Trey Burke

Sixers Waive Miles, Koumadje, Highsmith

The Sixers are waiving Isaiah Miles, Christ Koumadje and Haywood Highsmith, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

That will reduce their roster to 17 players. There are no surprises with these moves, as all three had non-guaranteed contracts. Trey Burke has a partially guaranteed deal, while 14 others have full guarantees to go along with Philadelphia’s two-way players.

The Sixers hold the G League rights to the trio and they’re expected to play for the Delaware Blue Coats.

Miles, who went undrafted out of St. Joe’s in 2016, has played professionally overseas during the last three years. The 6’7” forward has spent time with teams in France and Turkey, having played for Limoges CSP in 2018/19.

The 7’4″ Koumadje, a Florida State alum, played for Philadelphia’s summer league team after going undrafted. He played four seasons with the Seminoles and started all 37 games as a senior.

Highsmith, a small forward who went undrafted out of Wheeling Jesuit in 2018, signed a two-way contract with Philadelphia in January and spent the remainder of his rookie season with the 76ers and the Blue Coats.

Sixers Notes: Thybulle, Horford, Richardson, Milton

Ben Simmons has seen enough of Matisse Thybulle in practice to be glad he won’t have to face him in the regular season, writes Rich Hoffman of The Athletic. “I hate him on defense,” Simmons said of the rookie guard, who displayed his defensive prowess in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage. He forced turnovers throughout the afternoon and had an impressive block on a shot by Josh Richardson.

“I’m just chasing the ball every chance I get,” Thybulle said. “Deflections are just a side effect of hustle for me. … It’s fun to get out there and get a little feel, wreak a little havoc.”

It’s not clear how much the Sixers are planning to use the 20th overall pick, but he provides a disruptive force that can be useful to shut down perimeter scorers. Hoffman notes that Thybulle comes into the league with both a “high motor” and a quick recognition of what opponents are doing, two things that usually take time for rookies to develop.

There’s more Sixers news to pass along:

  • Players recognize the commitment that Philadelphia’s front office has made by handing out so many long-term contracts, Al Horford told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. In addition to adding Horford as a free agent for $109MM for four years, the organization re-signed Tobias Harris this summer and gave a five-year extension to Simmons. “It helps tremendously because we can focus on playing and doing some special things,” Horford said. “Knowing the organization believes in this core and this group. They’ve showed it by giving us all long-term deals.”
  • Richardson is quickly emerging as a team leader, notes Lauren Rosen of NBA.com. Acquired from the Heat in the Jimmy Butler trade, Richardson has been working with younger players, particularly Zhaire Smith. The fifth-year swingman sees it as part of his overall responsibilities to help make the team better. “I’m kind of a guy that can morph into any role that I need to on any nightly basis to give us the best chance to win,” he said.
  • The battle for the backup point guard slot remains competitive, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. New additions Raul Neto and Trey Burke are vying for the position, but coach Brett Brown suggested Shake Milton may be considered as well.

Atlantic Notes: Burke, N. Young, Kanter, Raptors

Addressing the backup point guard battle this week, Sixers head coach Brett Brown said that he wants to see the candidates for that spot “making shots and just guarding,” per Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

As Bodner points out, those criteria would seem to favor Raul Neto over Trey Burke, since Neto has historically been a more efficient shooter than Burke and is also considered a stronger on-ball defender. However, Burke has made a strong impression early in camp for the Sixers, earning rave reviews from teammates Al Horford and Ben Simmons.

“I was really impressed with a guy like Trey Burke,” Horford said after the Sixers’ first day of practice. “(He) came in with a lot of energy, really scoring the ball at will, just being very active.” Simmons added that Burke “played amazing” on Tuesday.

