto native Tristan Thompson ahead of this season’s trade deadline, according to Amico. Thompson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is playing on an expiring $18.5MM contract. Toronto has enough appealing assets to potentially entice Cavaliers GM Koby Altman into making a move. As of this writing, Toronto stands at 15-5, good for third in the Eastern Conference. They are playing the Rockets tonight.

    Thompson is currently averaging career highs of 13.9 points and 10.6 boards per contest. The 28 year-old center would presumably replace one of the Raptors’ two-headed center corps, 34 year-old Marc Gasol or 30 year-old Serge Ibaka. Both former All-Defensive players are also on expiring deals, and both are on the athletic downslopes of their careers. Gasol is making $25.6MM this season, while Ibaka is earning $23.3MM. Thompson, a starter on the 2015/16 champion Cavaliers, would make more sense as a springier Ibaka replacement than a substitute for the passing maestro Gasol this year.

    Amico also reports that the Sixers are said to be interested in adding Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson, on an expiring $13.4MM deal. After the 76ers lost significant offensive firepower with the 2019 summer departures of Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick, Clarkson could add provide some shooting help off the bench. He is connecting on 35% of his 5.0 long range attempts this season. Clarkson is also knocking down 88.6% of his looks from the charity stripe. Philadelphia sits at fourth in the East with a 15-6 record, though the team is in danger of dropping a game to the Wizards this evening.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Jonah Bolden Heads Back To G League]]> 2019-12-04T04:13:36Z 2019-12-04T04:13:36Z
  • Jonah Bolden, who has frequently bounced back and forth between the NBA and G League over the last several weeks, was sent back to the Delaware Blue Coats by the Sixers today, per the NBAGL’s assignment log.
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Al Horford Discusses Last Season’s Celtics]]> 2019-12-03T22:40:14Z 2019-12-03T22:08:57Z Al Horford isn’t surprised that the Celtics are performing better this season than they did last year when he was was still on the team, as he tells Steve Bullpett of the Boston Herald.

    “Well, with coach [Brad] Stevens it doesn’t surprise me,” said Horford, who signed a four-year deal with the Sixers last summer. “Coach, you know, he’s going to put everyone in position to be successful. I mean, even the year that we were there that Kyrie [Irving] and Gordon [Hayward] were missing and we had Shane Larkin starting or Semi [Ojeleye], he figured out how to do the most with what he had. So I’m not surprised by this.”

    Horford added that last year’s squad simply had too much talent on it and not enough minutes – or basketballs – to go around, which he feels isn’t a sustainable model to win over the long-term.

    “Last year was just too much,” Horford said. “There were too many guys for coach to satisfy everyone.” 

    The Celtics enter the night with a record of 14-5, putting them slightly ahead of the 15-6 Sixers in the Eastern Conference standings.

    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Sixers Notes: Thybulle, Simmons, Embiid]]> 2019-12-04T00:21:05Z 2019-12-03T18:17:12Z Rookie Matisse Thybulle has special skills for a defender but his discipline is what is going to allow him to play more minutes for the Sixers, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes.

    “I should have a higher tolerance level to endure his wild decisions defensively,” head coach Brett Brown said after the team’s contest against the Jazz. “Because they are punishing. This league is so unforgiving when you just forget, ‘Oh, I left Joe Ingles, I forgot he could shoot, and I’m just going to make any play I want — And oh, my bad.’ [Thybulle] is getting better at that and I have to allow him to get better at that.”

    If Thybulle had joined the Sixers three or four years ago, he’d have plenty of court time to experiment and grow. However, this is not “The Process” version of the Sixers any longer. The stakes are much higher as the team looks to make its first NBA Finals appearance since 2001.

    “I’m always reminding myself, if we woke up tomorrow and it’s April 15th, would I feel comfortable that I’ve grown him the way that I should? And I need to do more, and better, sort of within the confines of what I’ve just said,” Brown said.

    Here’s more from Philadelphia:

    • Thybulle, whom the team traded up in the 2019 draft to nab, isn’t taking his playing time for granted. The rookie is using his court time to learn from his mistakes and gain the reps needed to be a contributor on a playoff team. “Just being out there and seeing it live, I think, is huge,” Thybulle said (via Bodner in the same piece). “Most of these games, it’s my first time [playing against a team]. We played against [Utah] twice now, so I had a better feel for the guys. And just with each game, I get a better feel for the pace and what I can get away with, with the refs or with help-side and those types of gambles.”
    • With Ben Simmons and Thybulle on the squad, the Sixers have options when defending opposing perimeter threats, Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia explains. The duo shared defensive duties guarding Utah’s Donovan Mitchell on Monday and held him to just 6-for-19 from the field.
    • Some around the league aren’t thrilled with Joel Embiid and his antics on the court. Pacers assistant coach Dan Burke wasn’t shy when given the platform to discuss the big man’s style (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). “I hate that team…I think Embiid gets away with a bunch of crap the league ignores,” Burke said of Indiana’s recent matchup with the Sixers.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Sixers Recall Shake Milton, Assign Zhaire Smith]]> 2019-12-03T04:11:25Z 2019-12-03T04:11:25Z
  • A day after he recorded 13 points and four steals in a Delaware Blue Coats victory, second-year guard Shake Milton was recalled to the NBA today by the Sixers, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Former first-rounder Zhaire Smith, meanwhile, was re-assigned to the G League.
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    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Atlantic Notes: McConnell, Hayward, Nets, Embiid]]> 2019-12-01T22:19:37Z 2019-12-01T21:54:01Z Former Sixers guard T.J. McConnell returned to Philadelphia when the Pacers took on the team Saturday night, marking his first time playing in Wells Fargo Center since changing teams in free agency this past summer.

