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Philadelphia 76ers Managing General Partner Josh Harris announced today that the team has named Bryan Colangelo as President of Basketball Operations.

As part of the transition, Jerry Colangelo will relinquish the role of Chairman of Basketball Operations and remains as a special advisor to Harris.

Colangelo most recently served as President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors from 2006 to 2013. In his first full season at the helm of the Raptors (2006-07), the team saw a 20-win improvement from the previous year and tied a then franchise-high with 47 wins. Colangelo was named 2007 NBA Executive of the Year.

One of only three executives to win the award with two different franchises, Colangelo was also named NBA Executive of the Year in 2005 with the Phoenix Suns. After Colangelo’s offseason acquisition of point guard Steve Nash, who would go on to win back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player awards in 2005 and 2006, the Suns notched a 62-20 regular season record and an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.

During his tenure with Toronto, Colangelo drafted current Raptors DeMar DeRozan (ninth overall, 2009), Jonas Valanciunas (fifth overall, 2011) and Terrence Ross (eighth overall, 2012). During the 2012 offseason, Colangelo dealt for point guard Kyle Lowry, who would be named an NBA All-Star in 2015 and 2016.

Over the span of 15 years with the Suns organization, Colangelo drafted NBA All-Stars Michael Finley (21st overall, 1995), Steve Nash (15th overall, 1996), Shawn Marion (ninth overall, 1999) and Amar’e Stoudemire (ninth overall, 2002).

All told, his teams have appeared in the NBA Playoffs 11 times and have captured four division championships in his 18 seasons as a general manager.

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed forward Christian Wood to a contract for the rest of the season, which for the league ends this coming Wednesday, April 13.

Wood, who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, signed with the 76ers last September 14. He has appeared in 16 career NBA games with the Sixers, averaging three points and two rebounds per game. Wood registered career-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds on November 13 at Oklahoma City.

Wood appeared in 32 games with the NBA Development League Delaware 87ers this season, averaging a team-high nine rebounds, as well as 17 points on 53% shooting in 29 minutes per game.

The Philadelphia 76ers have “called up” forward Christian Wood from the Delaware 87ers and signed him to a 10-day contract.

Wood has appeared in 32 games with the Sevens this season, averaging a team-high nine rebounds, as well as 17 points on 53% shooting in 29 minutes per game.

Wood, who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, signed with the 76ers last September 14. He has appeared in 14 career NBA games with the Sixers, averaging four points and two rebounds per game. Wood registered career-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds on November 13 at Oklahoma City.

In a related move, the team has waived guard-forward Sonny Weems.

Jahlil Okafor undergoes knee surgery

Jahlil Okafor undergoes knee surgery

Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Jahlil Okafor, the team’s best building block for the future, underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure today to fix a slight meniscus tear in his right knee. He won’t play again this season.

The team describes the procedure as minor.

Okafor will begin his rehabilitation program tomorrow under the guidance of Sixers Director Of Performance Research & Development Dr. David T. Martin.

The Sixers are a league-worst 9-62 this season. Okafor has been their leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Suns sign Chase Budinger

Suns sign Chase Budinger

The Phoenix Suns today signed forward Chase Budinger.

Budinger (pronounced BUD-in-grr), a 6-7, 215-pound veteran, is in his seventh NBA season. He played in 49 games with Indiana this season, averaging 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.9 minutes and scoring in double-digits eight times, including a season-high 15 points at Philadelphia on Nov. 18.

The 27-year-old has averaged 8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 20.0 minutes in 390 career games (50 starts) with Houston (2009-12), Minnesota (2012-15) and Indiana (2015-16). Budinger has recorded 152 career double-digit scoring games, 14 with 20-plus points and two with 30-plus, including a career-high 35 points while with the Rockets at Minnesota on April 13, 2011.

Originally the 44th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Budinger averaged a career-best 9.8 points in 78 games with Houston in the 2010-11 season, also averaging just shy of that mark with 9.6 points while shooting 40.2 percent from three-point territory in 2011-12. The former prep volleyball star put his athleticism and leaping ability on display with a runner-up finish in the 2012 Slam Dunk contest at NBA All-Star in Orlando.

A native of Encinitas, Calif., Budinger played three years collegiately at the University of Arizona from 2006-09, earning induction into the Wildcats’ Ring of Honor in 2011. Budinger averaged 17.0 points and 5.8 rebounds over his three seasons in Tucson, including 18.0 points as a junior in 2008-09 when he was named to the All-Pac 10 First Team. With 1,697 career points, Budinger remains 11th on Arizona’s all-time scoring leaderboard and first among those to play fewer than four seasons.

Budinger will wear uniform number 10.

The Philadelphia 76ers have claimed guard-forward Sonny Weems off of waivers.

Weems has appeared in 176 career games in four NBA seasons and has posted averages of seven points and two rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 39th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after two seasons at the University of Arkansas.

Weems played overseas from 2011-2015, before returning the NBA this season with Phoenix where he appeared in 36 games and averaged three points in 12 minutes per game.

In a related move, the team has released Christian Wood.

Brett Brown remains confident that Dario Saric will be a member of the Sixers next season.

“Obviously, decisions are going to have to be made on his part,” the Sixers head coach said today. “But we like what we see and we believe he likes what he sees.”

Sixers player-development assistant Chris Babcock returned Friday after spending eight days with the 6-foot-10 power forward in Turkey. Saric plays for Anadolus Efes of the Turkish Basketball League.

The 76ers acquired the rights to Saric’s in the 2014 NBA draft. They traded their first-round pick, Elfrid Payton (selected 10th overall), to the Orlando Magic for Saric, who was picked 12th, plus they landed a 2017 top-11-protected pick and a 2015 second-rounder. Payton made the NBA’s all-rookie team this season.

– Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia 76ers called up forward Christian Wood from the Delaware 87ers and signed him to a 10-day contract.

Wood has appeared in 26 games with the Sevens this season, averaging a team-high nine rebounds, as well as 16 points on 52% shooting in 27 minutes per game.

Wood, who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, signed with the 76ers last September 14. He appeared in 14 career NBA games with the Sixers, averaging four points and two rebounds per game. Wood registered career-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds on November 13 at Oklahoma City.

Jerami Grant fined for throwing water bottle into stands

Philadelphia 76ers forward Jerami Grant has been fined $10,000 for throwing a water bottle into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 8:44 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Sixers’ 116-108 loss to the Washington Wizards on Feb. 29 at Verizon Center.

In 26.1 minutes per game, Grant is averaging 9.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

The Sixers are a league-worst 8-53 this season. Their rebuilding process continues.

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on what the 76ers had hoped to accomplish as last Thursday’s NBA trade deadline passed:

Sixers reportedly tried to trade for Dennis Schroder

The 76ers were prepared to make major changes to their roster to get a coveted point guard at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

The team offered packages that included some combination of shooting guard Nik Stauskas, point guard Ish Smith, a player with an expiring guaranteed contract and a 2016 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Dennis Schroder, according to multiple league sources.

Former Sixer JaKarr Sampson was said to be player with the expiring contract in the deal. According to NBA rules, Smith could not have been part of a multi-player deal since he had been acquired by the Sixers fewer than 60 days before. But he could have been traded alone in a second deal.

Donatas Motiejunas trade will be voided

Usually, NBA trades that are agreed upon and then approved by the league tend to go through. An exception to this is when one of the players involved fails his physical. In that situation, the teams still have the option to stick with the deal. But if it’s a player of value who isn’t about to be cut/waived, the entire deal may fall through. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Donatas Motiejunas trade will be voided

The three-team trade the 76ers struck last week to acquire center Joel Anthony is going to be voided, a league source said Monday.

The trade originally was supposed to be finalized Sunday..But the Sixers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets agreed to a 24-hour extension that pushes the deadline back to 6 p.m. Monday. However, the Pistons are in the process of voiding the deal with the help of the NBA.

I know you aren’t holding your breath regarding anything about the Philadelphia 76ers and their rebuilding plan, but the following expectation, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, is perfectly reasonable:

Yes, Sixers expect Joel Embiid to play next season

Joel Embiid isn’t likely to play during the summer league, but 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie expects him to be ready for the 2016-2017 NBA season.

Embiid’s status was of major interest as Hinkie held a press conference at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on Friday as part of a state of the Sixers update.

Selected No. 3 overall in the 2014 NBA draft after his freshman season at Kansas, Embiid has yet to play following a second surgery on his right foot in August.

I still don’t know what to expect from Embiid impact-wise, or what would happen if he does turn out to be worthy of big-time minutes and as a result creates a logjam in the frontcourt, because there are only so many minutes that he, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor would be able to share. But having to trade one of their big men due to all of them being too talented to sit on the bench would be a nice problem for Philly to have, so no worries there.

devin booker

Phoenix Suns rookie Devin Booker will replace injured U.S. Team selection Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 12 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star features first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world. TNT will televise the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge in the U.S. at 9 p.m. ET, and Sportsnet ONE and TSN will simulcast the game in Canada. ESPN Radio also will provide coverage.

Booker, the 13th pick of NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, is averaging 10.6 points and shooting 40.3 percent from three-point range in 48 games. The 19-year-old guard is averaging 15.2 points in his 23 starts, including a career-high 32-point performance against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 19. Booker will also compete in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Air Canada Centre as part of State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night.

Noel, a second-year forward-center, will not play due to tendinitis in his right knee. He is averaging 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks in 46 games.

Sixers enjoy blowout win vs Blazers

On Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers let a 24-point lead slip away in an especially difficult overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Two days later, they made sure that wouldn’t happen again.

Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 10 rebounds and the 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 114-89 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Richaun Holmes added 17 points, and Ish Smith and Robert Covington scored 16 apiece for the Sixers. They improved to 5-37 with their most lopsided win of the season, erasing many of the lingering bad feelings that come from blowing a game they thought they had in the bag.

– Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers are 4-37 this season and are still all about the future. Here’s The Intelligencer with an update on center Joel Embiid, whose NBA career so far has been spent on the injured list:

Joel Embiid is still not playing this season

Injured center Joel Embiid playing this season has “never been a consideration,” according to Jerry Colangelo.

During an oncourt interview prior to Thursday’s game against the Bulls, the 76ers’ chairman of basketball operations said that despite Embiid being ahead of schedule, the organization is targeting the outset of the 2016-17 season for him.

“No one’s rushing him back — there’s no reason to,” Colangelo said. “The goal and objective at the start of next season is to do everything we can do to get him in the best position to be successful. Because if he can hold up and he’s OK, he’s a game changer.”

Sixers will retire number of Dolph Schayes

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team will retire the late Dolph Schayes’ number “4” in a special halftime ceremony on Saturday, January 23, 2016, when the Sixers host the Boston Celtics.

Schayes, a 12-time NBA All-Star, Hall of Fame inductee and member of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history, passed away on December 10, 2015 at the age of 87. Schayes was one of the league’s most dynamic players for the Syracuse Nationals from 1949-63 and led the team to an NBA Championship in 1955, when he averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds during the playoff run. He accompanied the franchise in its relocation to Philadelphia, where he spent the 1963-64 season as player/coach. Additionally, at the time of his retirement, he was the NBA’s all-time leading scorer (18,438 points).

“Dolph Schayes is a legend of the game and we are proud to rightfully raise his number to the rafters alongside his fellow Sixers greats,” said Sixers Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil. “It is heartwarming to know that, prior to his passing, Dolph was humbled and excited to learn of our plans to retire his number this season. We will miss his presence dearly on January 23, but look forward to honoring his life and career as one of the pioneers of the Philadelphia 76ers organization.”

In addition to its new place in the rafters, the number “4” will continue to be represented on the court by Sixers forward Nerlens Noel.

“I am honored to continue wearing the number four as a way to recognize one of the most dominant big men ever to take the court,” said Noel. “I take the responsibility of wearing the Sixers uniform very seriously and will continue representing the organization - and now the legacy of Mr. Schayes - to the best of my ability.”

“Our family is completely humbled by the graciousness of the Philadelphia 76ers organization. My father’s jersey represents not only his great basketball career, but also the dedication and love of his family, teammates and friends with whom he was blessed throughout a very happy life,” said Schayes’ son, Danny, who played 18 seasons in the NBA. “Nerlens Noel is a blossoming star in this league and the Schayes family is honored that he will continue to wear the number four.”

Schayes was originally drafted by both the New York Knicks (fourth overall) in the 1948 Basketball Association of America draft and the Syracuse Nationals of the NBL (the merger forming the NBA happened the following season), after a four-year collegiate career at NYU. A six-time First-Team All-NBA selection, Schayes held career averages of 18.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game in the professional ranks.

