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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.”

Tony Wroten to see specialist

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on a key member of the Sixers’ backcourt:

Tony Wroten to see specialist

76ers backup point guard Tony Wroten will fly to California Wednesday morning to see a specialist about his sprained right knee..

“We need more information to deliver something to the media and to Tony, you know, that he can follow through with.”

Wroten will miss his fifth-consecutive game when the Sixers (8-33) entertain the New York Knicks (6-36) Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center. This is the third time he’s been sidelined with the injury this season.

Wizards beat Sixers by 35 points

The Washington Wizards, playing at home, beat the Philadelphia 76ers 111-76 on Monday. In the win, Marcin Gortat shot 9-of-11 for 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. The Wizards shot 55.6% and hit 7-of-14 three-pointers. Nobody on the Sixers scored more than 13 points. Tony Wroten and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute didn’t play. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Henry Sims, who started in place of sidelined power forward Luc Mbah a Moute (left knee contusion), led the Sixers with 13 points. Nerlens Noel scored nine of his 11 points before intermission. He turned into basically a bystander, missing both of his shots in the second half.

The rookie center said he didn’t think his play caused him to score just two points after halftime. Noel said he and a lot of the Sixers’ big men kept their energy all game.

“But we have to be able to reward them,” Noel said. “We have to move the ball. I think we were stagnant. Sustaining energy that long isn’t an easy thing, especially when you’re not getting big guys the ball.”

Perhaps that was one of the problems.

Michael Carter-Williams’ struggles were another problem. The point guard, who was last season’s rookie of the year, had seven points on 2-for-13 shooting. Carter-Williams also had five assists, one rebound, two steals and four turnovers.

Sixers sign Larry Drew II to a 10-day contract

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed guard Larry Drew II to a 10-day contract. Drew is the 17th D-League-to-NBA “Call-Up” of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

In 21 starts for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League this season, Drew is averaging a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. At the time of his call-up, Drew ranked second in the D-League in assists. He set a D-League single game record with 23 assists vs. Rio Grande Valley on Dec. 25, which helped earn him NBA Development League Performer of the Week honors for games played from Dec. 22 through Dec. 28. Drew also spent last season with the Skyforce.

Drew finished his collegiate career at UCLA in 2012-13 after playing his first three seasons at North Carolina. He set the Bruins single-season assist record as a senior and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Drew’s father, Larry Drew, Sr., is an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sixers sign Malcolm Thomas, waive Ronny Turiaf

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed free agent power forward Malcolm Thomas. And in a related move, the team waived forward Ronny Turiaf, who is injured and expected to miss the rest of the season.

Thomas was originally signed by the Sixers on October 27, 2014. He appeared in five regular season games and averaged four points and five rebounds in 14 minutes per game.

Last season, Thomas averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 12 combined games for Los Angeles and Austin and was named an NBA Development League All-Star. In 2011-12, Thomas earned All-NBA D-League First Team and All-Defensive First Team honors.

Three-team trade sends Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved to Rockets

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired forward Corey Brewer from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Alexey Shved from the Philadelphia 76ers as a part of a three-team trade.

In the deal, the Rockets will send Troy Daniels to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with the Sacramento Kings 2015 2nd Round Pick (protected for picks 50-60), Houston’s 2016 2nd Round Pick (protected for picks 31-45) and cash considerations. Houston will send its 2nd Round Pick and the rights to Serhiy Lishchuk to Philadelphia. Minnesota will send Corey Brewer to Houston and Ronny Turiaf to Philadelphia. Philadelphia will convey Alexey Shved to Houston.

In order to facilitate the transaction, the Houston Rockets have waived Francisco Garcia and the roster now stands at 15.

The draft picks acquired by the Wolves in the trade are as follows: Houston’s protected second round pick in 2016 and Sacramento’s protected second round pick in 2015 (originally acquired by Houston on Sept. 17, 2014).

