Scottie Wilbekin

International Notes: Bjelica, Calathes, Pullen, Larkin, Wilbekin

Fenerbahce’s general manager says he has informed former NBA players Nemanja Bjelica and Nick Calathes that they aren’t in the Turkish club’s plans for 2023/24, despite both players being under contract, as Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays.

Bjelica, 35, played seven NBA seasons, most recently helping the Warriors win the championship in 2021/22. He signed a two-year deal with Fenerbahce last summer, but the veteran forward was limited to seven EuroLeague games in ’22/23 due to a calf injury, Maggi writes.

Calathes appeared in 129 games with the Grizzlies from 2013-15. The 34-year-old has spent most of his professional career overseas, primarily with Greece’s Panathinaikos, though he has also played for teams in Russia, Spain and Turkey. The veteran guard averaged 8.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.2 RPG and 1.1 SPG in 34 EuroLeague contests with Fenerbahce in ’22/23.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Former Sixers two-way guard Jacob Pullen, who played three games with Philadelphia in the ’17/18 season, has signed a one-year contract with Italy’s Napoli Basket, the team announced in a press release. The 33-year-old is a well-traveled veteran, having played in Kuwait last season after spending most of his career in Europe.
  • Shane Larkin and Scottie Wilbekin failed to report to the Turkish national team during the 2024 Olympic pre-qualifying tournament earlier this month, which saw Turkey lose to Croatia in the final. As such, the Turkish Basketball Federation has fined both guards approximately 3,000 Euros and suspended them for five games apiece during the upcoming Turkish Super League season, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. Both players are eligible to represent Turkey in international tournaments because they’re naturalized citizens, though each team only has one naturalized slot in FIBA events. Larkin, who currently plays for Anadolu Efes, appeared in 256 NBA regular season games from 2013-18. Wilbekin, meanwhile, plays for Fenerbahce. He signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Sixers in 2015, but never appeared for Philadelphia, having been waived before ’15/16 started.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along several World Cup notes this afternoon.

Atlantic Notes: Prokhorov, Sixers, Friisdahl

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is close to acquiring majority control of the Nassau Coliseum, sources have informed Mike Mazzeo of (Twitter link). The plan is for Brooklyn’s future D-League team to eventually be situated at the refurbished arena, Mazzeo notes. The Nets hope their future D-League team begins play in time for the 2016/17 campaign, but for now they are one of the 11 NBA teams without an affiliate to call their own this season.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • It’s difficult to know for sure, given GM Sam Hinkie‘s unpredictability, but the pairing of No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor with Nerlens Noel appears to give the Sixers a glimpse at what their team will look like in the future, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
  • Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Raptors‘ parent company, went in a different direction with their hire of Michael Friisdahl as the new president and CEO, Michael Grange of writes. “Quite frankly they [MLSE] looked at it in totality and said what we need is an overall executive to lead the whole organization,” said Friisdahl. “And then we’re going to rely on the very strong leadership in each of the sports organizations and have them focus on that. You will not see me heavily involved in any kind of sports decisions, which is fairly obvious from my background.
  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher, speaking about the draft day trade of Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks in return for the draft rights to Jerian Grant, said that Grant has more skills as a guard than Hardaway, which is why the deal was made, Adam Zagoria of tweets.
  • Point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who was waived by the Sixers on Monday, has signed a two-year, $780K deal with the Turkish club Darussafaka, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter links). The contract does include an NBA out clause, Pick adds.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Wilbekin, Stackhouse

Count GM Billy King among those curious to see how the retooled Nets roster will fare this season, writes Andy Vasquez of “We know we’re not a finished product at this point, and the goal is to get better,” King said. “We’ve revamped, got some youth, and now I want to see how we play, see how some of the pieces we acquired fit, how they go. We’ve got some young guys and it’s going to take time. They have to play and they’re going to make mistakes and we’ve got to live with them because the only way we’re going to get better is applying it on the court. We have the ability to get better as a team because we do have some inexperience with some guys. But we need our main guys, our veteran guys to carry us, to do their part to allow the young guys to sort of blend in and help.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who was waived by the Sixers on Monday, has lucrative overseas offers lined up, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays.
  • Despite being a rookie assistant coach this season, Jerry Stackhouse is fitting in well with the Raptors and notes that he doesn’t feel like a newcomer to the coaching ranks, writes Josh Lewenberg of “Man, it’s nothing new to me,” Stackhouse told Lewenberg. “I’ve been coaching for the last 10 years and I don’t feel any different. It’s just about trying to get guys better, better prepared for what they’re going to see during game action. The best way to do that is to build more repetition, more repetition. And that’s the key, being creative to come up with ideas everyday so things don’t get stagnant and guys [don’t] get bored.
  • Coby Karl and Derrick Alston were officially hired by the Knicks‘ D-League affiliate in Westchester as assistant coaches, the team announced.
  • You can view the opening night regular season rosters for the Celtics, Nets, Knicks, Sixers, and Raptors by clicking on the link beneath each team name.

