Ricky Council

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Council, Hauser, Shead

The Sixers have enjoyed a banner offseason with their ample cap space, signing top priority Paul George, as well as Caleb Martin, Andre Drummond and Eric Gordon. They also gave Tyrese Maxey a max rookie scale extension and re-signed Kelly Oubre and Kyle Lowry. Nick Nurse can’t wait to put all the pieces together.

“We certainly had a great summer,” the Sixers’ head coach said, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’s just no other way of looking at it in that there’s a lot of guys that we targeted that were at the very top of our list, and a lot of categories that we needed to fill, and we got a lot of them.”

Nurse is especially excited by the prospect of George complementing the skills of the other Sixers stars, Maxey and Joel Embiid. “We had the one, five [positions] solidified. We needed something in the middle. That’s PG,” he said. “We are going to have to wait and see. I’m sure it’s going to take some time, you know, for total connection and chemistry, but obviously they all can score at all levels. So it should be a great fit.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Ricky Council has emerged as a go-to scorer during Summer League action and could jump into the Sixers’ rotation next season, Pompey writes in a separate story. Council was signed to a four-year contract in April. “If you can play basketball, someone will find you at some time,” assistant coach Mike Brase said. “It might be when you are young in the process and being recruited or when you get older. And in Ricky’s case, he went to Wichita State and Arkansas and [goes] undrafted [last summer] and makes the most of it.”
  • The Celtics exercised their $2.1MM club option on Sam Hauser‘s contract but Hauser could be a cap casualty next offseason, Brian Robb of MassLive.com speculates. Hauser’s next contract will be significantly larger, so the Celtics’ efforts to re-sign him next summer could hinge on whether they move a big salary.
  • Second-round pick Jamal Shead exemplifies the Raptors‘ commitment to getting better defensively, Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes. Shead has displayed his defensive tenacity during Summer League play. “As you can see in the draft class as well, we’re trying to find as many possible two-way guys that can be — we call them the most important guy,” coach Darko Rajakovic said. “(The) most important guy is the guy who’s got who’s guarding the ball. He makes it easier for everybody else.”

Sixers’ Morey Vows To Shake Up Roster In “Big” Offseason

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey confirmed during a Monday press conference that he’ll be busy reworking his roster this summer, Dan Gelston of The Associated Press reports.

“We’re not going to have continuity,” Morey said. “We’ll have continuity with our stars and our head coach but we’re going to have a lot of changes this season.”

Morey feels the heat to build a championship roster around his two stars.

This offseason’s a big one,” Morey said. “I owe it to the fans, to ownership, to everybody, to get this team in a place where we’re competing for championships. We obviously didn’t achieve it this year.”

Joel Embiid is the only two player with a guaranteed contract beyond this season. Tyrese Maxey will be a restricted free agent and is expected to sign a maximum-salary contract.

Beyond that, everything is up for grabs. Morey could have $65MM in cap space to wheel and deal, along with signing free agents. He’s not against signing an aging star, such as Paul George, if one becomes available in the free agent market.

“You have to factor in the age,” Morey said. “We feel like we’re in the window where we have to win now. We’re mostly focused on getting the best players that fit with Joel and Tyrese.”

Morey has some regrets regarding this season, namely that he didn’t have a deep enough roster. The Sixers slid down the standings when Embiid was sidelined for two months after undergoing knee surgery. He wasn’t close to 100% in the postseason when Philadelphia lost to New York in the opening round.

“It can’t be a big focus, how we play without him. We know that team can’t win a championship,” Morey said. “It’s really, how do we manage through it better? I felt like, on me, the depth wasn’t quite there when he was out to win at the level we wanted to win at.”

Here are some other notable tidbits from Morey’s press conference:

  • His top priority is to find a wing “who can play and deliver at a high level in the playoffs,” Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tweets.
  • Coach Nick Nurse will be retained. Reserves Paul Reed and Ricky Council IV are also expected to be back, even though their salaries are not guaranteed, Vorkunov adds.
  • Though he hasn’t ruled out re-signing Buddy Hield, who was acquired from Indiana at the trade deadline, Morey admitted that “the fit was less good than I thought,” per Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports (Twitter link). Hield played sparingly in the first round until Game 6, when he scored 20 points in 21 minutes.
  • Maxey’s performances during the regular season and playoffs proved to Morey that he can be the second-best player on a title team, Vorkunov relays in another tweet. “That belief went from high to we’re certain at this point that he can do that,” he said.

Sixers Sign Ricky Council IV To Four-Year Contract

12:32pm: Council’s promotion to the Sixers’ 15-man roster is official, the team announced today in a press release. His four-year deal will be non-guaranteed after this season and will feature a team option for 2026/27, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

11:47am: The Sixers are signing two-way wing Ricky Council IV to a new four-year, $7.4MM standard contract, adding about $864K in new money for this season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (Twitter link). The Sixers have an open roster spot, so no corresponding move is necessary to promote Council.

