Sixers sign Ricky Council IV to standard NBA contract

The Philadelphia 76ers yesterday signed Ricky Council IV to a standard NBA contract.

Originally signed to a two-way contract prior to this season, Council IV has appeared in 31 games as a rookie with the 76ers, averaging 5.5 points on 48.2-percent shooting and 1.4 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game. He has logged at least 10 minutes of action in 11 of his 31 appearances, producing 10.5 points on 54.2-percent shooting in those contests.

Council IV has tallied at least 10 points on eight occasions, including a career-best 19-point, 10-rebound performance at Washington on Feb 10. He became the seventh rookie in franchise history – and the first since Dario Šarić in 2017 – to produce at least 19 points and 10 boards off the bench.

In 27 games with Philadelphia’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, Council IV recorded 23.8 points on 47.3-percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. He reached the 30-point mark on five occasions and connected on at least three triples 12 times.

Last season, Council IV appeared in 36 games (29 starts) collegiately for the University of Arkansas, where he ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference with a team-high 16.1 points to go along with 3.6 rebounds. The All-SEC Second Team selection scored in double figures in 31 of his appearances this season.

76ers sign Jeff Dowtin Jr. to two-way contract

The Philadelphia 76ers this past Saturday signed Jeff Dowtin Jr. to a two-way contract.

In 16 G League games this season with the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ affiliate, he is averaging 18.1 points (38.4% 3FG), 3.1 rebounds, and a team-leading 5.9 assists per game. Dowtin Jr. is coming off a 25-point outing (9-17 FG, 4-8 3FG) against Greensboro on March 1, marking his fourth 20-point performance in his last five games.

A two-year pro, Dowtin Jr. holds averages of 2.4 points, 1.2 rebounds and, 1.2 assists in 10.8 minutes per game across 34 contests with Orlando, Milwaukee, Golden State, and Toronto. Dowtin Jr. originally signed with the G League’s Lakeland Magic following the 2020 NBA Draft, helping the team to the 2021 NBA G League title. He made his NBA debut the ensuing season with Golden State on Nov. 3, 2021.

A Washington D.C.-area native, Dowtin Jr. spent four seasons playing collegiately at Rhode Island. As a senior in 2019-20, he posted 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.3 steals in 35.6 minutes per game across 29 contests (all starts). The Rams appeared in two NCAA Tournaments during Dowtin Jr.’s tenure (2017 and 2018).

Dowtin Jr. will wear No. 11 with the 76ers.

76ers sign Kyle Lowry

The Philadelphia 76ers recently (Tuesday, February 13) signed veteran guard Kyle Lowry.

In his 18th NBA season, Lowry holds career averages of 14.4 points (36.8% 3FG), 4.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.3 steals in 31.7 minutes per game across 1,115 outings (866 starts) with Memphis, Houston, Toronto, and Miami. Lowry ranks in the top-10 among active players in assists (fifth, 6,897), three-pointers made (seventh, 2,140), steals (eighth, 1,446) and triple-doubles (10th, 21).

Originally from North Philadelphia, Lowry’s decorated basketball career includes an Olympic gold medal (2016), six NBA All-Star appearances (2015-20), an All-NBA Third Team selection (2015-16), and the 2019 NBA championship. During Toronto’s run to the title in 2019, Lowry started each of the Raptors’ 24 playoff games for Head Coach Nick Nurse, averaging 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.3 steals in 37.5 minutes per game.

Through 37 appearances (35 starts) with Miami in 2023-24, Lowry is averaging 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.1 steals in 28.0 minutes per contest. He posted a season-high 28 points (9-15 FG, 7-10 3FG) on Nov. 22 against Cleveland.

Prior to being selected by Memphis with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Lowry played collegiately at Villanova for two seasons (2004-06). He helped lead the Wildcats to two NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2005 and the Elite Eight the following year. He was named 2005 Philadelphia Big Five Rookie of the Year. As a sophomore, he was named to the All-Big East Second Team. Lowry’s No. 1 was retired by the school in Feb. 2020. Prior to his time at Villanova, Lowry starred at both Northeast and Cardinal Dougherty High Schools.

Lowry will wear No. 7 for Philadelphia. Mo Bamba will now wear No. 5.