    “It’s good being back, seeing all of the faces and all of the people you build a relationship with,” McConnell said, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s a lot of great people here, and I miss them.”

    McConnell, 27, joined the Pacers on a two-year deal last summer after spending four seasons with the Sixers. He quickly earned the respect of his coaches and fans during his stint with Philadelphia, appearing in at least 75 games in each of his four campaigns.

    “Starting here, winning 10 games,” he said of the team going 10-72 his rookie season. “Then, at the end of my tenure here, you are one shot away from going to the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s a pretty incredible journey that we went on.”

    McConnell has provided consistency and professionalism for the Pacers during the 2019/20 season, averaging seven points, 4.7 assists and 17.4 minutes in 17 games thus far.

    There’s more out of the Atlantic Division today:

    • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will have another meeting with his doctor on Monday to determine the next steps in his recovery process, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). Hayward has missed the past three weeks due to a fractured hand, with his meeting on Monday set to take place over FaceTime, coach Brad Stevens said.
    • Sopan Deb of the New York Times examines how the Nets keep winning without three of their best players, detailing the strong teamwork, camaraderie and togetherness the group has shown in the wake of adversity. Brooklyn is currently without Kevin Durant (Achilles), Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Caris LeVert (thumb).
    • Sixers center Joel Embiid was fueled by his first-ever scoreless game against the Raptors last week, Erin McCarthy of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Embiid finished that game with zero points on 0-for-11 shooting, but bounced back in the contests that followed. He scored 33 points on Wednesday, 27 points on Friday and 32 points on Saturday.
    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Atlantic Notes: Walker, Embiid, Kanter]]> 2019-11-27T23:45:52Z 2019-11-27T20:20:34Z Celtics point guard Kemba Walker will return to the court tonight less than a week after he collided head-to-head with teammate Semi Ojeleye and had to be taken off the court in a stretcher.

    “It was a scary moment for myself,” Walker said (via Tim Bontemps of “When I was in the moment, it was pretty tough to be in, obviously. I know it was scary for everybody…It was tough, but thank God I’m OK.”

    Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

    • Brian Windhorst of (video link) hears that scouts around the league aren’t worried about Joel Embiid. Embiid has struggled this season (by his standards) with a new-look roster around him on the Sixers.
    • Enes Kanter says he is “disappointed that former Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving won’t be making a return to the court in Boston today, as Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston relays. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, and now he’s hurt and not playing? I’m really disappointed. But there’s two games, of course, and he’s going to come back. And… we’re going to welcome him somehow,” Kanter said.
    • Former Celtics guard Tony Allen said he’s long been a fan of Marcus Smart‘s game and applauds Smart’s improvement from behind the arc, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald passes along. “I won’t say he’s my protégé, really, but he’s become that 3-and-D player everyone wants,” Allen said. “With what he does defensively, he’s also become a shooter. He’s really transitioned to the new game.”
    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/26/19]]> 2019-11-27T13:46:50Z 2019-11-27T03:44:07Z Here are Tuesday’s assignments and recalls from around the G League:

    • The Celtics have assigned Tremont Waters to the Maine Red Claws, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Waters was selected in the second round of the 2019 draft.
    • Jonah Bolden and Zhaire Smith are back with the Delaware Blue Coats, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Sixers recalled the pair for the team’s trip to Toronto earlier this week.
    • The Wolves have assigned Jaylen Nowell to the Iowa Wolves, according to the team’s Twitter feed. The shooting guard has appeared in two games for Minnesota this season, seeing a total of 15 minutes with the club.
    • Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels are heading back to the Hornets, the team announced on Twitter. The recall concludes Martin’s fourth stint with the Greensboro Swarm and McDaniels’ third.
    JD Shaw <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/24/19]]> 2019-11-26T01:13:22Z 2019-11-25T02:29:45Z Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Simmons Plans To Play For Australia in 2020 Games]]> 2019-11-26T00:32:30Z 2019-11-23T21:46:04Z After Al Horford left for bigger free agent riches in Philadelphia this summer, the Celtics signed scoring-oriented Enes Kanter as a cheap replacement, hoping that Daniel Theis, Kanter, Robert Williams and rookie Grant Williams could compensate for Horford’s absence piecemeal.

    So far, that has proven to be the case during Boston’s 11-4 start. A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston preaches caution against disrupting team chemistry by trying to trade for a major center upgrade like Clint Capela or Karl-Anthony Towns

    Instead, Blakely notes that 7’5” rookie Tacko Fall, on a two-way contract, has impressed in the G League thus far. Blakely suggests that Fall might be an option who could shore up the Celtics’ interior defense in spot minutes. Boston should also monitor the buyout market and top Chinese Basketball Association centers, Blakely opines.