Council went undrafted in 2023 but quickly caught on with the Sixers on a two-way deal. He has impressed in limited time this season, averaging 5.5 points in 9.1 minutes across 31 games.

Council played three collegiate seasons — two with Wichita State and his final year with Arkansas. He averaged 12.5 points across 85 college games, including averaging 16.7 PPG in his final season.

The athletic wing didn’t play much to begin the season, but earned more minutes as the season progressed and has averaged 8.1 points from early February to March. He was also impressive at the G League level, averaging 23.8 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 47.6% from the floor and 37.8% on three-pointers in 27 regular season and Showcase Cup games with the Sixers’ G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.

Council is now eligible for the playoffs under his new standard contract and at 22 years old, he has room to develop as an inexpensive rotation option for the Sixers down the line.

The exact details of Council’s contract – which will come out of Philadelphia’s mid-level exception – are unclear. However, it’s unlikely to include much, if any, guaranteed money beyond this season, given that the Sixers are preserving cap flexibility for the summer and are giving the rookie a substantial salary for the final two days of this season.

The Sixers now have a full 15-man roster, and just one player, Terquavion Smith, on a two-way contract. The Sixers recently promoted Jeff Dowtin from a two-way deal as well.

Pacers’ Tshiebwe Named NBAGL Rookie Of The Year

First-year big man Oscar Tshiebwe, who is on a two-way contract with the Pacers, has been named the NBA G League’s Rookie of the Year for the 2023/24 season, according to an announcement from the league.

An undrafted free agent out of Kentucky, Tshiebwe has only appeared in eight NBA games as a rookie, but had a monster season for the Indiana Mad Ants in the G League, where he began the Showcase Cup in the fall by racking up 33 points and 22 rebounds in his first ever NBAGL outing.

Over the course of 33 total Showcase Cup and regular season games, Tshiebwe averaged 16.4 points per contest and pulled down 532 total rebounds, including 201 offensive boards, setting a new team record. He also established a new high-water mark for rebounds per game in a G League season, averaging 16.2 in 23 regular season appearances.

Tshiebwe was busy at All-Star weekend in Indianapolis in February, competing in both the G League Up Next game and the Rising Stars event.

Because Tshiebwe’s two-way contract with the Pacers only covers a single season, he’ll become eligible for restricted free agency this summer, so Indiana will need to sign him to a new contract in order to keep him around beyond 2023/24.

According to the NBA (Twitter link), Clippers two-way guard Jordan Miller was the runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting, with Sixers two-way guard Ricky Council IV placing third.

Miller averaged 20.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 30.3 minutes per game with a .491/.355/.829 shooting line across 39 total Showcase Cup and G League regular season outings for the Ontario Clippers.

Council, meanwhile, put up 23.8 points per game on .473/.380/.775 shooting to go along with 5.3 RPG and 1.9 APG in 27 Showcase Cup and regular season contests for the Delaware Blue Coats.

Council will also be a restricted free agent this summer, while Miller is on a two-year deal and will remain under contract for 2024/25.

Sixers Re-Sign Ricky Council To Two-Way Contract

12:12pm: Tubelis has been waived in order to open up a two-way slot for Council, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

11:53am: The Sixers have agreed to a new two-way contract with rookie shooting guard Ricky Council, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). The signing is official, per NBA.com’s transaction log.

Council, who played two college seasons at Wichita State before transferring to Arkansas for his junior year in 2022/23, averaged 16.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 34.1 minutes per game (36 games) for the Razorbacks last season. His 27.0% mark on three-point tries left something to be desired, but he was considered one of the top prospects to go undrafted this year.

Following June’s draft, Council quickly latched on with Philadelphia on a two-way deal, playing for the club in Summer League and the preseason before being cut last Friday. The Sixers had to release a two-way player in order to convert Javonte Smart‘s Exhibit 10 deal to a two-way contract.

We don’t know exactly what Philadelphia’s thinking is in waiving Council only to bring him back five days later. However, it’s worth noting that the terms of Terquavion Smith‘s and Azuolas Tubelis‘ two-way deals called for them to have 50% of their full salaries guaranteed if they weren’t waived on or before the first day of the regular season. Council’s previous contract didn’t include those same terms.

It’s possible the Sixers always wanted to retain Council but didn’t want to deny Smith or Tubelis a payday of approximately $205K (each player had already been guaranteed $75K of his $560K two-way salary). Keeping both of those players through opening day on Tuesday ensures they’ll get their salary bumps, which won’t count against Philadelphia’s cap. I’d expect one of them – rather than Smart – was cut to make room for Council, though that hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Sixers Waive Ricky Council, David Duke Jr.

The Sixers have waived Ricky Council and David Duke Jr., the team announced on Friday night.

Council being cut is somewhat of a surprise. He was one of the top prospects who went undrafted this year following his junior season at Arkansas and quickly reached an agreement on a two-way contract with Philadelphia.

A two-way deal signed before the regular season begins can be partially guaranteed for up to the maximum Exhibit 10 bonus amount for that year. In 2023/24, that amount – also known as the maximum two-way protection amount – is $75K. Council received that partial guarantee.