Brewer (6-9, 185, Florida) has averaged 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 24 appearances (16 starts) with the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. The eighth year veteran’s numbers mark career-highs for rebounds, assists and steals per game. After being drafted seventh overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brewer has appeared in 491 career games (265 starts) with Minnesota, Dallas and Denver holding career averages of 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Brewer also adds 19 games of playoff experience to the Rockets roster, including winning an NBA championship in 2011. In his time at the University of Florida, Brewer won two NCAA championships and was named the 2007 NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Shved (6-6, 187, Russia) has averaged 9.9 points, 2.7 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game in 17 appearances with the Philadelphia 76ers this season. The third year pro went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and originally signed as free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 23, 2012. In 157 career appearances (including 16 starts) with the Timberwolves and 76ers, Shved holds career averages of 6.9 points, 2.5 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game.

Troy Daniels, 23, owns career averages of 4.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 22 games, one start, in parts of two seasons with the Rockets. In five games in 2013-14, the 6-4 guard averaged 8.4 points on 48.4% shooting, including 48.0% (12-of-25) from beyond the arc. In four postseason contests, Daniels posted averages of 7.8 points on 52.9% shooting, including 53.3% (8-of-15) from deep. Daniels hit the go-ahead 3-point shot with 11.9 seconds left in overtime to propel the Rockets to a 121-116 win over the Blazers on April 25, 2014. Two nights later he scored a new playoff career-high 17 points (5-of-7 FG, 4-of-5 3FG, 3-3 FT) in Game 4 at Portland.

Originally undrafted out of Virginia Commonwealth University, Daniels spent much of the 2013-14 season in the NBA Development League with the Rio Grande Valley where he averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 48 games (37 starts). He led the D-League in three pointers made with 240 — a league single-season record — and ranked eighth in the D-League in scoring average with 21.5 ppg. Daniels was signed by the Rockets on February 21, 2014. 

Garcia (6-7, 195, Louisville) has 3.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 14 appearances with the Houston Rockets during the 2014-15 season. The tenth year player and product of the Dominican Republic was re-signed by the Rockets this past offseason on September 29, 2014.

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 2-22 Sixers, who have such a limited roster that there’s no reason to expect them, as a group, to be competitive for all four quarters of a game:

Sixers coach Brett Brown especially disappointed by latest loss

Monday’s 105-87 setback to the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center was one game 76ers coach Brett Brown quickly wants to forget.

“Last night for me was the most disappointing home game that we’ve had in a while,” Brown said after Tuesday’s practice at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “For the first time, I didn’t recognize us. That’s not this team at all.”

The Sixers (2-22) shot 35.5 percent from the field and 14.3 percent on three-pointers and committed 23 turnovers.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed power forward/center Furkan Aldemir (Fur-kahn Al-di-meer).

The native of Turkey has been playing professionally in his home country since 2007-08. He joined Galatasaray Liv Hospital in 2011 and helped them earn the Turkish Basketball League (TBL) title in 2012-13 before finishing as runner-up in 2013-14. Aldemir (6′10″, 240) was leading the TBL in rebounding with 11 per game this season, after leading the league in total rebounds in 2013-14 and earning All-Star honors in 2010 and 2012.

During EuroLeague play, Aldemir was part of the Galatasaray team that advanced to the final 16 in 2011-12 and the top eight in 2013-14.

Aldemir is also a member of the Turkish senior national team and competed in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. At the 2011 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, Aldemir averaged 15 points, a tournament-high 16 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game en route to earning All-Tournament honors.

Aldemir was originally the 53rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and the Sixers acquired his rights from Houston on July 13, 2013. Prior to his signing, Aldemir was one of five players (Dario Saric, Vasilije Micic, Jordan McRae and Arsalan Kazemi) playing internationally whose rights are held by the Sixers.

In a related move, the Sixers waived Ronald Roberts.

