Archive for the ‘ Philadelphia 76ers Blog ’ Category

Sixers second-rounders hope to prove they belong

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the life of players who have been drafted but must still prove themselves worthy of being kept around:

For Richaun Holmes and Jean-Pierre Tokoto, being second-round selections of the 76ers translates to great opportunities.

That’s because the duo realize they could get meaningful minutes in what will be the franchise’s third consecutive rebuilding season.

Since Sam Hinkie was hired as general manager in May 2013, the Sixers have been focused on player development, evaluating talent and developing a culture. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a lottery pick, second-rounder or undrafted rookie free agent. If you secure a roster spot, you’re mostly going to play.

“I know, personally, I’m thankful for the opportunity the Sixers are giving me to play,” said Tokoto, who was selected 58th out of North Carolina in Thursday night’s draft in Brooklyn. “They’re very big on development. Coming into the league, you know rookies are trying to prove themselves. Coming in as a second-round pick, I have a lot to prove and a lot to work on.

“It’s the perfect situation to be in as far as that’s concerned.”

Sixers 2015 draft results

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has selected the following players in the 2015 NBA Draft: Jahlil Okafor with the 3rd overall pick, Richaun Holmes with the 37th overall pick, Arturas Gudaitis with the 47th overall pick, J.P. Tokoto with the 58th overall pick and Luka Mitrovic with the 60th overall pick. Additionally, the Sixers acquired the rights to the New York Knicks two future second round picks in exchange for the rights to the 35th pick.

The 6′11″, 272 pound Okafor was an early entry candidate for the NBA Draft following a standout freshman season at Duke, during which he helped lead the Blue Devils to a 35-4 mark and the NCAA Championship. The 19-year-old Okafor averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.4 blocks, and was selected as a consensus First Team All-American. Additionally, he was named the 2015 ACC Player of the Year and the USBWA 2015 National Freshman of the year, while also being selected as a finalist for the Wooden and Naismith National Player of the Year awards. Okafor is also a three-time gold medal winner while playing for Team USA during the 2011 Under 16 FIBA Americas, the 2012 Under 17 World Championships and the 2013 Under 19 World Championships.

Holmes was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year for Bowling Green after the 2014-15 season, in addition to a First Team All-MAC selection. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks as a senior and recorded 244 career blocks to top the Falcons’ all-time list.

Gudaitis played for Zalgiris in Lithuania’s LKL league in 2014-15, where he averaged 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 57 total games, which included 21 starts. The 6’10” forward has spent the past three seasons in the Zalgiris organization.

Tokoto spent three seasons at North Carolina, where he averaged 8.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as a junior in 2014-15. The 6-foot-6 wing was selected First Team All-ACC Defensive Team for two consecutive seasons.

Mitrovic averaged 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds for Crvena Zvezda during the 2014-15 season, where the team won the Adriatic ABA League title. The 6-foot-8 forward spent three seasons with Crvena Zvezda, where he played in 75 games in 2014-15, which included 60 starts.

Sixers draft Jahlil Okafor No. 2 overall

Sixers draft Jahlil Okafor No. 2 overall

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 2015 NBA Draft:

Sixers draft Jahlil Okafor No. 2 overall

The 76ers took the best available player, who just happens to be another towering post player.

The team selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the third pick in the NBA draft Thursday night at the Barclays Center at Brooklyn.

The Sixers were expected to take Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell in that spot. But they settled on Okafor after Russell went second overall to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Okafor is a 7-foot, 275-pound man-child with an imposing presence on the blocks.

Joel Embiid health update on his injured foot

Joel Embiid health update

Bad Philadelphia 76ers news has emerged tonight. The team, which openly spent the past few seasons rebuilding, has a lot of hopes and dreams resting on the shoulders of Nerlens Noel (seems good but not great just yet), Joel Embiid (has not played yet and spent entire rookie season injured) and other players that don’t exist yet because they’re in the form of draft picks. And now a key member of that list is not healing as quickly as hoped.

The following is a statement from Sixers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie, regarding center Joel Embiid:

“As part of the conservative approach focused on the long-term health, recovery and care of Joel, we have been closely monitoring his progress, regularly evaluating his status and adjusting our plans accordingly.

