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According to multiple Sixers reporters who all tweeted the same quotes at the same time, Sixers coach Brett Brown says that center Joel Embiid has a torn ligament in his hand.

Here’s Philly Voice reporting key additional news:

An hour after the initial announcement, in which they gave no timetable for his return and said Embiid was still evaluating his options, a Sixers team spokesman told reporters Embiid would be having surgery to correct the issue. The surgery will take place in New York on Friday, and the Sixers say Embiid will be reevaluated in one-to-two weeks time.

That should not be accepted as an expected return timeframe. Recovery from torn ligaments in the hand can take anywhere 3-12 weeks, with 6-8 weeks being considered a relatively standard timeline.

At this point, anyone watching the Sixers is used to this. The team is used to playing both with and without him.

We’ll post an update when a more clear timetable for Embiid’s return is announced.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced promotions within the team’s basketball operations department today.

BASKETBALL OPERATIONS

Zach Sogolow has been promoted to Director, Basketball Operations after previously serving as Senior Manager, a role he held since joining the team in August 2017. Sogolow will oversee day-to-day basketball staff operations, working closely with the Assistant General Manager on league rules and compliance, as well as contract and salary-cap-related matters. He joined the 76ers after nearly two years at the NBA League Office, where he served as Basketball Operations Coordinator. Sogolow also spent the summer of 2014 with the League Office as a Basketball Operations Analytics Trainee. A four-year team manager for the Harvard Crimson men’s basketball team, Sogolow spent the 2014-15 season as a head manager, while pursuing his degree in psychology.

Mary Purcell-Davis has been promoted to Manager, a title she adds to her already-existing Executive Assistant position. She will continue to oversee basketball operations staff travel, manage day-to-day logistics of all basketball operations staff and serve as Executive Assistant to 76ers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Alex Rucker. Purcell-Davis started her career with the 76ers in February 1987 as a receptionist and worked in advertising sales before transitioning full-time into basketball operations in 1997. A Philadelphia native, Purcell-Davis credits longtime 76ers Executive Assistant Marlene Barnes, who spent 39 years with the franchise, as a mentor. Purcell-Davis has worked with 15 different head coaches, including serving as Executive Assistant for current 76ers Sr. Advisor to the Head Coach Jim O’Brien, Oklahoma City Thunder Assistant Coach Maurice Cheeks and Phoenix Suns Assistant Coach Randy Ayers, among others.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

John Boyles has been promoted to Director, Research & Development, a role in which he will be responsible for the leadership and direction of the team’s developers and data scientists. John originally joined the team in July 2018 as a Developer, creating custom applications for use within the basketball operations department. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh, John spent 15 years working on distributed file systems, most notably rising to Technical Director at Avere Systems, a company eventually acquired by Microsoft. Just prior to joining the 76ers, John worked for Curalate in Philadelphia as the Technical Lead of the Metrics Team.

Grant Fiddyment has been promoted to Manager of Research after previously serving as Data Scientist within the same department. Fiddyment originally joined the 76ers in December 2016 and immediately began developing tools to analyze team training, performance and in-game strategies. He spent the previous five years as a Graduate Researcher at Boston University, where he assisted a team of mathematicians and epilepsy clinicians. Fiddyment holds degrees in several different disciplines, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Georgia and a PhD in computational neuroscience from Boston University. He has also served as an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University since December 2016.

COMMUNICATIONS

Patrick Rees has been promoted to Vice President of Communications after previously serving as Senior Director within the same department. In this expanded role, Rees will continue to oversee the team’s basketball communications efforts, while also supporting the organization throughout the year on brand initiatives, launches and campaigns. In his third season with the 76ers, Rees has also worked in the PR department for the Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs over the past 15 years.

On Sunday, the Sixers, playing at home in Philly, handled the Raptors, 110-104.

In the win, Tobias Harris scored 26 points, Matisse Thybulle added 20 off the bench, and Ben Simmons put up 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Sixers center Joel Embiid had a rough day, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds, and six assists — but seven turnovers.

In the loss, Kyle Lowry scored 26, while starting center Marc Gasol had a miserable statline of 0 for 6 shooting, 0 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes.

But the Embiid vs Gasol matchup is fascinating. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting, prior to today’s game:

In six regular-season games between the two bigs, only one of them since Gasol became a Raptor, Embiid has shot just 29% against Gasol’s defence. In the past three regular-season meetings, not including last night’s game, Embiid is a combined 8-for-39 against Gasol including that 0-for-11 in the only previous meeting this year when Embiid didn’t even get one from the free throw line where he was 0-for-3 for the first, and probably last, scoreless game of his NBA career.

The Sixers and Raptors are right next to each other in the East standings, and their records could be close all season. This will be worth paying attention to, right through the postseason.

 

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Oversized Sixers point guard Ben Simmons has a respectable personal goal.

Here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:

When asked about his goals for this season at media day, Ben Simmons would only reveal one.

He wanted to be the Defensive Player of the Year.

Saturday night against the Pacers, he acted like one, recording three steals in the final 13.9 seconds of the Sixers’ 119-116 win over the Pacers (see observations). Amid all the concern about Simmons’ offense and the question of whether he’ll ever be a willing and able jump shooter, he’s racked up some gaudy defensive numbers.

His 42 steals in 18 games are most in the NBA, while his 72 deflections and 41 loose balls recovered are second. Opponents have shot just 40.9 percent when guarded by Simmons this year.

The Sixers are 14-6 this season, placing them just 5th in the Eastern conference, but barely behind the second-place 14-4 Toronto Raptors.

Defensively, the Sixers are tied right now with the Jazz for the 5th most efficient defense in the league.

Sixers now 11-5 after four straight wins

 

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The Sixers got off to a somewhat modest start this season, but after four straight wins they are 11-5 and playing closer a the level expected of them entering the season.

In particular, their offense, barely above average in efficiency so far, has needed serious improvement.

But, there’s reason for hope. NBC Sports Philly observes the following: “Through 16 games, the unit of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and Al Horford has gotten through just five contests together. That five-man lineup has by far the highest net rating in the NBA at 29.4 (minimum 80 minutes played together). Of course Saturday night’s blowout, in which the Sixers’ starters outscored the Heat’s 90-33, helped that cause.”

It’s no surprise that the a team with the type of roster changes the Sixers did this offseason is undergoing a bit of an adjustment period. But 11-5 is an excellent record, and there’s reason to believe the team will only get better in the coming weeks.

Tonight, they visit the Raptors in Toronto. On Wednesday, they host the Sacramento Kings.

Philadelphia Inquirer: The 76ers got their third star. The team will acquire All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick.

More from the Inquirer: Butler can opt out of the final year — 2019-20 — of his contract next summer to become a free agent. He and the Sixers expect to reach a deal on a long-term contract then, according to ESPN. That makes sense, because the Sixers will have his Bird rights once the trade goes through. The Sixers can offer him a five-year, $190 million max contract next summer. Teams that don’t have his rights would be able to offer Butler only a four-year, $141 million max contract in free agency.

PhillyNews.com: If you were to design the ideal player to star alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, there are a lot of ways in which he would differ from Jimmy Butler. From his volume-dependent point production to his mediocre three-point shot to his habit of clashing with younger players, the 29-year-old star is hardly the perfect fit for a Sixers team that has less than a year to put the finishing touches on the core it will rely upon for the next half decade. But the one overriding takeaway from the organization’s decision to acquire the disgruntled veteran from the Timberwolves, while parting ways with two beloved starters is this: Not only does Butler makes the Sixers better right now, in the midst of a sputtering 8-5 start, but he has the potential to make them a whole lot better come April, by which time the Sixers will need to have experienced a radical transformation to compete in an Eastern Conference playoff field that includes powerhouses in Boston and Toronto and an upstart Bucks squad in Milwaukee.

The Philadelphia 76ers unveiled today their 2018-19 City Edition uniform, which the team says “celebrates Philadelphia’s rich history of the challenger’s mentality that inspired the “Rocky” and “Creed” films.”

Per the team: The uniform’s core displays the iconic circle of 13 stars derived from the boxing ring where Rocky Balboa first squared off against Apollo Creed, while the gray sweatsuit-textured base was influenced by both Adonis Creed’s and Rocky’s legendary training scenes throughout the streets of Philadelphia. The crisp blue, red and white waistband trim on the shorts is inspired by Rocky’s championship belt. Meanwhile, the phrase “PHILADELPHIA, USA,” is embroidered on the lower left hem of the jersey as a nod to the city’s fans, heart and determination.

“We are excited to unveil this season’s City Edition uniform, which pays tribute to the heart, determination, and tenacity of our city and fan base,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck said. “In partnership with StubHub and MGM, we developed a concept that speaks to the mentality that has defined our city for generations. It’s a nod to a city with a fighter’s toughness and mentality, a mentality that our team and players embody every time they take the floor. As stewards of the 76ers brand, we have an obligation to honor old Philadelphia and celebrate new Philadelphia. We are proud to wear this uniform and represent the City of Brotherly Love.”

Mike Muscala cleared to play for Sixers

The Sixers are about to get a bit deeper in the frontcourt. Bench help. But still. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Mike Muscala will make his 76ers debut Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons at the Little Caesar Arena. The reserve center was cleared Tuesday afternoon after missing the first three Sixers games because of a sprained left ankle.

“I sprained my ankle about a month ago before the training camp,” Muscala said Oct. 16. “So I was kind of dealing with a lot of swelling from that. It wasn’t bothering me at all, but I kind of nicked it in the last preseason game” against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 8 in Shenzhen, China.

The Philadelphia 76ers have waived guard Darin Johnson, forward Cory Jefferson and center Emeka Okafor.

Jefferson and Johnson signed with the team on Oct. 12, while Okafor joined Philadelphia on Sept. 21 and appeared in two preseason games.

The 76ers roster now stands at 17.

Sixers sign Darin Johnson and Cory Jefferson

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed guard Darin Johnson and forward Cory Jefferson.

In related moves, the team has waived guard Matt Farrell and forward DJ Hogg.

A 6-foot-9 forward, Jefferson has spent the last two seasons playing professionally in Italy (Olimpia Milano) and the Philippines (Alaska Aces). This past summer, he participated in both MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 and the 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Jefferson also played for the NBL’s Melbourne United when Philadelphia hosted the Australian team in a preseason game on Sept. 28.

Jefferson, who was originally selected with the No. 60 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, has appeared in 58 career NBA games with Brooklyn and Phoenix and posted averages of 3.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per game. He played his college basketball at Baylor from 2009-14.

Johnson, a 6-foot-7 guard, was chosen by the Blue Coats with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 NBA G League Draft and last season appeared in 44 games (eight starts) with Delaware last season. In 17.2 minutes per contest, he held averages of 6.5 points and 1.9 rebounds.

Beginning his collegiate career at Washington, Johnson eventually transferred to California State University, Northridge. As a redshirt junior in 2016-17, he averaged 13.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

Sixers sign Matt Farrell and DJ Hogg, waive Anthony Brown and Norvel Pelle

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed guard Matt Farrell and forward DJ Hogg. And in related moves, the team has waived guard-forward Anthony Brown and center Norvel Pelle.

It’s likely that these signings be very short term, as preseason wraps up tomorrow.

A 6-foot-1 guard, Farrell spent four years playing collegiately at the University of Notre Dame, finishing as one of the more decorated players in the program’s history. Named 2018 All-ACC Third Team, the team captain improved his averages across the board each year, culminating in a senior season in which he averaged 16.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 35.8 minutes per game. His 98 made three-point field goals were the second-most in the ACC during the 2017-18 season.

Farrell, a native of Bridgewater, New Jersey, was part of Irish squads that went a combined 103-43 over his four years in South Bend and made three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 2015-17.

Playing for Texas A&M University for three seasons from 2015-18, Hogg finished with career averages of 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25.4 minutes per game. In his three seasons with the Aggies, the 6-foot-8 forward totaled a team-best 155 three-pointers.

Hogg, a member of two A&M teams that reached the Sweet Sixteen (2016, 2018), helped the Aggies to their highest Associated Press ranking in school history at No. 5 in both 2016 and 2018.

Farrell (Miami) and Hogg (New Orleans) most recently appeared in MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018, where in four games Farrell averaged 3.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 16.5 minutes per game, while Hogg held averages of 7.5 points, 0.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 13.5 minutes per game across four contests. Farrell also averaged 1.7 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 9.3 minutes for the Heat in three games at the California Classic Summer League.

The Sixers just spent a tremendous amount of time on airplanes. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

The team’s flight from Philadelphia to the world’s most populated city took 21 hours, 38 minutes because of a snow storm in Calgary. The plane made a scheduled stop in the Canadian city for gas. However, the Sixers were delayed three hours there because of the weather.

The Sixers were scheduled to arrive at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Shanghai time. However, they didn’t get here until midday.

“As crazy as it was for others, I was actually doing work and fell asleep,” coach Brett Brown said of the flight. “And I was a bit surprised when you felt the plane take off again, and I did wake up and saw a Sunoco sign when I thought we were over the South Pacific.

“Other than that, it was a long trip.”

China is an important basketball market for the entire world and especially the NBA, but I have to wonder how it affects players to take a trip like that. Obviously there’s no long term effect, so it’s not a huge deal. And on the positive side, aside from promoting the league in general, the teams that do make the trip, and of course some of the individual stars on those teams, probably gain a nice amount of new international fans.

Jerryd Bayless out with knee sprain

Jerryd Bayless out with knee sprain

Philadelphia 76ers guard Jerryd Bayless suffered a sprain of the posterolateral corner in his left knee during practice on Sunday, September 30. He is out and will begin treatment immediately.

The clinical evolution of rehabilitation will determine his return to competition, and he will be re-evaluated in approximately three to four weeks.

Starters for this upcoming season in the Sixers backcourt will definitely be Ben Simmons and probably JJ Redick. Bayless is in the mix for backup minutes, but it’s crowded in the guard spot on that bench.

The big question in regard to Sixers guard this season is if Markelle Fultz will emerge.

Joel Embiid practice update

Sixers center Joel Embiid is still under careful health watch by the team. How long this will go on, no one knows. Here’s the Philadephia Inquirer with the latest:

The 76ers plan to give Joel Embiid a day off periodically to rest. The first one came Monday, three days into training camp.

But Embiid did participate in a post-practice one-on-one drill against a staff member, along with Dario Saric.

“We had two great days and tomorrow he’ll come in, and it’s sort of a game day for us,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said in reference to the Blue and White scrimmage at 7 Tuesday night at Penn. “We’ll come in, have a shootaround, then go to the Palestra and play in front of a fantastic crowd. We just felt like, let him have today to rest and we’re going to jump back into it tomorrow.”

Full article

New Sixers GM will be Elton Brand

Elton Brand’s name carries big weight in the playing department, but his experience as an executive is on the limited side. But everybody who gets to know Brand quickly appreciates him, and he has flown up the Philly organizational ranks. The Sixers believe in him, and are reportedly naming him their new general manager. Here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:

New Sixers GM will reportedly be Elton Brand

The Sixers have hired Elton Brand as their general manager, sources confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news, Brand will be elevated from his previous role as vice president of basketball operations. Brand was also already on board as the Delaware Blue Coats’ general manager. The Sixers conducted an exhaustive search for a new GM after Bryan Colangelo resigned in June following his highly-publicized Twitter scandal. Brett Brown filled the role until the franchise made Brand the choice.

The search included external candidates such as Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris, Utah Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik and Houston Rockets vice president Gersson Rosas.

Full article

And here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer:

In that partnership that is now Brown and Brand, it’s still unclear who will have the final say. Brown said Tuesday that once a general manager was named, the power structure and organizational chart would also be discussed and revealed.

On Thursday, Brand will be formally introduced as Sixers general manager and at that time both will have to answer the question; Who will have the final say when it comes to decision making? Of course, ownership will always have the final say, but that usually comes in the form of green-lighting a GM’s decision.

The Sixers have created a strong front office that includes Alex Rucker (who was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations on Tuesday), Ned Cohen, and Marc Eversley.

Full article

Sixers search for new GM continues

The Sixers still need a new general manager. The search has been ongoing for quite some times. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer with the latest:

The 76ers are in the midst of a second round of interviews for their vacant general-manager position.

The ownership group had a dinner interview Sunday with Utah Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik and had another one with Houston Rockets vice president Gersson Rosas Monday, according to multiple sources. The sources add that the Sixers will have second interviews with their internal candidates later this week, expected Thursday and Friday.

The GM position has been open since Bryan Colangelo resigned in June.

Full article

Monty Williams had taken a leave from coaching due to a personal tragedy. But he’s ready to return to the job, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer/PhillyNews.com:

Monty Williams reportedly ready to resume coaching

Monty Williams has spent nearly his entire life in basketball, as a player or a coach, but tragedy struck a little over two years ago and it wasn’t clear when he would return to the game.

“It’s a great time for me to get back to full-time coaching. It was Brett [Brown], it was the team. I’ve played here before so I kind of know the culture of the city,” Williams said Monday night at Brown’s annual coaching clinic. “Most importantly, my family was ready for me to get back into coaching.”

In February 2016, when Williams was an associate head coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder, less than a year removed from his head coaching position with the New Orleans Pelicans, his wife, Ingrid, died from injuries she suffered in a car accident. She was 44.

Full article

Andrew Bynum seeks NBA comeback

Here’s NBC Sports Philadelphia discussing center Andrew Bynum, who reportedly seeks a return to NBA action. Which sounds to us like a longshot, but it’s fun to ponder, because Bynum was quite a character.

I have no idea what Andrew Bynum has been up to over the past few years. I’d guess he has made a trip or two to the King of Prussia Mall and maybe even hit up his local bowling alley. But now we know the former face of the Sixers’ franchise — for like 30 seconds! — has actually been spending time in a gym lately doing something he never did in a regular-season game for the 76ers.

Bynum has been playing basketball. The former NBA lottery pick and total bust in Philadelphia is attempting to make a comeback at the age of 30, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He last played in the NBA in 2014 for the Indiana Pacers after quickly flaming out with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier that season.

Full article

Sixers sign Anthony Brown

Sixers sign Anthony Brown

The Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday signed guard-forward Anthony Brown.

Brown spent last season on a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, appearing in one NBA contest. In 45 games (43 starts) with Minnesota’s G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, Brown posted averages of 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 37.7 minutes per game. He shot .459 from the field, .404 from three-point range (5.4 attempts per game) and .794 from the free-throw line.

Originally selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 34 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Brown has appeared in 41 career NBA games (11 starts) with the Lakers, New Orleans, Orlando and Minnesota. Across 76 contests (69 starts) at the G League level, Brown has compiled averages of 18.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 37.3 minutes per game with Los Angeles, Erie and Iowa. Erie chose the California native with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA G League Draft.

Brown starred at Stanford, where he played his college basketball, from 2010-15. As a fifth-year senior in 2014-15, he posted career highs across the board, with 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest. The season prior, he helped lead the Cardinal, a No. 10 seed, to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

Sixers announce promotions in their basketball operations department

The Philadelphia 76ers today promoted several key members of its basketball operations department.

Elton Brand will continue to serve as General Manager of the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G League and has added the title of Vice President of Basketball Operations for the 76ers. In addition to his work in Delaware, the former No. 1 overall pick will contribute extensively to all areas of the 76ers’ basketball operations department.

Ned Cohen, who joined the team in 2016 after a successful 12-year run in the NBA league office, has been promoted to Assistant General Manager. In his expanded role, Cohen will oversee all facets of roster and salary cap management, among other leadership duties. He previously served as 76ers Vice President of Basketball Operations and Chief of Staff.

Marc Eversley, promoted to Senior Vice President of Player Personnel, will expand his duties in his third season with the team. In addition to his role overseeing player personnel and talent evaluation, Eversley will leverage his nearly two decades of experience in the industry to amplify the team’s recruiting and strategic decision-making processes. This includes an increased focus on all areas of pro personnel, as well as efforts to attract, acquire and retain elite NBA talent.

Alex Rucker has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Analytics and Strategy. Rucker, who also joined the team in 2016, will continue to lead the NBA’s largest analytics and strategy team as it supports, elevates and helps grow the 76ers’ innovative basketball operations efforts. He previously served as 76ers Vice President of Analytics and Strategy.

Additionally, the team has announced that Kevin Young has been promoted and will join fellow Assistant Coaches Monty Williams and Billy Lange on the front of the bench this season. Meanwhile, respected coaching veteran Jim O’Brien will now serve as Senior Advisor to the Head Coach.

“We believe we have one of the NBA’s most talented and innovative front offices and we’re thrilled to announce these promotions as we approach the 2018-19 season,” Harris said. “Thanks to the leadership of executives like Elton, Ned, Marc and Alex, as well as Head Coach Brett Brown, our team is incredibly well-positioned for not only this season, but for seasons to come. We’re focused on continuing to build a team with championship DNA and the talent and drive of our front office reflects that.”

“Our team has made tremendous strides in recent seasons and is now one of the most promising and exciting teams in the NBA,” Blitzer said. “A lot of the progress and growth we’ve experienced can be attributed to the work our front office and coaching staff have done to strengthen and solidify a culture and infrastructure of winning. We’re pleased to announce these promotions for a group of smart, strategic and motivated leaders.”

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