    There’s more from around the Atlantic:

    • After making his first NBA triple in a 109-104 win over the Knicks, Sixers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons mentioned his desire to play for the Australian national team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Tim Bontemps of ESPN reports. Sixers coach Brett Brown was recently announced as the Australian national team’s coach for the event.“We have a great relationship,” Simmons said of Brown in his postgame comments. “I’ve known him my whole life. I’m excited to put together a great team.”
    • Prized offseason Nets acquisition Kyrie Irving has missed the past four games with a shoulder impingement. Though coach Kenny Atkinson insists that the ailment will not be a long-term issue, he concedes that Irving is not healthy enough to play, as the New York Post’s Brian Lewis relays. “We have a protocol before a guy comes back to play. Usually we’re not just going to throw you out there without seeing you. We have these kind of set standards in the past,” Atkinson notes. “We’re not at that point yet. Hopefully, he will get there soon.”
    • Knicks coach David Fizdale has challenged second-year forward Kevin Knox to improve his defense, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “I am definitely riding Kevin, to challenge him to go to another level, especially defensively,” Fizdale confirmed, before praising his improved offense. “His shooting percentage is up, finishing around the rim is much better, he’s seeing the floor better. But I want him to take a big jump forward defensively… He’s got the physical tools to do it.” Braziller points out that Fizdale has been quicker with the hook for Knox lately. The 6’7″ forward from Kentucky has averaged 14.7 minutes across the team’s last four contests, a far cry from the more generous 23.6 minutes he was allotted over New York’s first 11 games.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Jimmy Butler Talks Sixers, Heat, Big Twos, Embiid]]> 2019-11-21T18:24:42Z 2019-11-21T18:24:42Z The Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater that eliminated the Sixers from the playoffs in the spring and helped propel the Raptors to their first NBA championship was a sliding-doors moment for the league — and for star forward Jimmy Butler. Speaking to Michael Lee of The Athletic, Butler mused about what might have happened if Philadelphia had pulled out a win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in May.

    “What happens if we win that game?” Butler said. “Do we win a championship? Am I in Philly? All of these ifs. Who knows?

    “But you think about it. It’ll haunt you for the rest of your days — especially if you don’t get an opportunity — that you were that close. And then you’re like, man, one play, one possession, one anything and it easily could’ve been us winning that championship. If I ask you, who would you pick if we win that? You’d probably say Philly. Golden State is not healthy? I would say Philly. I don’t know many people who would say Golden State, if they’re not healthy.”

    While it’s an agonizing what-if to consider for 76ers fans, that second-round loss ultimately opened up a path for the team to make some major changes in the offseason. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the parent of one member of the Sixers told higher-ups that team chemistry felt off in the wake of the end of the 2018/19 season, and improving that chemistry has been a priority this fall, with Tobias Harris and Al Horford frequently organizing dinners that many players attend.

    Lowe doesn’t suggest that Butler was responsible for last season’s chemistry issues, but he does confirm that the Sixers didn’t make the 30-year-old a five-year, maximum-salary offer during free agency, as previously reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania. For his part, Butler has found a new home with the Heat, telling Lee that Miami “just fits” him.

    “Basketball is great here, but the people here, what they expect of you on a daily basis. The level that they hold you accountable at here, is something that I respect,” Butler said. “It’s something that I really love — not just like, really love — because it’s about having good people and doing things the right way. Because when this basketball thing is over with, you’re still going to have to have those morals. And if you don’t have that, you’re in for a rude awakening.”

    Here are a few more noteworthy quotes from Butler, via Lee, on his offseason decision, his new team, and one of his former teammates:

    On not teaming up with a star to form a “Big Two” this past summer, as other players did in Los Angeles and Houston:

    “It just wasn’t the way that it worked out. I’m not one to go with the trend anyways. I don’t do what everybody else is doing. I’m not saying that it’s bad, it’s good, it’s just I worry about myself, first of all. I worry about the people that I’m around. And then you move down the line. I mean, I don’t care who I team up with. Organizational-wise, this was the place for me.

    “Now, if you get some other people that think like I think, that go about things the way that I go about it, this is the place for them as well. I don’t know. I didn’t talk about it. … I leave people alone and do what I’m going to do and that’s what I did.”

    On the Heat’s upside:

    “The ceiling is a championship. And I don’t care what nobody has to say. If the stars align, we can get it done. If we figure this thing out, we stay together, we get our defense on track, we get our offense on track, and we become top five in both categories, we right there. We right there. We’ve got an opportunity to do something special and we’re working at it every single day.”

    On former teammate Joel Embiid:

    “That m———er is special. For real. Any time I text him, which we text plenty, FaceTime, phone calls. I always tell him, ‘Continue to show why you’re the best player in this league.’ Because I saw it. I saw it. He can do everything. Like, legit, he can do everything. He works and I respect it. … That’s how you become the best player, you’ve got to be obsessed with it. And he is. He is.”