“Recently, Joel and Sixers personnel traveled to Los Angeles for a series of routine exams with a number of physicians who have been actively involved throughout this process. During his visit with Dr. Richard Ferkel, a standard CT scan on Joel’s right foot revealed less healing than anticipated at this point.

“Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his current activities. Together with Joel and his representatives, we will continue to consult with the experienced team of doctors who have been an integral part of his evaluations, while also engaging in dialogue with a broader set of experts and specialists.

“Discussions regarding the appropriate next steps are currently ongoing and we will share an update once it becomes available.”

It’s always a huge deal when a team changes their uniform design. It’s a huge part of a team’s identity. It affects fan mood, and in the case of more fair-weather fans can affect loyalty to a certain degree. And then of course there’s that whole marketing and sales thing. Every fan wants their squad’s uniform to look cool. Sponsors who support the team or arena in some way presumably feel the same way.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced details for the public reveal of the team’s new uniforms on Thursday, June 18 at a special event held at the Sixers’ home arena (3601 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19148) beginning at 7:00pm, with free admission for all fans. The uniform will make its in-game debut at the beginning of the 2015-16 season.

“In creating a new uniform, we wanted a clean, modern style that would also honor our past,” said Sixers Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil. “These designs integrate key elements of uniforms worn by legends Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and Billy Cunningham, and bring them together in one seamless presentation. The uniform reflects another key element of our updated brand identity reflecting a spirit of strength and patriotism which we cannot wait to share with our fans.”

The event’s guest list includes Sixers legends Billy Cunningham, Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones and Allen Iverson and special guest Barbara Chamberlain-Lewis, sister of the late Wilt Chamberlain, in addition to current Sixers players and staff.

**QUOTES FROM SIXERS LEGENDS ON THE SIXERS’ NEW UNIFORMS**

Julius “Dr. J” Erving: “When I joined the Sixers in 1976, we were the marquee team in the league, the one fans around the league wanted to see in person. It’s great seeing this new generation of Sixers come together, and I hope they will be as inspired and proud to wear this new uniform – which shares elements from my first year as well as the ’83 championship team – as I was during my time in the wonderful city of Philadelphia.”

Billy Cunningham: “These will be special uniforms that honor three specific time periods in Sixers history. As someone who helped design the 76-77 uniforms, I am excited that there will be hallmark elements from that era incorporated in the 2015 uniforms. Fans will love how they pay homage to the past while celebrating a new era of Sixers basketball.”

With the NBA Draft around one month away, teams are conducting pre-draft workouts as they evaluate who to select. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer blog reporting:

Former Delaware State post player Kendall Gray and former Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell are working out for the 76ers on Friday.

Gray and Alan Williams of UC Santa Barbara were the NCAA Division I rebounding co-leaders (11.8 per game) in the NCAA Division I. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Gray also averaged 11.7 points, 2.8 blocks and 1 assist en route to being named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the year.

New Philadelphia 76ers team logo

The Philadelphia 76ers today unveiled an updated brand identity, which includes a redesigned primary logo and a series of partial and secondary logo variations in advance of the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 19 and the introduction of new uniforms on Thursday, June 18.

The logo set is effective immediately and updates the iconic Sixers design through the incorporation of new and traditionally significant elements:

New Philadelphia 76ers team logo

The team’s new primary logo is a modern interpretation of the classic Sixers insignia, stylistically redeveloped to include a patriotic blue border with six white stars and “PHILADELPHIA” adorned across the heading. The familiar white basketball has been visually updated with a positional rotation of the seams. The emblematic ring of 13 stars present in the primary, partial and secondary logos continues to represent the original American Colonies.

Fan discussion here: New Sixers logo

Brett Brown thinks Joel Embiid will play in 2015 summer league

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the Sixers, who are hoping to eventually get big things from center Joel Embiid once he’s healthy enough to begin his pro basketball career. But first, summer league action would be a nice start:

Brett Brown thinks Joel Embiid will play in 2015 summer league

Brett Brown said he “personally” would be disappointed if Joel Embiid didn’t play in the summer league.

“Personally, I expect him to play in the summer league,” Brown said. “But if I guessed any of this wrong, I want to make sure that the club is on record not being definitive. We are not in the position to say that now.”

Brown raised a few eyebrows Wednesday when he would not commit on whether the 7-foot rookie center would play this summer.