Two-way contracts don’t count against the salary cap, and evidently the Sixers have other plans for the spot that Council held. The 6’6″ guard averaged 9.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in five games (24.6 minutes) with the Sixers in Las Vegas Summer League action, though he didn’t shoot the ball well (.361/.100/.769 slash line). He also appeared in three preseason games, but didn’t play much (8.3 minutes per night).

As for Duke, who spent the past two seasons with the Nets, he’ll likely be headed to the Delaware Blue Coats — Philadelphia’s G league affiliate — to open ’23/24. He signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Sixers, so he could receive a $75K bonus if he spends at least 60 days with Delaware.

The Sixers now have 19 players under contract, with one open two-way spot.

Players Who Signed July 1 Are Now Eligible To Be Traded

The peak of the NBA’s transactions season has calmed down after an active start to July, but a few more players have become eligible to be traded on the final day of the month, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

The 30-day trade restriction window has expired for draft picks who signed their contracts on July 1, along with six players who inked two-way contracts on that date.

The designation won’t matter for those at the very top of the draft, as the Spurs and Trail Blazers obviously won’t consider trading Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, respectively. However, it could come into play for a few others, especially if more big-name players are on the move as the summer winds down.

In addition to those top-three picks, first-rounders who signed on July 1 are the Magic’s Anthony Black and Jett Howard, the PacersJarace Walker and Ben Sheppard, the Trail BlazersKris Murray and the Heat’s Jaime Jaquez. The No. 18 pick out of UCLA, Jaquez has been mentioned as a potential asset in a trade to bring Damian Lillard to Miami.

Two-way players who signed on July 1, according to NBA.com’s transactions log, are the SixersTerquavion Smith and Ricky Council, the Heat‘s Dru Smith and Jamaree Bouyea, the Trail Blazers Ibou Badji and the RocketsTrevor Hudgins.

Most veteran free agents who signed this summer won’t become eligible to be traded by their teams until December 15 or January 15, depending on their circumstances. Those signings didn’t become official until July 6 or later because of the NBA’s summer moratorium.

Sixers Add Council, Tubelis, Smith On Two-Way Deals

JULY 17: The two-way deal for Tubelis is official, the team announced in a press release.

JULY 1: The Sixers have officially signed Council and Smith.

JUNE 23: The new CBA will allow for three two-way contracts and the Sixers wasted no time filling those spots.

Philadelphia are offering contracts to three undrafted players. Arkansas guard Ricky Council IV will take one of those spots, Shams Charania of The Athletic and The Stadium tweets. Arizona big man Azuolas Tubelis and North Carolina State Terquavion Smith are also being signed on two-way deals, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com tweets.

Council, a 6’6” guard, averaged 16.3 points for the Razorbacks last season after transferring from Wichita State. His spotty perimeter game (3o.3% on 3-point tries in his college career) hurt his draft stock.

Tubelis, a three-year starter for the Wildcats, averaged 19.8 points and 9.1 rebounds last season. Smith averaged 17.9 points and 4.1 assists for the Wolfpack in his sophomore season.

Additionally, the Sixers are signing Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley on an Exhibit 10 contract. Bagley played only five games the past two seasons due to injuries and a suspension.

Sixers Officially Sign Terquavion Smith, Ricky Council To Two-Way Deals

The Sixers have officially completed a pair of two-way contract agreements that were reported shortly after the 2023 draft ended last week, having put out a press release confirming that they’ve signed undrafted rookies Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council to two-way deals.

Smith earned All-ACC honors as a sophomore at NC State this past season after averaging 17.9 points and 4.1 assists in 33.6 minutes per game across 34 appearances. The 6’4″ guard was a 35.2% three-point shooter in his two college seasons.

Council, who began his college career at Wichita State, transferred to Arkansas for his junior year in 2022/23 and averaged 16.1 PPG in 36 games (34.1 MPG) for the Razorbacks. The 6’6″ wing declared for the draft as an early entrant.

Teams will be permitted to carry three players on two-way contracts for the first time in 2023/24, and the Sixers had a clear idea after the draft about how they wanted to fill those slots. Besides reaching deals with Smith and Council, they also agreed to sign Arizona State’s Azuolas Tubelis. His signing hasn’t been finalized yet, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t be.

The 76ers opted not to tender two-way qualifying offers to last season’s two-way players, Louis King and Mac McClung, making them unrestricted free agents.

Southeast Draft Notes: Miller, Hornets, Council, Smith

The Hornets hold the No. 2 pick and Alabama forward Brandon Miller will work out for them on Tuesday, Ashley Stroehlein of WCNC tweets. Miller and G League guard Scoot Henderson are the top contenders to be chosen at the No. 2 spot. It was previously reported that Miller was scheduled to work out for Charlotte on Tuesday and the plans obviously didn’t change. In fact, he has already arrived in Charlotte.

We have more draft-related news from the Southeast Division: