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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.

Sixers deny that team is for sale

Here’s CSN Philly with the latest on a report concerning the 76ers owner’s plans:

Sixers deny that team is for sale

A Forbes magazine story claiming that Sixers managing owner Josh Harris was looking to sell the team was rebuked by a team spokesperson on Thursday.

The Forbes story states that Harris and co-owner David Blitzer are “gunning” to own the first NFL team in London and “want to flip the Sixers.”

Prior to the game at the Barclays Center against the Brooklyn Nets, the team statement was delivered by director of public relations, Michael Preston.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have assigned forwards Carl Landry and Christian Wood to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League.

Landry’s assignment comes as a continuation of right wrist injury rehabilitation and his return to play protocol.

The Sixers are 1-21 this season.

The Philadelphia 76ers are 1-20 this season and engaged in a multi-season rebuilding process that seems to have no end in sight. Today, they announced that some elite veteran leadership will provide some advice and assistance to the front office, which so far has acquired a few good young players and a ton of draft picks but nothing that suggests the team will be competitive anytime in the near future.

The team today named Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and Chairman of the Board of Directors for USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo as the Special Advisor to the Managing General Partner and Chairman of Basketball Operations.

“Jerry Colangelo is one of the most respected people in basketball and we are excited to add his five decades of knowledge, relationships and experience to help drive our organization forward,” said Sixers co-Managing Owner Josh Harris.

Colangelo currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for USA Basketball, having been involved in the organization since being announced as Managing Director of the then newly-created USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program, which he re-established as the best in the world. That team is 75-1 since his arrival, currently owns a 63-game winning streak dating back to 2006 and earned consecutive Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) and consecutive FIBA World Cup gold medals (2010 and 2014) for the first time in history.

“I am excited and energized about the opportunity to work with Josh Harris and this ownership group in their continued efforts to build something lasting and special here with the Sixers,” Colangelo said. “This is an organization with a storied history, strong and talented leadership and a number of promising pieces that have the potential for a very bright future.”

During Colangelo’s storied tenure with the Phoenix Suns, which spanned from 1968 through 2012, his roles included Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Managing General Partner, President, Head Coach and General Manager. His impact on the NBA has been immeasurable, having served as the Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors from 2001 through 2005, a member of the league’s Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Expansion Committee, and Competition and Rules Committee.

“It’s not every day you have the opportunity to work alongside a Hall of Famer with Jerry’s unique set of experiences,” said President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have him as part of our organization.”

He led an ownership group which secured the Major League Baseball expansion Arizona Diamondbacks to Phoenix for its inaugural season in 1998. Serving as the Chairman and CEO, his experience, acumen and vision helped guide the franchise to a World Series championship in 2001 – the quickest an expansion team has ever won a title in baseball history. He also served on the MLB Legislative Committee, Equal Opportunity Committee and on the Board of Directors of the MLB Advanced Media, the league’s technology arm.

Colangelo was also integral in bringing professional women’s basketball to the United States, having served on the founding committee for the WNBA, with the Phoenix Mercury becoming one of the league’s inaugural teams in 1997 and advancing to the WNBA Finals a year later. He was instrumental in facilitating the move of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets to Arizona in 1996, where they became the Phoenix Coyotes.

Currently a principal partner of JDM Partners LLC, a real estate development company, Colangelo also serves as Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and has authored two books: “Return of the Gold” and “How You Play the Game.”

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers (1-20), who should have a bit of backcourt help coming soon. Whether Kendall Marshall (5.3 ppg during his three NBA seasons prior to this one) can help much is up for debate, but there’s room for him (or just about anyone) to step up in the Sixers’ backcourt:

Kendall Marshall should make 76ers debut soon

Kendall Marshall is on pace to make his 76ers debut on Thursday against Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.

The point guard, who signed as a free agent with the Sixers on Sept. 8, averaged 4.2 points and 3.1 assists in 28 games last season for Milwaukee. He, however, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in January, and has been sidelined since.

Sixers waive Phil Pressey

76ers waive phil pressey

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has waived guard Phil Pressey.

Additionally, the Sixers have recalled guards Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall from the NBA Development League.

The Sixers roster currently stands at 15.

At 1-19, the team has the worst record in the NBA so far this season. They’re being led by rookie Jahlil Okafor (17.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg) — though the young talented big-man was recently suspended two games due to off-court incidents.

Here is today’s statement from the Philadelphia 76ers, whose star rookie Jahlil Okafor has been involved in several recent off-court incidents, including a street fight in Boston:

Sixers supend Jahlil Okafor for two games

We have made the determination to suspend Jahlil Okafor for two games, effective immediately.

Jahlil is a very important part of our organization and our future. While we are disappointed with his recent actions, we have faith in him as a valued member of the Sixers. We will provide the necessary resources to support him on his journey and will do our part to help him succeed both on and off the court.

Sixers losing streak finally ends

Ladies and gentleman, the 76ers are on fire — if we just judge the team by today alone. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

The 76ers avoided sole possession of a dubious place in the NBA record book on a night when they honored Kobe Bryant and the late Moses Malone.

They snapped two losing streaks with their first victory of the season in a 103-91 defeat of Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers (1-18) entered the night one loss away from breaking the NBA record for consecutive losses to start the season. They tied the mark of 18 consecutive setbacks that was set by the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.

They also halted their U.S. professional sports record of 28 straight losses, dating back to March 27. Meanwhile, the Lakers dropped to 2-15, suffering their seventh consecutive setback.

Sixers fall to 0-18

Here’s CSN Philly reporting on the 76ers, who are 0-18 this season and being outscored by an average of 12.1 ppg:

Sixers fall to 0-18

The Sixers again made some dubious history in Sunday night’s 92-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.

In addition to extending the longest losing streak in the history of major league North American sports to 28 games, the Sixers also tied the NBA record for longest losing streak to open a season, tying the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets’ mark of 18 in a row.

The Sixers also lost for the fifth straight game in which they led midway through the fourth quarter.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have assigned guards Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League in order to continue their rehabilitation as part of the team’s return to play protocol.

In a related move, the Sixers have placed Marshall on the inactive list.

Sixers off to 0-7 season start

Even with the drafting of talented rookie Jahlil Okafor, everyone knew that the Philadelphia 76ers were facing another tough season. And everyone was right. They are 0-7, and on paper not much better than their record suggests — though they have played a very tough early-season schedule. Still, the struggle was expected. Here’s CSN Philly reporting:

In his lone season at Duke, Jahlil Okafor was in just four losing games and just one in his final 19 games. T.J. McConnell only lost four games at Arizona last season with just one defeat in his final 15 games.

But in their first seven NBA games, Okafor and McConnell have nearly doubled that total.

Though both rookies have impressed through the first two weeks of the season, the Sixers haven’t come close to cracking the win column. At 0-7, the Sixers are last in the NBA in point differential at minus-13.3. They are also in the bottom fifth in field goal percentage, points and points per possession.

Defensively, the Sixers rank in the bottom fifth in those categories, too. In fact, the only aspect of the game in which the Sixers have been better than the opposition this season has been in trips to the foul line and three-pointers attempted.

Sixers sign Phil Pressey

Sixers sign Phil Pressey

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed point guard Phil Pressey after being granted an additional roster spot in accordance with NBA hardship relief.

Pressey has appeared in 125 NBA games with the Boston Celtics, averaging three points, three assists and one steal in 14 minutes per game. While at the University of Missouri, Pressey was named All-SEC First Team after leading the conference in assists. During the 2011-12 season, he led the Big 12 Conference in assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Pressey is on the active list tonight against Milwaukee and will wear number 26.

The Sixers are on a rebuilding plan that seems to be taking quite a long time. Right now the team’s only clear building blocks are rookie Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, and not much else.

Yes, the 76ers are still an NBA team. Here’s CSN Philly reporting on one of their key young prospects:

Brett Brown knows he will start the season shorthanded when the Sixers tip off 2015-16 in Boston on Wednesday night, but he could get a bit of help at game time.

That’s because guard Nik Stauskas participated in a full practice on Tuesday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for the first time since the first week of training camp.

According to Brown, Stauskas is a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game.

“I have 10 players for the next three games,” Brown said after practice. “Stauskas is still up in the air — he’s a game-time decision.”

Stauskas is recovering from a stress reaction in his right tibia, an injury brought on from playing for the Canadian national team in the FIBA Tournament of the Americas during the summer. Alongside teammates Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Olynyk, Stauskas was second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game.

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