76ers trade Jaden Springer to Celtics

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired a 2024 second-round draft pick (more favorable of Chicago and New Orleans) in a trade with the Boston Celtics for Jaden Springer.

Springer (6-4, 204) has appeared in 50 career NBA games since being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 28th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The 6-4 guard owns career averages of 3.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game while shooting 41.6 percent from the field, and has seen action in nine playoff games, tallying 15 points in 30 minutes. The Charlotte, North Carolina native is averaging career-highs across the board with 4.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 32 games this season.

Over two seasons with the 76ers G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coasts, Springer averaged 17.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.0 steals in 43 games from 2021-2023. Springer was named the NBA G League Finals MVP in 2023 after helping Delaware capture its first-ever G League Championship.

The 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team honoree led Tennessee in scoring with 12.5 points per game in his lone collegiate season, and averaged 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals in 25 games (15 starts). Springer led the Volunteers in three-point percentage (20-46, .435) and total free throws made (81), while his 81.0 free-throw percentage ranked ninth among SEC players, and stands as the highest percentage by a freshman in program history (min.100 attempts).

76ers trade Patrick Beverley to Bucks for Cameron Payne, draft pick

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired Cameron Payne and Milwaukee’s 2027 second-round pick in a trade with the Bucks. In exchange, the 76ers traded Patrick Beverley to Milwaukee.

Payne has appeared in 47 games with Milwaukee this season, averaging 6.2 points and 2.3 assists, while shooting 45.5-percent from the field and 39.7-percent from three-point range. He has scored in double figures 13 times, including a season-best 18 points on two occasions (Dec. 2 vs. Atlanta; Dec. 27 at Brooklyn).

Overall, Payne has played in 374 NBA career games (58 starts) across seven-plus seasons with Oklahoma City, Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, and Milwaukee. He holds lifetime averages of 7.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 36.7-percent from three-point range. In 2020-21, Payne shot 44.0-percent from beyond the arc, finishing the season 10th in the NBA.

Originally selected by Oklahoma City with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Payne starred collegiately at Murray State. He earned All-OVC First Team honors in each of his two seasons with the Racers, while averaging a conference-best 20.2 points per contest as a sophomore.

Beverley averaged 6.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists with Philadelphia after signing as a free agent this past offseason.

76ers trade Danuel House Jr. to Pistons

The Detroit Pistons have acquired guard/forward Danuel House Jr., a 2024 second round draft pick and cash considerations in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for future 2028 second round draft pick.

House, 6-6, 220, has averaged 7.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 294 career NBA games with Washington, Phoenix, Houston, New York, Utah and Philadelphia. House went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and signed as a free agent with the Wizards. He averaged career highs of 10.5 points and 4.2 rebounds during the 2019-20 season with the Rockets.

A Texas native, House played his first two collegiate seasons at the University of Houston before transferring to Texas A&M where he led the Aggies in scoring in his final two seasons. House averaged 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists for his college career and earned honorable mention All-American honors by the Associated Press as a senior.

76ers sign Kenneth Lofton Jr. to two-way contract, waive Javonte Smart

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a two-way contract.

In a related move, the team released Javonte Smart, who posted averages of 21.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, and team-leading 5.8 assists in 16 games with the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers G League affiliate. He appeared in one game with the 76ers (Dec. 22 vs. TOR) this season.

Lofton Jr., 21, joins the 76ers after spending the first year-plus of his professional career with the Memphis Grizzlies. He appeared in 15 games for the Grizzlies this season, producing season highs in points (12), rebounds (five), and steals (two) at Utah on Nov. 1.

Last season, the Louisiana Tech product set career highs with a 42-point (17-25 FG), 14-rebound performance against Oklahoma City on April 9, making him the youngest player in Grizzlies’ franchise history to record a 40-point, 10-rebound game.

In 39 career NBA games, Lofton Jr. holds career averages of 4.1 points on 48.5 percent shooting and 1.7 rebounds.

As a two-way player with the Grizzlies’ organization in 2022-23, Lofton Jr. saw action in 17 G League regular-season games (15 starts) with the Memphis Hustle, averaging 20.2 points (53.9% FG), 10.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals. He scored 20-plus points in eight games, two of which reached the 30-point mark.