Sixers sign Ronald Roberts, waive Jorge Gutierrez

Sixers sign Ronald Roberts, waive Jorge Gutierrez

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed free agent forward Ronald Roberts from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. He is the 11th D-League to NBA “Call-Up” of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

In a related move, the Sixers waived Jorge Gutierrez.

Roberts started all eight games for the Sevens so far this season, averaging team-highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 67% from the floor. He was also on the Sixers roster during the preseason and the Orlando Pro Summer League.

Nets trade Andrei Kirilenko to 76ers

Nets trade Andrei Kirilenko to 76ers

Nets trade Andrei Kirilenko to 76ers

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forward Brandon Davies from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Andrei Kirilenko, guard Jorge Gutierrez, the Nets’ second round draft pick in 2020 and the right to swap second round picks in 2018, General Manager Billy King announced today. In addition, the Nets created a $3.4 million trade exception and a $916,000 trade exception with the transaction.

According to multiple reports, the Sixers are expected to waive Kirilenko, whose return to the NBA is uncertain.

Davies (6’10”, 240) joins the Nets after spending the last two seasons with the 76ers. He signed as a free agent with Philadelphia after going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft and appeared in 51 games during his rookie season, averaging 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game. This season, Davies, 23, has seen action in 20 games (six starts), and posted averages of 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.0 minutes per game. A native of Provo, UT, Davies spent four years at Brigham Young University, earning All-Mountain West Conference Third Team honors following his sophomore season and All-West Coast Conference Team recognition following his junior and senior seasons.

Kirilenko was signed as a free agent by the Nets on July 12, 2013. He appeared in 45 games (four starts) during the 2013-14 season, averaging 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.0 minutes per game. He also saw action in 10 playoff games, averaging 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. This season, Kirilenko has seen action in seven games, totaling three points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes. In 13 NBA seasons, Kirilenko has appeared in 797 games (546 starts) and averaged 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game. He earned his lone All-Star appearance in 2004 as a member of the Utah Jazz and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team following the 2005-06 season.

Gutierrez was signed to a 10-day contract by the Nets from the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League on March 6, 2014 and made his NBA debut three days later against the Sacramento Kings. He signed a second 10-day contract on March 17 before signing for the remainder of the season on March 28. Gutierrez appeared in 15 games (two starts) with the Nets during the 2013-14 season, averaging 4.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 16.3 minutes per game. He also saw three minutes of action in two playoff games. This season, Gutierrez has appeared in nine games, averaging 1.8 points in 4.3 minutes per game.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has signed free agent guard Malcolm Lee from its NBA Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. He is the ninth D-League to NBA “Call-Up” of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

Lee has appeared in four games with three starts for the Sevens this season. He also saw action in three games for the Sixers this preseason.

Lee was originally the 43rd overall pick by Chicago in the 2011 NBA Draft following his junior season at UCLA. He spent both of his NBA seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13) with Minnesota.

In a related move, the Sixers waived Drew Gordon.

Kevin Durant shows respect for Sixers

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer blog reporting some positive words about the 76ers from none other than Kevin Durant:

So how does Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA MVP, feel about the 1-17 Sixers?

They avoided the worst start in NBA history by posting their victory of the season, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 85-77, Wednesday night at the Target Center.

“They’ve been playing hard,” said Durant, whose Oklahoma City Thunder face the Sixers Friday night at Wells Fargo Center. “They’re a young team. We’ve been through it where it kind of tough to finish out game.

“But they’ve been in a lot of games. It’s just a matter of them finishing.”

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting a bit of positive news from the loss-heavy world of the 76ers:

Michael Carter-Williams puts up big game

If Michael Carter-Williams ever needed a confidence boost, he received one Saturday night.

The 76ers point guard recorded his third career triple-double in a closer than expected 110-103 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Wells Fargo Center.