Sixers putting up some wins lately

Sixers putting up some wins lately

The Philadelphia 76ers are 18-54 in this season of rebuild, but have played decent basketball lately and put up some wins. But challenging opponents are ahead. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

The 76ers know the real tests are coming.

They’ve won five of their last 10 games, but one of those wins came against an Atlanta Hawks squad that rested three starters. The other four victories were vs. opponents that had a combined winning percentage of .328 heading into Thursday’s games.

The Sixers (18-54) have made dramatic improvements since opening the season with 17 consecutive losses. But the upcoming games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers will be a true barometer of how far they’ve come.

The Clippers (47-25), who have won five straight and come to the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night, might be the Sixers’ easier matchup. On Sunday, they’ll face a Cavaliers squad (47-26) than has won 10 of its last 12 games.

Joel Embiid is wearing a walking boot again

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on injured 76ers rookie Joel Embiid:

Joel Embiid is wearing a walking boot again

Brett Brown wants folks to relax.

The 76ers coach confirmed Tuesday that Joel Embiid is once again in a walking boot. Brown added that the rookie center is just experiencing “soreness” in his right foot, and that Embiid’s doctor’s visit Tuesday in Los Angeles was long scheduled.

“People shouldn’t overreact,” Brown said after practice at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “I get why we all can. But it’s not a situation all the people need to overact to.”

A report Monday stated that Embiid had a “minor setback” and apparently was wearing a walking boot. The rookie, who has yet to play, was in California on Tuesday for the doctor’s appointment.

Sixers waive JaVale McGee

Sixers waive JaVale McGee

Sixers waive JaVale McGee

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team waived JaVale McGee prior to midnight on Mar. 1, making him eligible to join a postseason roster.

The Sixers originally acquired McGee and Oklahoma City’s protected 2015 first-round pick from Denver on Feb. 19, 2015.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “JaVale McGee was able to keep all of his money. The former 76ers big man was opposed to being bought out, because that wouldn’t enable him to receive his full salary. So the Sixers agreed to waive the 7-footer Sunday night after a 94-74 setback to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldnouse.”

Wizards keep struggling, fall to Sixers

Wizards keep struggling, fall to Sixers

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Wizards, who are dropping games left and right these days and are 33-26 for the season and losers of six games in a row:

No, the Washington Wizards had not reached their lowest possible point Wednesday, when they lost by 20 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the worst team in the Western Conference.

On Friday night, the Wizards sank even more with an 89-81 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, a franchise constructed to lose to land the best draft pick possible.

The loss, the Wizards’ sixth straight, earned Washington its longest losing streak in more than two seasons and was a full face plant into misery, code red for a team that just a month ago harbored title aspirations.

The defeat came on the heels of a team dinner Thursday, when all 14 players dined together at a Brazilian steakhouse. It was captured in an Instagram post by Marcin Gortat with the caption “Team dinner….Staying together!”

A night later, they were dreadful in a loss to a team they dismantled by 35 points in their previous meeting. The loss was Wizards’ 11th in 13 games and 13th in 17.

Sixers add Thomas Robinson, release Tim Frazier

Sixers add Thomas Robinson, release Tim Frazier

The Brooklyn Nets had reportedly planned to sign forward Thomas Robinson once he cleared waivers. But the Philadelphia 76ers decided not to let that happen.

The Sixers announced today the team has claimed forward Thomas Robinson off of waivers.

Robinson has appeared in 172 career games in three NBA seasons and has posted averages of five points and four rebounds in 14 minutes per game. He was selected fifth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft after a junior season in which he was named Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American.

In a related move, the team has released Tim Frazier from his second 10-day contract.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the Sixers picked Robinson up as a way to get an up-close look at him to see if he fits in their long-term plans The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder out of Kansas was the fifth overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 2012 NBA draft. Robinson was traded to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 20, 2013 and then to the Blazers on July 10, 2013. He averaged 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 172 games played.”

JaVale McGee hopes to stay with Sixers

JaVale McGee hopes to stay with Sixers

New Philadelphia 76ers center JaVale McGee has averaged 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over his NBA career, though he’s received little playing time this season and hasn’t contributed much. But that was on the Denver Nuggets. There’s room for him to step up at least a little on the very-rebuilding Sixers, if given a shot. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

JaVale McGee hopes to stay with Sixers

Center JaVale McGee wants to remain with the 76ers for the rest of the season and beyond.