Lofton Jr. was named the Kia NBA G League Rookie of the Year, in addition to being selected to both the All-NBA G League First Team and NBA G League All-Rookie Team.

His strong 2022-23 also led to invites to participate in both the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars Game and the NBA G League Next Up Game during NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah.

76ers sign President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey to contract extension

The Philadelphia 76ers yesterday announced a multi-year contract extension for President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, extending him through the 2027-28 season.

“Daryl is one of the best front office executives in sports and I greatly value his leadership,” Josh Harris, 76ers Managing Partner, said. “I’m thrilled to have reached an agreement to extend his contract and look forward to working together to maximize our chances of competing for an NBA title.”

Hired as the team’s President of Basketball Operations on Nov. 2, 2020, Morey’s .653 winning percentage through his first three seasons represents the best mark in franchise history. The 76ers are off to a 16-7 start in 2023-24, tied for the fourth-best record in the NBA.

Morey oversees all areas of the 76ers basketball operations department, most recently orchestrating a three-team, seven-player deal on Nov. 1, 2023, which netted a multitude of future draft capital, including two first-round draft picks and a first-round pick swap, in addition to Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, and Marcus Morris Sr. This past offseason, Morey hired NBA champion and Coach of the Year Nick Nurse as the franchise’s 26th head coach.

“I want to express my appreciation to Josh Harris and David Blitzer for their unwavering support and confidence. Together, we are committed to bringing a championship to Philadelphia,” said Morey. “I love this franchise and the relationship my family and I have built with our fans and this city. There’s no place I’d rather continue this journey than here.”

In 2022-23, the 76ers advanced in the NBA Playoffs for the third consecutive season, making them one of two teams to reach the Conference Semifinals each year since Morey’s arrival. On the season, Morey’s 76ers compiled a 54-28 regular-season record, the team’s best mark since 2000-01.

In G League, Jameer Nelson named General Manager of Delaware Blue Coats

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the promotion of Jameer Nelson to General Manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

Nelson previously served as Blue Coats Assistant General Manager/76ers Scout since November 2020, a tenure that included three-straight trips to the G League Finals, a 2021 Winter Showcase Cup Title, and culminated with the 2022-23 NBA G League Championship.

“Jameer has approached his front office and scouting roles with the same tenacity that he approached the game during his playing career. He is a great talent evaluator who is well-respected by players, agents, coaches and executives alike, suiting him for success as the next General Manager of the Blue Coats,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey said.

“Jameer succeeds Prosper Karangwa, who led the Blue Coats to their first-ever G League title last year and has done an incredible job in growing the program. We are thankful to Prosper for what he’s done in Delaware and are grateful he’s an integral member of our 76ers front office.”

A 14-year NBA veteran, Nelson was named an All-Star in 2009 as a member of the Orlando Magic. Nelson was a first-round pick (No. 20 overall) of the Denver Nuggets in 2004 and averaged over 11 points, five assists and three rebounds across a career with Orlando, Dallas, Boston, Denver, New Orleans and Detroit. Collegiately, the Chester, Pennsylvania native starred at St. Joseph’s University, guiding the Hawks to the Elite Eight in 2004 and was named National Player of the Year, a first-team All-American selection and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

The Blue Coats also announced the team’s coaching staff for the 2023-24 season. Under first-year head coach Mike Longabardi, newcomer Ryan Ayers completes the Blue Coats’ bench, joining returning assistant coaches JP Clark and God Shammgod Jr.

Sixers will reportedly trade James Harden to Clippers

Per the LA Times:

As teams with NBA title ambitions in Milwaukee and Boston fortified their rosters in recent weeks and days, the Clippers arrived at training camp with a roster virtually unchanged from the end of last season.

That began to change late Monday, when after months of discussions with Philadelphia, the Clippers and 76ers began to move toward finalizing a trade that would see All-Star guard James Harden land in Los Angeles, according to people with knowledge of the discussions not authorized to disclose them publicly.

In addition to Harden, the Clippers are receiving P.J. Tucker, a 38-year-old defensive stalwart forward and career 36% three-point shooter. The cost: Trading away Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris Sr. and Robert Covington — their trio of veteran forwards, all on expiring contracts — as well as young forward Kenyon Martin Jr., who was acquired from Houston during the offseason.