Unlike the 14 other players who are expected to make the Sixers’ regular season roster, Burke doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary for 2019/20, so his hold on a roster spot is somewhat tenuous. If he continues to play like he did on day one though, he may not be considered the club’s 15th man for long.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic:

  • Nick Young was among the veteran free agents who joined the Knicks for offseason workouts and scrimmages, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv. That doesn’t mean that the Knicks necessarily have any interest in Young — Lance Thomas and Carmelo Anthony also participated in some of those scrimmages, and Thomas signed with Brooklyn while Anthony remains a free agent.
  • Asked this week about his stint with the Knicks, Enes Kanter took a shot at his old team, as Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald tweets. That’s why I chose [the] Celtics,” Kanter said. “They don’t tank.”
  • After starting just 28 games in his first three seasons with the Raptors, Fred VanVleet is hoping to crack the starting five with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green no longer in the picture, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. “I wouldn’t say it’s the end-all, be-all, [but] I’ve been vocal in saying that it’s something I would like to do in my career,” VanVleet said. “If I end up being a bench player my whole career, then so be it. But that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m reaching for the stars, I don’t put limits on myself.”
  • Elsewhere at Sportsnet.ca, Steven Loung explores what the Raptors should do with their big expiring contracts for Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and VanVleet.

12 NBA Salary Guarantees To Watch In October

The majority of the NBA players who are currently on non-guaranteed contracts won’t have their salaries for 2019/20 become fully guaranteed until January 10. That’s the league-wide salary guarantee date and the default deadline that applies to players who haven’t negotiated an earlier salary guarantee date.

Still, some players did negotiate an earlier trigger date, and the majority of those deadlines will arrive in October. At least a dozen players around the NBA are believed to have partial or full guarantees that will go into effect in October.

Now, it’s worth noting that salary guarantee dates are somewhat malleable. If the player’s camp agrees, a team can quietly move that deadline back, giving the club more time to make a decision on whether or not to fully invest in its player for the 2019/20 season. The player doesn’t necessarily have to agree, but he may be on board with postponing that deadline if the alternative is being waived and receiving none of his salary.

Most of our information related to salary guarantee dates is coming from the salary database at Basketball Insiders, and BI hasn’t published all the details on the latest signings from around the NBA yet. In other words, there could be a few more recently-signed players who have October salary guarantee dates.

For now though, these are the 12 players believed to have salary guarantee dates coming up next month:

Full guarantees:

  1. Ivan Rabb (Grizzlies): Partial guarantee of $371,758 increases to full guarantee of $1,618,520 salary if not waived by October 19.
  2. Chris Boucher (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $125,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  3. Malcolm Miller (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  4. Duncan Robinson (Heat): Partial guarantee of $1,000,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  5. Kenrich Williams (Pelicans): Partial guarantee of $200,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.

Partial guarantees:

  1. Christian Wood (Pistons): $1,645,357 salary becomes partially guaranteed ($822,679) if not waived before first day of regular season.
  2. Trey Burke (Sixers): Partial guarantee of $405,000 increases to $810,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  3. Jordan McRae (Wizards): Partial guarantee of $400,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,645,357).
  4. Dragan Bender (Bucks): Partial guarantee of $300,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,678,854).
  5. Ben McLemore (Rockets): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $500,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  6. Kendrick Nunn (Heat): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to $450,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,416,852).
  7. William Howard (Jazz): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $250,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $898,310).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Burke, Kanter, Carmelo, M. Richardson

Trey Burke may have just a partially guaranteed training camp contract with the Sixers, but he’s overflowing with confidence that he can win a roster spot, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 26-year-old guard is expected to battle fellow free agent addition Raul Neto for playing time behind Ben Simmons and possibly a place on the team. However, Burke envisions a much larger role for himself.

“I think throughout stretches of the game we (Burke and Simmons) can play together and I can be out there with the starting lineup at times,” he told reporters. “That is the competitor in Trey Burke. That is who I am and what I bring to Philadelphia.”