The Sixers, at least for the time being, are committed to giving him every opportunity to do just that.

“We are coming into this whole thing with an open mind,” coach Brett Brown said Sunday after the team’s morning shootaround at the Amway Center. “He is around a bunch of genuine people, coaches that care. That will give him every chance to keep moving and to be as good as he can be.

“And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But it’s not going to be on us.”

Sixers sign Ish Smith, waive Malcolm Thomas

Sixers sign Ish Smith, waive Malcolm Thomas

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that the team has signed guard Ishmael “Ish” Smith.

Smith has appeared in 221 career NBA games and owns career averages of three points, two assists and over one rebound per game. He was selected by the Delaware 87ers during the team’s expansion draft in August, 2013.

Smith finished at Wake Forest as the first player in school history to record 1,000 points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds in a career.

In a related move, the Sixers have waived forward Malcolm Thomas.

Sixers continue to focus on future, not present

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers, who in their quest to build for the future have now tossed point guard Michael Carter-Williams away:

The Sixers made three trades, the first of which was easy enough to understand. They basically paid the Denver Nuggets $16 million for center JaVale McGee and a first-round draft pick. It was exactly the kind of trade everyone would expect the Sixers to make Thursday. They needed to get above the salary floor anyway, and McGee’s $11.25 million salary this season will help them do that.

Now, the Carter-Williams deal. For last season’s rookie of the year, Hinkie acquired the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2015 first-round pick - a valuable pick that’s protected if the Lakers land in one of the top five spots in this year’s draft and one of the top three spots in the 2016 draft. It’s likely that the Lakers will retain the pick this year, but think about 2016: The Lakers will probably improve, but are they going to improve so much, by 30 victories or more, that they catapult themselves out of the lottery and into the playoffs? Unlikely in the grueling Western Conference.

Next year, then, the odds are excellent that the Sixers will have a pick between No. 4 and No. 14 - in addition to their own first-round pick. Carter-Williams is 24, was the 11th-overall pick, and already had seen his value drop from last season, based on his poor shooting, his turnover-prone play, and the questions (dating to last season) of whether he was tough enough to be an exceptional NBA point guard.

The Phoenix Suns today completed a deal to acquire guard Brandon Knight from the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade also involving the Philadelphia 76ers. The Suns also acquired guard Kendall Marshall, who will be waived. As part of the deal, the Suns send guard Tyler Ennis and center Miles Plumlee to the Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers’ protected 2015 first-round pick to the 76ers; the Bucks also receive guard Michael Carter-Williams from Philadelphia.

The 23-year-old Knight is a fourth-year pro who joins the Suns in the midst of a career year, averaging 17.8 points, a career-high 5.4 assists, career-high 4.3 rebounds and career-high 1.6 steals, while shooting career-highs of 43.5 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range as he has started all 52 games with the Bucks in 2014-15. Knight departs Milwaukee as the leader in scoring and assists for a team that entered the All-Star break seven games over .500 and with 30 first-half victories after winning 15 total games in 2013-14.

Originally the eighth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by Detroit, Knight played the first two seasons of his career with the Pistons before being acquired by the Bucks along with Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov in exchange for Brandon Jennings on July 31, 2013. An All-Rookie First-Team selection in 2011-12, Knight holds career averages of 15.3 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 265 games (256 starts) with the Bucks and Pistons.

An athletic 6-3 guard who boasts a nearly 6-7 wingspan, Knight was a collegiate standout in one season at the University of Kentucky in 2010-11. Knight earned All-SEC Second-Team honors after setting Kentucky freshman records in scoring and three-point field goals made. Knight was named the NCAA East Region Most Outstanding Player after helping the Wildcats reach the Final Four for the first time since 1998, ending the longest Final Four drought in the prestigious program’s history.

Philadelphia receives the Lakers’ protected 2015 first-round pick from the Suns in the deal. Phoenix initially acquired the draft pick from the Lakers as part of the sign-and-trade that sent Steve Nash to Los Angeles on July 11, 2012.

Meet Franklin, the new Philadelphia 76ers mascot

The Philadelphia 76ers today introduced their new team mascot, Franklin, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where more than 300 area children welcomed “Sixers fan’s best friend.” Franklin, a blue dog with perky ears and wagging tail, wears a Sixers uniform with his signature paw in place of a jersey number.