Sixers Sign, Waive Jordan Railey

The Sixers signed and waived Jordan Railey, the team announced via press release. The move involving the undrafted Washington State center is designed to secure his D-League rights, the team says. Philadelphia will make Railey one of four camp cuts whose D-League rights it’s allowed to claim through the affiliate player rule, providing he clears waivers. The statement from the Sixers also confirmed that they’ve waived Jordan McRae, Furkan Aldemir, Scottie Wilbekin, Pierre Jackson, and J.P. Tokoto, as a series of five previous reports indicated.

Philadelphia first connected with Railey when he played for the Sixers summer league team in July, scoring three points in at least 15 minutes of action spread over three games. Railey had signed during the summer with BC Igokea of Bosnia, but either that contract included an NBA escape clause or the team decided to part ways with the 23-year-old 7-footer. He averaged 6.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 block in 16.4 minutes per game as a senior last season at Washington State, where he played his final two collegiate seasons after starting at Iowa State.

76ers To Cut Scottie Wilbekin, Keep Christian Wood

The Sixers will waive Scottie Wilbekin and have told Christian Wood that he’s made the opening night roster, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Wilbekin has a partial guarantee of $200K, while Wood’s partial guarantee is worth only $50K. The move takes the Sixers closer to the regular season roster limit of 15, though with Wilbekin, J.P. Tokoto and Pierre Jackson the reported cuts today, the team still must part ways with at least two more players.

Wilbekin, 22, displayed a scoring touch in the preseason, averaging 10.0 points in 17.6 minutes per game across five appearances. Still, it wasn’t enough for the undrafted shooting guard from the University of Florida.

Wood, another undrafted rookie, joined the Sixers after a deal with the Rockets fell through. The 20-year-old power forward from UNLV posted 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game over five preseason contests with Philadelphia.

Eastern Rumors: Pistons, Wilbekin, Pacers

Ersan Ilyasova would have been a top target for the Pistons if he had been a free agent this summer, coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy told Keith Langlois of Ilyasova was acquired in a trade with the Bucks, who re-signed restricted free agent Khris Middleton, another Detroit target, according to Langlois. “If he’d been a free agent, he’d have been the guy at the top of our list at power forward,” Van Gundy said of Ilyasova. The Pistons also would not have pursued a free agent small forward if Marcus Morris had been made available sooner. He was acquired in a salary dump by the Suns in early July after Detroit came up empty in its aim to sign either DeMarre Carroll or Danny Green“There’s no question we would have opted to take him rather than go into free agency had that been there [before July 1],” Van Gundy said to Langlois. “It wasn’t at the time, so we did try to make a play for a couple of guys. But when it didn’t work out and that presented itself, we were fortunate.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Scottie Wilbekin received a $200K guarantee from the Sixers for the upcoming season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The remainder of the four-year, $3.5MM contract that the ex-University of Florida point guard signed is not guaranteed, Pincus adds. Wilbekin will make $525,093 in the first year if he’s still on the roster January 10th. He played in Australia and Greece last season after going undrafted.
  • Monta Ellis has the potential to ultimately become one of the Pacers’ greatest free agent signings, argues Mark Montieth of, who nonetheless ranks David West, who bolted for the Spurs this summer, as the most significant free agent addition in team history. Montieth addressed that and other topics in a mailbag format.
  • Drew Gooden‘s $3.547MM salary for the 2016/17 season becomes guaranteed on July 15th, according to Pincus (Twitter link). The Wizards forward, who has a guaranteed $3.3MM contract for the upcoming season, has a no-trade restriction on his deal which lifts on January 15th.

Sixers Sign Scottie Wilbekin

JULY 24TH, 9:04am: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

2:39pm: The first season includes a partial salary guarantee, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets.

JULY 18TH, 11:56am: The Sixers have reached a contract agreement with unrestricted free agent Scottie Wilbekin, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). The deal is for four years, Charania notes, though the exact amount of the pact, and if any guaranteed money is included, is unknown at this time.

Wilbekin will opt out of his current deal with the Cairns Taipans of Australia’s National Basketball League to join the NBA. The  22-year-old played for the Magic in this year’s Orlando Summer League before suiting up for the Sixers in the Las Vegas Summer League.

The 6’2″ point guard will likely have a solid shot to stick in Philly since the team is sorely in need of additional backcourt depth. In four seasons with the Florida Gators before going undrafted in 2014, Wilbekin notched career averages of 7.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists to go along with a slash line of .422/.389/.787.

Grizzlies To Invite Wilbekin, White To Camp

The Grizzlies will invite Scottie Wilbekin and Okaro White to training camp, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal, who writes in a subscription-only piece. White, a forward from Florida State, and Wilbekin, a point guard from Florida, both went undrafted last month. It doesn’t appear as though either stands much of a chance of making the team’s opening night roster, as Tillery says the Grizzlies’ hopes involve the pair winding up with their D-League affiliate, but it sounds like they’ll at least receive the opportunity.