Burke – whose minimum-salary contract reportedly has a $405K partial guarantee – hasn’t enjoyed a consistent role like that since his second season in the league. He was been with four teams in the past four years, splitting last season between the Knicks and Mavericks.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics signed Enes Kanter with the expectation that he will shoot more from the perimeter, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Kanter’s first step was to get together with Gordon Hayward, whom he played with in Utah, and a few more of his new teammates. “When I was in Boston, I played with (Hayward) in two-on-two action and I feel like he’s gained more confidence,” Kanter said. “When he played, he wasn’t scared of anything. It was me, Gordon, Jaylen Brown and Tacko (Fall). I was guarding Tacko. He’s good, man, and I love him. His personality is amazing, real good character. He’s a hard worker. I’m definitely really excited to play with him.”
  • Kanter made an appeal for someone to sign Carmelo Anthony during an appearance Wednesday morning on FOX Sports 1’s “First Things First” (Twitter link). “So you’re telling me a guy like ‘Melo can’t make a 15-man roster on 30 teams? It’s definitely crazy,” Kanter said. “Melo belongs in the NBA and he can still get 15-20 points.”
  • Malachi Richardson will play in Israel this season, but he tells Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops that he hasn’t given up on his NBA dream. “I think I just have to show teams who I am,” he said. “Just being able to go and play and just showing, ‘OK, this is why he was a first-round pick.’” Richardson played 22 games for the Raptors last season before being traded at the deadline to the Sixers, who waived him the next day.

Spencer Hawes To Work Out For Sixers

The Sixers will welcome center Spencer Hawes for a workout tomorrow, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 31-year-old played 10 NBA seasons, but hasn’t been in the league since 2016/17 when he appeared in a combined 54 games with the Hornets and Bucks. In March, he signed with the G League’s South Bay Lakers and averaged 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in nine games.

The 10th pick in the 2007 draft, Hawes played for six teams during his career, but spent most of his time with Philadelphia, amassing 253 games from 2010 to 2014. His best year came in 2013/14 when he averaged 13.2 PPG and 8.3 RPG, but he was traded to the Cavaliers midway through the season.

Joe Johnson will also be working out Thursday for the Sixers, who currently have just one available opening for training camp, so the two veterans appear to be competing for an invitation. Philadelphia has 14 guaranteed contracts, with the 15th roster spot tentatively belonging to Trey Burke, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Burke has a $405K guarantee that rises to $810K if he makes the opening-night roster.

2019 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its 2019 expansion draft on Wednesday, allowing the latest iteration of the Erie BayHawks to acquire the rights to up to 14 players.

Erie has been a G League mainstay in recent years. However, after serving as the affiliate for the Atlanta Hawks last season, the BayHawks were relocated to College Park and renamed the Skyhawks. As such, the Erie BayHawks team that participated in today’s expansion draft is technically a new G League franchise — it’ll be the affiliate for the Pelicans in 2019/20.

[RELATED: NBA G League Affiliations For 2019/20 Season]

As Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days recently outlined, each of the G League’s other 27 teams were permitted to protect the rights for up to 12 players. Although the BayHawks could select up to 14 players in the expansion draft, they weren’t permitted to acquire more than two players from any one team.

Here are the 14 players whose rights were acquired by New Orleans’ G League affiliate, with each player’s previous NBAGL team noted in parentheses:

  1. Taylor Braun (South Bay Lakers)
  2. Trey Burke (Westchester Knicks)
  3. Quinton Chievous (Capital City Go-Go)
  4. Xavier Gibson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Isaac Hamilton (Canton Charge)
  6. Isaiah Hartenstein (Grande Valley Vipers)
  7. Derrick Jones Jr. (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Scottie Lindsey (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Erik McCree (Lakeland Magic)
  10. Codi Miller-McIntyre (College Park Skyhawks)
  11. Xavier Silas (Iowa Wolves)
  12. Matt Williams Jr. (Grand Rapids Drive)
  13. Kyle Wiltjer (Canton Charge)
  14. Michael Young (Northern Arizona Suns)

Not all of the players whose rights the BayHawks acquired today will actually suit up for the team. In fact, many won’t.

Multiple players selected by Erie – Burke, Hartenstein, and Jones – are currently under contract with NBA teams and won’t be available to the BayHawks as long as they remain on those NBA deals. Other players will spend the 2019/20 season playing overseas.

