Archive for the ‘ Philadelphia 76ers Blog ’ Category

Jahlil Okafor dealing with sore knee

Here’s CSN Philly reporting on the future of the 76ers franchise, the big rookie, the hopes and dreams of Philadelphia, Jahlil Okafor:

Jahlil Okafor dealing with sore knee

When the Sixers open the season in Boston on Oct. 28, don’t expect Jahlil Okafor to be 100 percent, says coach Brett Brown.

The rookie is going to need some time to get into top NBA playing shape, according to the coach.

“He has been tremendously set back now,” Brown said after Wednesday’s practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Okafor has been dealing with a sore knee that kept him out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and forced him to sit out of Monday’s game at Madison Square Garden. However, Okafor said he isn’t injured and is simply “doing what I’m told.”

Here’s CSN Philly reporting on a fun preseason game result for the 76ers:

Scottie Wilbekin only stepped on the court for the final two minutes and he only took one shot, but it was a pretty big one.

The rookie point guard, in a battle to make the Sixers’ roster, hit the game-winning three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to beat the barebones Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-114, on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Playing the two-minute warrior while Isaiah Canaan and T.J. McConnell handled the majority of the point guard duty, Wilbekin’s big shot came a game removed from notching a minus-30 in 24 minutes of a 34-point loss in Washington…

Of course it helps when the Cavaliers didn’t have LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert in the second game of a back-to-back, but that’s a different story.

Tuesday in NBA preseason the Wizards beat the Sixers 129-95. Sixers forward Nerlens Noel shot 4-of-8 for 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in the loss. Here’s what he said after the game:

nerlens noel

On the game:

Nerlens Noel: “This game, I thought some of the guys still have to get more experience. [We have gone through practices] but games are a whole different thing. You got nerves, and some of these young guys just need to stay awake. I think we’ll be alright next game.”

On playing with Jahlil Okafor:

Noel: “It was so different in a great way. Jahlil brings such a presence. Last year, I was always going up against the five and having to do a lot. I think Jahlil brings a presence that is more at ease and the offense flows. It was really good.”

On his defense:

Noel: “I think I was a little timid to start out but I think I stayed with it. You know, it’s the NBA. Eighty two games, you stick with it, and you start getting back into your groove.”

On how it feels playing a little farther away from the basket:

Noel: “It felt fine. It felt good. I was getting the hang of it. I missed out on [Kris] Humphries and [Drew] Gooden a couple of times but you know I’ll make those adjustments in film tomorrow. I made sure I could come back and block shots like that a couple of times tonight and made sure I closed out on that three.”

On his position:

Noel: “I like where I’m at now, being a four-man and being able to guard guys that aren’t able to shoot the ball and still being able to freelance a little bit and help guys out on blocks.”

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers, who face another year of rebuilding, and as for right now in preseason are trying to shake off various injuries:

Many Sixers bumped and bruised in preseason

Nik Stauskas said he definitely will be back for the start of the regular season - if not sooner.

But the announcement Monday that the 76ers shooting guard will be sidelined two weeks with a right tibia stress reaction is a huge setback for his bonding on the court with teammates. The move has been called “precautionary,” but Stauskas joins an already long list of Sixers who are out with injuries.

Center Joel Embiid (broken right foot) will miss his second straight season. Point guards Tony Wroten (partially torn right anterior cruciate) and Kendall Marshall (torn ACL) are out until at least the end of the month with right knee injuries. Power forward Carl Landry (right wrist) won’t see the floor for at least four weeks. Two more point guards, Pierre Jackson (groin) and T.J. McConnell (left foot sprain) were held out of a scrimmage Monday and will miss the preseason opener Tuesday against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.

Sixers waive Gerald Wallace

Sixers waive Gerald Wallace

In conjunction with the announcement of the Philadelphia 76ers 2015-16 training camp roster, the team has signed J.P. Tokoto, T.J. McConnell, Jordan McRae and Christian Wood.

In conjunction with these signings, the Sixers have waived forward Gerald Wallace.

Tokoto was selected by the Sixers with the 58th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. An ACC All-Defensive team selection, Tokoto played three seasons at North Carolina and during his junior season, he was one of four players in the ACC ranked in the top 10 in both assists and steals. Over his final two seasons with the Tar Heels, Tokoto averaged nine points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals per game.

McConnell posted averages of 10 points, five assists and two steals over his four-year NCAA career. During his senior season at the University of Arizona, McConnell led the Pac-12 in assists per game (6) and total assists (238) and was also named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team.

