Ronald Roberts Jr.

Eastern Notes: Okafor, Mickey, Aldridge

Sixers first-rounder Jahlil Okafor is preparing himself to be the focal point that Philadelphia will build around, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. “I’m definitely used to being the centerpiece of a team,” Okafor said. “That’s what I’ve become accustomed to.  That’s what I’ve been working so hard for.” Philly point guard Isaiah Canaan is excited about the possibilities Okafor brings with him to the team, Kennedy adds. “He’s going to open up everything,” Canaan said of Okafor. “He’s a big presence on the post. He can score the ball and he can pass. With a big guy who can do that and draw a lot of attention, he’s going to open up everyone else on the team and he’s going to be big piece for us. You always need a big man on the team. Next to point guard, that’s the most important piece. To have Big Jah and hopefully [Joel] Embiid – if he can come back fully healthy next year – not to mention still adding other pieces, we’ll be fine and have a lot of great players on this team.

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The first two seasons of Jordan Mickey‘s four-year deal with the Celtics are fully guaranteed, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The forward is set to earn $1,170,960 this season, followed by salaries of $1,223,653, $1,276,346, and $1,329,039, Pincus adds.
  • Ronald Roberts‘ two-year agreement with the Raptors includes a partial guarantee for $75K, Pincus relays (on Twitter).
  • The final season of Mike Dunleavy‘s three-year pact with the Bulls, which is scheduled to pay him approximately $5.18MM, is only partially guaranteed for $1.66MM, Pincus tweets.
  • The cancellation of the scheduled meeting between LaMarcus Aldridge and the Knicks was due to New York’s desire for Aldridge to play exclusively at center, a position he is not fond of, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork writes. “They didn’t want to meet with me,” Aldridge said. “Some people said it was me. But it was both parties agreeing that we shouldn’t meet.” League sources informed Begley that Knicks president Phil Jackson decided to cancel the meeting when it became clear that Aldridge had no desire to man the pivot on a nightly basis.

Raptors Sign Ronald Roberts

JULY 21ST, 10:54am: The deal is official, the team announced via press release. It’s a multiyear contract, according to the team. Thus, it would appear that it’s a two-year minimum-salary arrangement, since the Raptors used up their cap space and spent their room exception on Bismack Biyombo.

JULY 12TH, 7:18pm: The Raptors are finalizing a partially-guaranteed deal with forward Ronald Roberts, reports David Pick of, who cites a source (Twitter link).

Roberts, 23, played for the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippines last season after inking a deal in January. Prior to signing overseas, he played in the D-League after the Sixers released him. Pick tweets that Roberts averaged 23 points per game overseas.

He spent less than a week on Philadelphia’s NBA roster in December, having been signed to replace Jorge Gutierrez and let go to accommodate Furkan Aldemir. The Adam Pensack client was also with the Sixers during the preseason, and he played for Philly’s summer league team after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s last summer.

Ronald Roberts To Play In Philippines

Former Sixers power forward Ronald Roberts is signing with the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippines, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, who indicates that the 23-year-old has already put pen to paper. Marc Stein of reported earlier today that the team was on the verge of luring him overseas with a “big-money” offer (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether the deal includes an NBA escape clause.

Roberts has been playing in the D-League since the Sixers released him last month, and the affiliate of the Warriors had just acquired his rights from Philadelphia’s affiliate a week ago. He spent less than a week on Philadelphia’s NBA roster in December, having been signed to replace Jorge Gutierrez and let go to accommodate Furkan Aldemir. The Adam Pensack client was also with the Sixers during the preseason, and he played for Philly’s summer league team after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s last summer.

The first-year pro didn’t make it into a regular season game for the Sixers, and he averaged just 4.8 minutes per game across three appearances during the preseason. Before the season, he broke off a deal to play in France that would have given him more than the $35K partial guarantee the Sixers promised him on his training camp deal, though he picked up nearly another $50K for his brief stint with Philadelphia last month.

Sixers Waive Ronald Roberts

MONDAY, 11:38am: The move is official, the team announced as it confirmed the signing of Furkan Aldemir.

SUNDAY, 4:09pm: The Sixers will waive Ronald Roberts to make room for the newly signed Furkan Aldemir, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).  It was a brief stay in the City of Brotherly Love for Roberts, who was signed just two days ago.

Roberts, 23, spent training camp with the team in October after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s this past June.  Philadelphia gave the Adam Pensack client a partial guarantee of $35K when it signed him for camp and retained his D-League rights after waiving him before opening night. It’s unclear if there was any guaranteed salary involved with Roberts’ latest deal.