“Franklin’s debut has been long-awaited by Sixers fans, and we could not be more pleased with his reception from the children in attendance at today’s unveiling,” said Sixers Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Tim McDermott. “Bringing to life our franchise’s new mascot has been a collaborative, kid-focused process from the start that involved more than 1,000 children, Sixers Season Ticket Members and 40-plus designs. We’re looking forward to showing him off to the city over the next 10 days as we lead up to his in-game debut on Friday, February 20.”

Franklin’s official backstory from the Sixers

When the Philadelphia 76ers decided they needed a new mascot, they knew it had to be ‘FOR KIDS, BY KIDS.’ And so they created a kids-only Chief Design Team to lead the way and find their new mascot.

The Chief Designers worked night and day to find a mascot that was Philadelphia through and through, who loved the game of basketball, and who could be their biggest friend and fan at every Sixers game.

As they dug through piles of books, watched movies and spoke with Philadelphians far and wide, along with more than 1,000 kids, they found a common thread…a special creature…whose ancestors had been a part of the city’s history from the start.

When George Washington crossed the Delaware, a blue tail was wagging in the boat.

When our nation’s forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, a blue paw was found on the scroll.

A blue mouth dragged Ben Franklin to safety after he was struck by lightning and discovered electricity.

A furry blue flash ran alongside Rocky Balboa, and put two paws in the air when he reached the top of the Art Museum steps.

But what made this creature even more interesting to the Chief Designers was that his ancestors loved basketball just as much as the city.

There were tiny teeth marks in the paper Wilt Chamberlain held for the cameras after his historic 100-point game.

Blue paws were seen pacing behind the Sixers bench in the days of Dr. J.

Perky blue ears were in the stands when Allen Iverson made Sixers fans roar.

The designers were convinced that this creature, if they could find it today, might be the mascot they’d been looking for all this time.

They took a break from their research to play some basketball at the arena…and found tiny blue scratch marks on the court….then bits of blue fur…and then, peeking around the corner of the Sixers’ locker room, the Chief Designers saw eyes looking up at them from a blue furry creature.

They’d found it! The descendant of these great blue creatures had come to live at the Center!

The Chief Designers showed the creature to the team, and everyone loved it. The Sixers decided to adopt it as their new mascot, and gave it a special jersey to wear with its new name: FRANKLIN.

And today, it’s time to introduce all of you to your new Sixers mascot, whose family has been a part of Philadelphia and Sixers history for generations, who loves the game of basketball and is so excited to meet its new best friends, little Sixers fans!

Sixers sign Tim Frazier to 10-day contract

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed guard Tim Frazier to a 10-day contract. Frazier is the 31st Call-Up of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

In 27 games with 26 starts for the Maine Red Claws of the D-League this season, Frazier averaged 16 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals. At the time of his call-up, Frazier ranked third in the D-League in assists and tied for fourth in steals. A two-time D-League Performer of the Week, Frazier was also selected to the D-League All-Star Game and earned 2015 NBA D-League Showcase Third Team honors.

Back in July, Frazier competed for the Sixers in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, appearing in five games with four starts. Frazier also saw action in four preseason games for Boston before signing with the Celtics D-League affiliate, Maine.

Frazier was eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft following a standout career at Penn State. He finished his career as the Lions all-time leader in assists and became the second player in conference history to record 1,000 points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds. Former Sixer Calvin Booth, who finished his career in 2008-09, was the last Penn State player in the NBA.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that Chad Biggs has been named Senior Vice President of Corporate Development & Activation, effective immediately. In this role, Biggs will oversee all corporate partnership sales, retention and activation for the team’s burgeoning roster of partners, which includes Philadelphia 76ers Patriot Partners StubHub, partypoker, DraftKings and the Rothman Institute at Jefferson.

“Chad has been at the forefront of revolutionizing corporate partnerships in sports throughout his career, something we are entirely committed to doing here at the Sixers,” said Sixers Chief Revenue Officer Chris Heck. “With a broad base of experience spanning corporations, agencies and the NBA’s New York and China offices, we believe he will lead our outstanding team to even greater success as we create mutually-beneficial partnership solutions this season and beyond.”

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