However, if any of the players selected in today’s expansion draft sign contracts to play in the G League in ’19/20, the BayHawks will have their rights. Erie will hold each of these 14 players’ NBAGL rights for the next two seasons.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Neto, Burke, Richardson

Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been cleared to return to action with Team USA, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Post. Smart has been sidelined for more than a week with a calf injury, and getting him back will help offset the unexpected loss of De’Aaron Fox, who withdrew from the team today.

Smart expressed confidence that he was close to playing again in an interview with Jared Greenberg of NBA TV during Friday’s exhibition game with Spain (video link). “Like I said, the calf is feeling amazing,” Smart said. “And, right now, we’re just taking it slow and making sure I’m a hundred percent and (then) get back out there.”

Smart appears to be in great position to earn a roster spot after the departures of Fox and fellow point guard Kyle Lowry in the past week. Team USA has 13 players left on its training camp roster, with just one cut to make before the FIBA World Cup begins.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics should honor Smart by making him the team captain this fall, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Smart’s leadership has been evident for a long time, Blakely observes, adding that the organization has an opportunity to recognize him in an official way. Boston hasn’t had a captain since Rajon Rondo in 2014, and Blakely contends that Smart, who is the longest-tenured Celtic and still has three years left on his contract, is a natural choice.
  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic examines the expected battle for backup point guard minutes between Sixers newcomers Raul Neto and Trey Burke. Both veterans signed minimum salary contracts this summer and both will try to fill the void created when T.J. McConnell left for the Pacers. Bodner notes that Burke has received more playing time than Neto over his career, but he has also been on worse teams that offered greater opportunity. He adds that Neto prefers to read the defense on any given play, while Burke tends to seek his own shots.
  • Malachi Richardson, who saw infrequent playing time for the Raptors last season, has signed with Hapoel Holon in Israel, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Richardson appeared in 22 games for Toronto before being traded at the deadline to the Sixers, who waived him.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Burke, O’Quinn, Smart, Fizdale

Despite the loss of J.J. Redick, the Sixers have plenty of perimeter shooters on their current roster, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic details. Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, Mike Scott, Al Horford, James Ennis, Trey Burke and Raul Neto loom as long-range threats but mainly in catch-and-shoot situations. That means Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons need to create and open up space for their perimeter players.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Point guards Trey Burke and Raul Neto could be useful members of the Sixers’ rotation but big man Kyle O’Quinn will have regain the form he showed earlier in his career with the Knicks to make a meaningful contribution, Mike O’Connor of The Athletic writes. O’Connor breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of the incoming reserve trio and how they’ll fit in.
  • Marcus Smart admits the Celtics were a dysfunctional team last season, he said on ESPN’s The Jump this week. Many players were uncomfortable with their roles, according to Smart. “It’s hard for anybody to have to look themselves in mirror and sacrifice something,” Smart said.
  • The fact that the Knicks didn’t re-sign any of their nine free agents reflects poorly on coach David Fizdale, the New York Post’s Marc Berman opines. The teams sold player development over the team’s win-loss record last season, yet didn’t consider any of those players worthy of another contract, Berman notes.

Sixers Sign Trey Burke To One-Year Deal

JULY 30: The Sixers’ deal with Burke is now official, the team confirmed today in a press release.

“Trey’s experience as a ballhandler matched with his scoring ability makes him a good fit for our roster,” GM Elton Brand said in a statement. “We’re excited to welcome him to the 76ers and look forward to the positive impact he can have on our team.”

JULY 25: The Sixers will add free agent point guard Trey Burke on a one-year deal, Shams Charania of The Athletic relays (Twitter link).

It will be a one-year pact at the minimum and will only be partially guaranteed, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Burke began last season on the Knicks before the team traded him to the Mavs in the Kristaps Porzingis deal. Burke saw action in 25 games for Dallas, scoring 9.7 points per contest.

Philadelphia has revamped its second unit this summer. The team signed Kyle O’Quinn and Raul Neto while bringing back Mike Scott, Furkan Korkmaz and James Ennis so far this offseason.

The Sixers also added first-round pick Matisse Thybulle and will look to get a full season out of Zhaire Smith.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.