The 6’8″ power forward put up 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in 31.8 minutes per game for the D-League affiliate of the Sixers so far this season.  He did not see the floor for the Sixers’ varsity squad, however.  With Roberts out and Aldemir in, the 76ers’ roster remains at 15.

Sixers Sign Ronald Roberts Jr., Waive Gutierrez

The Sixers have signed Ronald Roberts Jr. and waived Jorge Gutierrez, team spokesperson Michael Preston announced via Twitter. Philadelphia had acquired Gutierrez as part of the Andrei Kirilenko trade Thursday, though coach Brett Brown hinted today that the point guard’s situation with the team was “fluid.” Kirilenko nonetheless remains on the Sixers roster in spite of reports from prior to the trade indicating that Philadelphia intended to let him go, as the Sixers are apparently interested in keeping him as a potential trade chip for later this season. Gutierrez had a $25K partial guarantee on his contract, but he’d already earned more than that his season, so the portion of his minimum salary that he’d collected so far this season will remain on Philly’s books. It’s unclear what sort of contract Roberts is getting.

Roberts, 23, is well-known to the Sixers, having spent training camp with the team in October after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s this past June. Philadelphia gave the Adam Pensack client a partial guarantee of $35K when it signed him for camp and retained his D-League rights after waiving him before opening night. The 6’8″ power forward has put up 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in 31.8 minutes per game for the D-League affiliate of the Sixers so far this season.

Gutierrez inked a pair of 10-day contracts late last season with the Nets before signing a contract that covered the rest of the season with a non-guaranteed salary for 2014/15 tacked on. Gutierrez earned his partial guarantee when the Nets declined to waive him before training camp, but he saw only 4.4 MPG in 10 appearances this season, much less playing time than the 16.3 MPG he saw in 15 games with Brooklyn last season.

Philly’s roster count remains at 15 players in the wake of today’s move. The team is as flexible as ever, with only nine fully guaranteed contracts.

Sixers Waive Lee, Gordon, Roberts Jr.

6:51pm: Philadelphia has officially waived all three players, the team announced via press release.

6:14pm: Although no team announcement has been made, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets that the Sixers have waived Drew Gordon, Malcolm Lee, and Ronald Roberts Jr. All three were on low-risk, four-year contracts with Philadelphia.

The Sixers will be on the hook for partial guarantees of $35K, $40K, and $50K for Roberts Jr., Gordon and Lee, respectively. Coach Brett Brown has mentioned the D-League as a possibility for Roberts Jr., who broke off an overseas deal to join the Sixers in camp. The team is allowed to retain the D-League rights for up to four players cut before the season.

The cuts bring the Sixers roster down to 17, two above the maximum they can carry into the regular season. The team has plenty of flexibility as it approaches the deadline to trim the roster, with seven remaining contracts that aren’t guaranteed, as well as plenty of cap room to eat guaranteed salary if they choose to do so.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Celtics, Teletovic, Sixers

The Sixers have company in their opposition to draft lottery reform, but it looks like change is inevitable. That figures to make a long season even longer in Philadelphia, but in the meantime, there’s news on the Sixers amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • Greg Stiemsma would seem the favorite for the 15th regular season roster spot on the Raptors based on Toronto’s needs at center, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, but Jordan Hamilton and Will Cherry are making strong cases for themselves, as Wolstat examines. Each has a partial guarantee of $25K.
  • The Celtics signed Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford with the intention of keeping their D-League rights, notes Chris Forsberg of Boston is set to release the trio, as well as Erik Murphy, from its NBA roster soon.
  • Mirza Teletovic plans to listen to offers from the Nets as well as other teams when his contract expires after the season, as he said this week to Avaz, a newspaper in his native Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Robert Windrem of Nets Daily translates. The Nets can make Teletovic a restricted free agent, though their right of first refusal wouldn’t apply if he chose to go back overseas.
  • JaKarr Sampson has been especially impressive, as Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters this week as he discussed the team’s players fighting for a regular season roster spot, observes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Atlantic Notes: Garnett, Knicks, Sixers, Wallace

Kevin Garnett, who’s gearing up for his 20th NBA season, is entering the final year of a deal that will pay him $12MM, and Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders lists the Nets big man as one of ten players he thinks will be retiring sooner rather than later. Taylor thinks that Garnett’s age and expiring contract more than likely mean this is last season The Big Ticket will play in the league. Here’s more from the Atlantic..