Carter-Williams finished with 18 points, a career-high 16 assists and a season-best 10 rebounds. The second-year player struggled from the field, making just 4 of 13 shot attempts. But he made up for that by going 10-for-12 from the foul line. Last season’s rookie of the year was also the Sixers’ unquestioned floor general on this night.

Carter-Williams credited his teammates for his best game of the season.

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams is putting up nice stats, but only if you ignore his shooting percentage and turnovers. But more importantly than a bunch of numbers, he still doesn’t feel quite like his usual explosive self just yet. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Michael Carter-Williams slow to get his game back

Michael Carter-Williams is in a funk.

The 76ers point guard is not the player he was a season ago, when he won NBA rookie of the year.

“When I’m out there, I don’t feel as explosive,” Carter-Williams said. “I don’t feel like I’m in the passing lanes [defensively]. My steals are down. The little things I did last year are not what I’m doing this year. I need to get back to those things.”

Carter-Williams was sidelined six months after right-shoulder surgery on May 6. He made this season’s debut in a 123-70 loss at Dallas on Nov. 13.

Sixers assign JaKarr Sampson to D-League

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that they have assigned forward JaKarr Sampson to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League.

Sampson has appeared in nine games with two starts for the Sixers this season.

Sixers sign Robert Covington, waive Chris Johnson

The Philadelphia 76ers signed free agent forward Robert Covington today. The first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Development League Draft by the Grand Rapids Drive, Covington is the fifth D-League to NBA “Call-Up” of the 2014-15 D-League season.

In a related move, the Sixers waived Chris Johnson.

As a rookie last season, Covington saw action in seven games for the Houston Rockets while spending most of his time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League. In 42 games (41 starts) for the Vipers, Covington averaged 23 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks in 34 minutes per game while also averaging 3.2 3-pointers made on 37.0% shooting.

In addition to being named the 2014 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, Covington also earned D-League First Team honors and won the MVP award at the D-League All-Star game after scoring a record 33 points in helping his team to victory.

Covington was eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft following a standout four-year career at Tennessee State. He earned Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a senior and a sophomore and First Team distinction as a junior.

K.J. McDaniels playing well for Sixers

K.J. McDaniels playing well for Sixers

Yeah, I know. There is little reason to take the Philadelphia 76ers seriously this season. And naturally a few players will emerge only because, well, somebody has to put numbers up. All that aside, this is still the NBA, and talent will rise. So, meet K.J. McDaniels. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer:

K.J. McDaniels playing well for Sixers

A growing portion of 76ers fans are wondering why K.J. McDaniels isn’t in the starting lineup.

Understandably so.

The rookie guard has been the team’s most exciting player. Yes, even more exciting than Tony Wroten, who averages a team-best 21.9 points. McDaniels, a former Clemson standout, is posterizing opponents will alley-oop dunks (ask Orlando Magic’s Moe Harkless) and swatting shots into the third row (ask the poor lady sitting in the stands in Toronto after McDaniels’ volleyball spike of Greivis Vasquez shot nearly gave her a concussion). He’s also the team’s best three-point shooter at 42.1 percent.

“It would mean a lot,” McDaniels said of being in the starting lineup. “But I still have to go in there and do my job, you know coming in here, bring excitement either coming off the bench or starting.”

Sixers sign Drew Gordon, waive Malcolm Thomas

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed free agent center Drew Gordon from the Delaware 87ers, its NBA Development League affiliate. He is the fourth D-League to NBA “Call-Up” of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

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

Gordon appeared in six preseason games for Philadelphia, averaging 7.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game while shooting 64.5% from the floor. He also played for the Sixers entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Since being eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft, Gordon has played overseas. He spent his final two collegiate seasons at New Mexico after transferring from UCLA. Gordon averaged a double-double in both of his seasons with the Lobos, earning Mountain West All-Conference First Team honors as a senior and Second Team distinction as a junior.

Gordon’s younger brother, Aaron, was the fourth overall pick by Orlando in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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