He coached the Sixers for two additional seasons following his retirement and netted NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1966. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973.

Schayes will join Allen Iverson (3), Julius Erving (6), Maurice Cheeks (10), Wilt Chamberlain (13), Hal Greer (15), Bobby Jones (24), Billy Cunningham (32) and Charles Barkley (34) as players with their numbers retired, along with legendary public address announcer Dave Zinkoff (microphone).

Sixers sign Elton Brand, waive Christian Wood

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to terms with free agent forward Elton Brand, who will mostly serve as a mentor for Jahlil Okafor and other young Sixers.

In a related move, the Sixers waived forward Christian Wood.

Brand has played 16 seasons in the NBA, most recently two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (2013-2015). He has appeared in 1,041 career NBA games and made 867 starts, posting averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. His 34,685 career minutes played ranks him 70th all-time in NBA history. Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.

Brand will join the Sixers for the second time in his career. He spent four seasons in Philadelphia from 2008-2012, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds per game. Brand averaged 16 points and eight rebounds for the Sixers in the 2011 NBA Playoffs and averaged 11 points across 18 total playoff games during his tenure in Philadelphia.

A two-time NBA All-Star, Brand was the first overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls and was named Rookie of the Year.

The Sixers have won two of their last four games, which doesn’t sound like much. And they’re still a bad team in the middle (???) of a rebuilding period. But they’ve looked better lately. Here’s CSN Philly reporting on guard Ish Smith, who is shooting a low FG percentage in his four Sixers games but otherwise is clearly adding structure to the squad:

So far, Ish Smith is helping the Sixers

Call it the Ish Smith effect.

Since acquiring the point guard from the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas Eve, the Sixers have been noticeably more competitive. They’ve even won a few games.

New chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo, who has spent some time with the Sixers during their trip out on the West Coast, has seen a drastic change in the team firsthand.

“There’s a different feeling about the team right now,” he said during the broadcast of Sixers-Lakers on Comcast SportsNet Friday night. “They really believe they have a chance to win every game they’re going out to play now. It’s amazing what one addition can make. In this particular case, Ish has been a great, great addition in terms of raising the bar for all the players.”

Sixers trade for Ish Smith, and waive Tony Wroten

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has acquired point guard Ish Smith from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for two second-round picks.

In a related move, the Sixers waived guard Tony Wroten.

We at InsideHoops.com think this move is good for Smith. After a very good November, he’s been benched in December. In Philly, he has a clear shot at a bigger role.

Smith, a five-year veteran, has appeared in 27 games this season and is averaging nine points, six assists and under two turnovers in 23 minutes per game. He is fifth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.42-to-1), sixth in assists per 48 minutes (12.0) and ranks among the top 20 in assists per game. He is currently the only player in the NBA this season who has at least 150 assists while committing 45 or fewer turnovers.

Smith appeared in 25 games (starting 14) for the Sixers during the 2014-15 season, where he averaged 12 points, six assists, three rebounds and one steal in 27 minutes per game.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced the team has agreed to terms with Mike D’Antoni to become Associate Head Coach. D’Antoni brings 25 years of coaching experience to the Sixers’ staff, including 12 seasons as an NBA head coach.

D’Antoni most recently served as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012-2014 after four seasons at the helm for the New York Knicks (2008-2012), five seasons for the Phoenix Suns (2003-08) and one season for the Denver Nuggets (1998-99). All told, D’Antoni owns a NBA coaching record of 455-426 for his career.

In Phoenix, D’Antoni amassed a 253-136 record with the Suns, where he coached point guard Steve Nash to back-to-back Most Valuable Player Awards in 2005 and 2006. The Suns eclipsed the 60-win mark in 2004-05 – after which D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year—and in 2006-07. The Suns made back-to-back appearances in the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006.

D’Antoni has also served on the USA Olympic Basketball coaching staff under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, where he helped guide Team USA to gold medals in 2008 and 2012. He has nearly a decade of additional international head coaching experience.

Originally a second round selection by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the 1973 NBA Draft out of Marshall University, D’Antoni went on to play out a 13-year career for Olimpia Milano of the Italian League and became the club’s all-time leading scorer, winning multiple league championships.

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