Wilbekin was the 50th-ranked senior on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings, while White checked in at No. 67. Both are on the Grizzlies summer league roster for this week in Orlando, while Wilbekin will also suit up for the Sixers in the Las Vegas summer league.

If both accept the invitations and sign summer contracts, they’d be on non-guaranteed minimum-salary deals that wouldn’t count against the cap unless they made the opening night roster. NBA teams can reserve the D-League rights of three players who fail to make the cut out of training camp each fall, and it seems Memphis has two such slots earmarked for the Sunshine State duo.

Southeast Notes: LeBron, Wizards, Hornets

The Heat granted agent Rich Paul and LeBron James‘ friend and adviser Maverick Carter unprecedented access to the team in the past year, prompting consternation from many within the organization, as Mike Wise of The Washington Post details. We’ll soon find out whether it was worth it for Miami, now that James has decided to opt out of his contract and hit free agency. Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Wizards “draft and stash” prospect Tomas Satoransky wants the team to sign him before he competes in summer league this year, and he’s also pushing for a larger amount than the team is willing to give, as J. Michael of hears. The former 32nd overall pick isn’t bound by the rookie scale, so it would likely take a portion of the mid-level, which Michael says Washington doesn’t want to give up, to give him more than the minimum salary. Ultimately, the Wizards are willing to stand firm and have no intention of trading Satoransky’s rights, according to Michael.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford has indicated a preference for adding size and experience rather than more young perimeter players, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines.
  • Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops adds Gary Harris and Scottie Wilbekin to the list of draft prospects working out for the Magic (Twitter link).
  • Wizards are auditioning Jahii Carson, Dwight Powell, Roscoe Smith, Sean Kilpatrick, Chaz Williams, Richard Solomon, Isaiah Armwood, Maurice Creek, Halil Kanacevic, Devin Oliver and Talib Zanna, the team announced. They’re also giving LaQuinton Ross his second workout, having also taken a look at him two weeks ago.
  • The Hawks are giving thought to clearing cap space and making a run at Carmelo Anthony, as we passed along earlier.

Draft Notes: Embiid, Silins, Pelicans

Brad Stevens tells Chris Forsberg of that the Celtics haven’t yet established a draft board. “I have not sat down with our front office all in one room and talked about a draft board,” Stevens said. “We’ll sit down now, after probably next week’s workouts, and talk more as we continue to get closer to the draft. But clearly with two picks in the top 20, we’ve got a lot of evaluating to do.” Here a rundown of today’s draft notes:

  • T.J. Warren, Scottie Wilbekin, Roscoe Smith, Davion Berry, and Isaiah Armwood will work out for the Nuggets, reports Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter links).
  • A league source confirmed to John Reid of The Times-Picayune that the Pelicans are in discussions with several teams looking to trade their first round pick (Twitter link). The Pelicans are reportedly taking an aggressive approach to trading into the first round.
  • Magic executives are high enough on Marcus Smart‘s intangibles to consider selecting him with the fourth pick in the draft, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Robbins adds that had Smart declared for last year’s draft, Orlando might have selected him at No. 2.
  • Bob Finnan of The News-Herald urges his readers to monitor whether Joel Embiid schedules work outs for the Bucks or Sixers between now and the draft. If Embiid shuts out those teams, Finnan believes it would indicate a promise from the Cavs to take him at No. 1. Such a development would be significant, considering Embiid is already scheduled to work out for Milwaukee.
  • Adi Joseph of USA Today takes a look at the draft needs for the Hornets and Mavs.

Earlier updates:

  • While the Cavs had some concerns when evaluating Joel Embiid‘s back, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer says there were no “red flags,” and that Cleveland was blown away by his workout. The belief that Embiid’s physical went well is mounting, after a report to the contrary initially surfaced.
  • Ojars Silins has decided to keep his name in the NBA draft pool, reports Jānis Freimanis of (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Silins will take the Grizzlies up on their workout invitation, and will also work out for the Spurs and Pistons over the next couple weeks.
  • The Pelicans are aggressively trying to trade into the first round in hopes of selecting a young small forward or center, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Sean Deveney of The Sporting News is hearing rumors that a team has promised to take Elfrid Payton in the teens of the first round (H/T Basketball Insiders).
  • T.J. Warren‘s stock is rising into the mid-first-round, sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Kennedy tweets that league executives are “fascinated” by Walter Tavares. The 7’3″ center is projected as an early second round pick by both Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and ESPN Insider Chad Ford.
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of speculates that the conflicting reports out of Cleveland regarding Embiid’s health could be a smoke screen aimed at convincing the Sixers they need to trade up to the No. 1 spot in order to get Andrew Wiggins.