  • Knicks second-rounder Thanasis Antetokounmpo turned down lucrative offers from overseas in order to display his skills stateside with New York’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. His younger brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo, originally thought heading to Europe might have been the more sensible decision, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. “I was the first one to tell him: ‘Maybe it’s better for you to go overseas and get some money,’” Giannis said. “He said no. His dream is to play in the NBA, stay here. I’m happy with that.’
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown mentioned the possibility of the D-League when asked about Ronald Roberts Jr., tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Roberts is with Philly on a partially guaranteed pact, so Brown’s comments might indicate the team is interested in waiving the injured 23-year-old before the season begins to preserve his D-League rights.
  • At 32 years old, it’s safe to say Gerald Wallace is past his prime, but he’s interested in playing whatever role the Celtics need him to, observes A. Sherrod Blakely of “Whatever the team needs me to do,” Wallace said. “Whatever coach (Brad Stevens) needs me to do. We’ve already talked about it. I’m in a position where I’m comfortable with it.” Boston was rumored to have been shopping Wallace last season around the trade deadline, but he’s reportedly happy to be hanging around in green.

Eastern Notes: Monroe, Rondo, Heat, Sixers

Greg Monroe said it wouldn’t necessarily have taken max money to convince him to sign long-term rather than take the one-year qualifying offer from the Pistons, as Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News observes. The 24-year-old added that he doesn’t feel a need to cash in whenever and wherever possible and expressed that he was apprehensive about doing so with Detroit before he and new coach/executive Stan Van Gundy become more comfortable with each other.

“It’s no disrespect to the people working here but it was just tough for me to agree to another four years with new people,” Monroe said. “Honestly, if you were to ask the average person would they do that in the arena they’re in, they’d say no.”

Monroe hopes Van Gundy won’t decide to start Andre Drummond and Josh Smith over him purely based on their respective contracts, as Goodwill also details. Monroe’s impending unrestricted free agency will be a storyline we’ll follow all season, but for now, here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Rajon Rondo and the Celtics still have to convince each other that a long-term future together is the right course of action, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said today, tweets Ben Rohrbach of Still, Ainge also said that he and Rondo have spoken about roster moves they’d like to make, Rohrbach adds in a separate tweet.
  • Shannon Brown doesn’t have a guarantee on his contract with the Heat, but he’s emerged as the favorite to serve as the primary backup for Dwyane Wade at shooting guard, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes.
  • The deal that Ronald Roberts Jr. broke off with France’s Chalon-Sur-Saone to sign with the Sixers instead was guaranteed for more money than the $35K partial guarantee that Philadelphia gave him, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media“My mindset was if I have an NBA team knocking on my door, I’ve got to take it,” Roberts said.

Sixers Sign K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant

9:47am: McDaniels will make the minimum salary this year, as Wojnarowski reveals in his full story, one that suggests that the small forward simply signed the required tender that teams must make in order to retain the rights to their second-round picks. He rejected a long-term offer with terms similar to what Grant has in his contract, as agent Mark Bartelstein explains to Wojnarowski.

“The 76ers have a philosophy that they’re adhering to, and we totally respect that, but it doesn’t fit for K.J. and us,” Bartelstein said. “I just totally disagree with the idea of doing a four-year deal that includes a structure of two non-guaranteed years. We think K.J. is going to be a good player, and it came down to doing a one-year deal and letting the market determine his value. There’s no hard feelings. The Sixers’ philosophy has worked for them. It just doesn’t work for us.”

WEDNESDAY, 8:51am: McDaniels is getting a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, setting himself up for restricted free agency next summer, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 9:10pm: McDaniels hasn’t signed his contract as of this afternoon and didn’t report to training camp Tuesday, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey implies that McDaniels isn’t happy with the team’s offer, but adds that the Sixers do expect him to sign it soon.

MONDAY, 4:22pm: The Sixers have signed K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant, two of the team’s second-round picks from June, the team acknowledged as it released its training camp roster via press release. The team has plenty of cap space, but it’s not immediately clear how much of it goes to McDaniels and Grant, nor is it known whether their deals are guaranteed. The roster also serves as an official announcement of previously reported deals with No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid, Ronald Roberts Jr. and JaKarr Sampson. Absent from the roster are Malcolm Lee, Drew Gordon and Pierre Jackson, whom offseason reports indicated the Sixers had agreed to sign, so presumably those deals are off.

McDaniels, the 32nd overall pick, is a small forward who’s a heady player with a strong motor who seems poised to outperform his draft position, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors wrote when he examined the former Clemson Tiger’s prospect profile. Grant, a combo forward from Syracuse, carries plenty of athleticism but plenty of unknowns, too, though he appears to be a strong value as a second-rounder, as Eddie’s profile of the No. 39 overall pick reads. Vasilije Micic and Jordan McRae, the team’s other second-round picks, are playing overseas, as our list of draft pick signings shows.

Philadelphia is bringing 20 players to camp, though only eight are known to have fully guaranteed salary. Roberts, Sampson and Jarvis Varnado have partially guaranteed deals, but it’s seemingly an otherwise wide-open competition for opening-night roster spots.