McRae was originally acquired by the Sixers during the 2014 NBA Draft after being selected with the 58th overall pick by San Antonio. He played in 27 games for Melbourne United of the Australian National Basketball League in 2014-15, where he averaged 20 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. McRae then joined the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League, where he averaged 18 points, four rebounds and four assists in 13 games.

Wood was an early entry candidate for the 2015 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at UNLV. Wood averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds and blocked 90 total shots in his final season with the Runnin’ Rebels.

Moses Malone, gone too soon

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer on basketball legend Moses Malone, who has passed away. As always, for more, click the link:

Moses Malone, gone too soon

Once you’re resigned to the sorrow of Moses’ passing, the memories come flooding back. Those of us old enough and lucky enough to remember that special 1982-83 season will swear those 76ers were better than any single-season NBA team in history. Better than Wilt’s 68-win Sixers team in ‘67. Better than Michael Jordan’s 72-win Chicago Bulls team in ‘96. Better than every single one of Bill Russell’s great Boston Celtics teams and all those great Los Angeles Lakers teams, too.

As for the three iconic words, it was actually only one word repeated three times. And it was never uttered in public. Instead, Billy Cunningham told reporters before the start of the 1983 playoffs that Moses had uttered “four, four, four” when the coach asked him about his playoff attitude.

This was Moses’ actual quote: “I ain’t saying we’re going to sweep everybody in four games. I’m just saying, if we have an idea of winning the championship, the best thing to do is win it as fast as we can.

“I like our chances, sure. I think we’re the team to beat. We had the best record, we got a bye in the first round. We’ll be ready. This is something we all want.”

Statements on the death of Moses Malone

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Moses Malone:

“We are stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Hall of Famer Moses Malone, an NBA legend gone far too soon. Known to his legions of fans as the ‘Chairman of the Boards,’ Moses competed with intensity every time he stepped on the court. With three MVPs and an NBA championship, he was among the most dominant centers ever to play the game and one of the best players in the history of the NBA and the ABA. Even more than his prodigious talent, we will miss his friendship, his generosity, his exuberant personality, and the extraordinary work ethic he brought to the game throughout his 21-year pro career. Our thoughts are with Moses’ family and friends during this difficult time.”

Hawks Legend Dominique Wilkins released the following statement regarding the passing of Moses Malone:

“I am extremely saddened to hear of Moses’ passing this morning. This is extremely tough for me. I am completely in shock and words can’t express the pain and loss I am feeling right now. We had a mutual respect when we played against each other and I was fortunate enough to have called him a teammate and close friend. Even before we played together, he was one of the first greats who truly mentored me and showed me how to be a professional. I never saw anyone work harder than Moses and away from basketball, he was just as kind and thoughtful.

The entire Hawks organization sends its condolences to his family and friends.”

The following is a statement on behalf of the Philadelphia 76ers from Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil:

“It is with a deep sense of sadness that the Sixers family mourns the sudden loss of Moses Malone. It is difficult to express what his contributions to this organization - both as a friend and player - have meant to us, the city of Philadelphia and his faithful fans. Moses holds a special place in our hearts and will forever be remembered as a genuine icon and pillar of the most storied era in the history of Philadelphia 76ers basketball. No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words - including three of the most iconic in this city’s history. His generosity, towering personality and incomparable sense of humor will truly be missed. We will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers and as we are once again reminded of the preciousness of life.”

Sixers sign Kendall Marshall

Sixers sign Kendall Marshall

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed point guard Kendall Marshall.

Marshall was originally the 13th overall pick by Phoenix in the 2012 NBA Draft and appeared in seven games for the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers NBA Development League Affiliate, during the 2013-14 campaign, where he averaged 19 points and 10 assists per game on 46% shooting from three-point range.

Marshall appeared in 54 games for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2013-14 season, where he made 45 starts and averaged eight points and nine assists (with a 3.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio) in 29 minutes per game. He joined the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2014-15 season and posted averages of four points and three assists in 14 minutes per game.

A two-year stand out for the University of North Carolina, Marshall dished out an Atlantic Coast Conference record 351 assists in 2011-12 and went on to win the 2012 Bob Cousy Award, which is bestowed upon the nation’s top point guard in NCAA Division I.

Video: Best Dikembe Mutombo blocks

Retired center Dikembe Mutombo averaged 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game over his NBA career. He was a defensive force. Enjoy this video showcasing some of the best blocks of his basketball career:

The Philadelphia 76ers are still undergoing a massive rebuild. There’s no telling how many seasons it’ll take. As for who they may be added to their roster, here’s the Philadelphia Daily News reporting:

Report: Sixers may add Kendall Marshall

The 76ers are close to signing free-agent guard Kendall Marshall to a multiyear contract, Yahoo Sports reported.

The deal would fully guarantee his salary for the 2015-16 season, sources told the website.

Marshall has been rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Chapel Hill, N.C., the past few months and worked out in Philadelphia this week.

Marshall is expected to be able to play sometime during the first half of the season, NBA sources said.

Here’s CSN Philly reporting on 76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor, who is certainly a leading contender to win the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year award:

Jahlil Okafor aiming for Rookie of Year award

Jahlil Okafor, speaking at the NBA and Panini America’s rookie photo shoot at MSG Training Center on Saturday, shared a few of his goals for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The Sixers’ big man already has his eyes set on some hardware.

“I’d like to win Rookie of the Year,” he said. “Just want to get better every night for myself and my coaches with the Sixers. Try and win some big games.”

The last Sixer to win the award was Michael Carter-Williams in 2014. If Okafor could pull that off, it would signify the Sixers are inching closer to resembling a respectable NBA team.

Sixers trade Jason Thompson to Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have acquired forward/center Jason Thompson from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace, the team announced today. As part of the deal, Philadelphia also receives cash and draft considerations.

“We’re very happy to add Jason to our roster,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “He has a proven track record in this league and adds considerably to our team’s depth, which was a big key to our success last season and will be moving forward.”

Thompson, 29, owns career averages of 9.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.5 minutes over 541 regular-season games (405 starts) in seven seasons with the Sacramento Kings, hitting 49.7 percent from the field. In 81 games last season (63 starts), he tallied 6.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per contest. The 6’11” forward/center recorded seven double-doubles in 2014-15, including his first career 20/20 game when he tallied 23 points and a career-high 22 rebounds on Jan. 17 vs. the Clippers, one of only three players to post those numbers in a game last season (DeMarcus Cousins, Kenneth Faried).

Originally selected by the Kings with the 12th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Thompson appeared in more games in the Sacramento-era than any player in team history and ranks in the top-10 in several categories on the Kings’ all-time franchise leaderboard, including games played (eighth; 541), total rebounds (ninth; 3,746), offensive rebounds (third; 1,232), defensive rebounds (seventh; 2,514) and blocked shots (sixth; 394). The Rider University product has appeared in 541 of a possible 558 games (97%) during his seven-year NBA career. Thompson was traded to Philadelphia from Sacramento, along with Carl Landry and Nik Stauskas, on July 9, 2015.

Wallace, 33, was acquired by Golden State from Boston, along with Chris Babb, in exchange for David Lee on July 27. He owns career averages of 11.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.44 steals and 29.7 minutes in 832 regular-season games (611 starts) over 14 NBA seasons with Sacramento, Charlotte, Portland, New Jersey/Brooklyn and Boston.

Sixers sign Richaun Holmes

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed rookie forward Richaun Holmes.

Holmes appeared in all three games for the Sixers in the 2015 Utah Jazz Summer League, averaging 10 points and five rebounds in just 17 minutes per game.

The 21-year-old spent his final three collegiate seasons at Bowling Green and was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and All-MAC First Team as a senior.

Holmes shot 55% for his career and left as Bowling Green’s all-time leader in blocks with 244. He became the first player in school history to record at least 1,000 points, 600 rebound and 200 blocks. Holmes also hit 18 3-pointers on 42% shooting as a senior after having 12 3FGM on 29% shooting his first two seasons with the Falcons.

Sixers sign guard Scottie Wilbekin

Sixers sign guard Scottie Wilbekin

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed guard Scottie Wilbekin.

Wilbekin was eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft following a standout career at Florida. As a senior, he was named SEC Player of the Year and earned Third Team All-America by the Associated Press. Wilbekin was also a two-time SEC All-Defensive selection and finished his career with 167 steals.

Last season, Wilbekin played 32 games for Cairns Taipans of the Australian National Basketball League and was named the club’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named First Team All-NBL after averaging 15 points, four assists, four rebounds and one steal per game with the Taipans. He later joined AEK Athens of the Greek Basket League, averaging eight points and four assists in nine games played.

Wilbekin competed for the Sixers in the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League and the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he finished second on the team in scoring with 14 points per game and averaged three 3-pointers made per game.

Sixers sign guard Pierre Jackson

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed guard Pierre Jackson.

Jackson (5-10, 180) was originally the 42nd overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2013 NBA Draft before his rights were traded to New Orleans along with Jrue Holiday in exchange for the rights to Nerlens Noel and what turned out to be the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. During the 2014 NBA Draft, Jackson’s rights were traded back to the Sixers in exchange for the rights to Russ Smith, who was the 47th overall pick that year.

The Las Vegas native returned to action this summer, playing for Philadelphia in the NBA Summer League and is currently averaging 12 points while shooting 50% from 3-point range.

During the 2013-14 season, Jackson played for the Idaho Stampede in the NBA Development League and averaged 29.1 points, 6.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He was named a D-League All-Star and scored a league-record 58 points against Texas on Feb. 4, 2014.

Jackson spent his final two collegiate seasons at Baylor, after beginning his career at the College of Southern Idaho. He was named First Team All-Big-12 as a junior and a senior and set a school record with 712 total points in his final season.

Joel Embiid injury run continues: out for 2015-16 NBA season

The following is a statement from Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie:

“As we previously communicated, we have spent the last several weeks working closely with Joel and his representatives to further evaluate Joel’s foot following the results of the most recent CT scan. This included conference calls and in-person visits with renowned foot and ankle specialists from the United States (New York, North Carolina, Colorado, California and Pennsylvania) and internationally (Australia, the Netherlands and Qatar). This group of experts unanimously agreed that the routine CT scan in June did reveal less healing than anticipated, an unexpected result since Joel was not experiencing any foot pain.

“We have been consistent in our philosophy that our focus will be Joel’s long-term health and wellness to ensure he will have a long and impactful career in the NBA. After receiving the input of the aforementioned medical experts, as well as conversations with Joel and his representatives, there was careful consideration given to a number of options related to this particular situation. A collective decision has been made that the best approach to promote full healing would be to proceed with a bone graft of the fracture site. We anticipate the procedure will take place in the next 7-10 days and result in Joel missing the upcoming season.

“We are still in the process of determining the doctor who will perform the procedure, which should be finalized in the coming days. Sixers Director of Performance Research and Development Dr. David T. Martin will outline and lead Joel’s rehab and recovery plan, in collaboration with a worldwide network of experts and specialists.”

Joel Embiid may miss the 2015-16 season

The Philadelphia 76ers are on a pretty in-depth rebuilding plan, to the point of drafting a successful point guard in Michael Carter-Williams, only to trade him away because he was good and often very good but not definitely a great. But now there’s another setback. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer blog reporting:

Report: Joel Embiid may miss the 2015-16 season

The 7-footer will have a second surgery after the latest setback in the healing of his right foot, according to several NBA sources. The team will decide whether to have it in North Carolina or at the New York Hospital of Special Surgery

“I would say there’s a great possibility that Embiid won’t play next year,” the source said. “Just think how long they sat him when they thought he was healthy.”

The Sixers are planning as if Embiid won’t play this season, sources say. Another source said the franchise is concerned that this setback could be career-threatening.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that the team has hired Todd Wright as Assistant Coach, Head of Strength and Conditioning. Wright brings with him 21 years of experience and is widely recognized within the field for his ability to develop players using innovative basketball-specific strength and conditioning techniques.

“We feel fortunate to now call Todd Wright a Sixer,” said President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie. “His reputation as a trainer of basketball players is second to none. His values and his ability to form genuine, lasting relationships with athletes to help them achieve their goals are both heavily aligned with our organization and with our player development in Philadelphia. When it became clear that the University of Texas was to make a change in their men’s basketball program, I booked a flight to Austin within 10 minutes.”

Prior to joining the Sixers, Wright was the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team for 14 seasons, during which time he supervised the development of 16 players selected in the NBA Draft, six All-Americans and two recipients of the prestigious Wooden Award as the national player of the year. During his 21 years at the collegiate level with the University of Texas and Clemson University, Wright participated in 19 NCAA tournaments, including 17 consecutive appearances between the two schools.

Wright is also a well-respected speaker in the field of strength and conditioning, having presented on the subject of “Vertical Core Training,” which he developed. Many of Wright’s unique training methodologies have been nationally recognized in numerous publications. He is also a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Fellow of Applied Functional Science.

“Our additions of Dr. David T. Martin and Todd Wright are further evidence of our desire to be considered world class in the fields of sport science and athletic performance. Our players invest enormous amounts of time into their individual games and their bodies, and we hope to provide them every opportunity to become strong and resilient, to maximize their playing potential, and to lengthen their careers,” Hinkie said.

Jesse Wright, the Sixers previous Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, was integral in the worldwide search and recruitment of Martin and the recruitment of Todd Wright to join the Sixers. Jesse Wright has been elevated to a newly created performance science position. In his new role, he will work closely with Martin and Todd Wright, with a focus on implementing the newest training, fitness, and recovery initiatives.

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.

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