76ers

NBA Notes: Cavaliers get additional pick from Celtics to complete blockbuster

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NBA Notes: Cavaliers get additional pick from Celtics to complete blockbuster

CLEVELAND -- The blockbuster trade, delayed and in jeopardy of dying, is done: Kyrie Irving is headed to the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas is coming to the Cavaliers and the NBA can take a well-earned, late-summer break.

For a minute.

Concerned with medical findings after looking at Thomas' injured right hip, the Cavs have negotiated another draft pick from Boston to compete the mega-deal that stalled, the teams announced in a joint statement early Thursday.

The teams modified the original deal and Cleveland will also get a second-round pick in 2020 from the Celtics, a pick it acquired from Miami.

"The trade is now complete," the teams said in their statement.

After days of uncertainty, both sides can move forward toward a 2017 season that will start with the Cavs hosting the Celtics on Oct. 17.

The teams had a deadline of 10 a.m. Thursday to agree on the trade, which was prompted by Irving demanded to be dealt in July. New Cavs general manager Koby Altman pulled it off by sending the team's second-best player to the Celtics for Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and an unconditional first-round pick next year.

The Cavs had balked at pushing the Aug. 22 trade through last week after Thomas underwent a physical. He tore a labrum last season in the playoffs against Cleveland, and it's possible he might not be ready for the start of the season (see full story).

Timberwolves: Roth hired as head coach of G-League team
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have named Scott Roth as the coach of the inaugural Iowa Wolves G-League team.

The Timberwolves announced the hiring on Wednesday. Roth will oversee coaching of the team after the Timberwolves purchased the minor league team in Des Moines.

Roth was a player on the original Timberwolves team in 1989-90 and has been an assistant coach for seven different NBA teams. He spent last season as a scout for the Timberwolves.

Roth will be charged with installing a system in Iowa that mimics the one coach Tom Thibodeau runs with the Timberwolves. That way any young player who spends time in Iowa will be better prepared when he is called up to play for the NBA team.

It will be Roth's second stint in the G-League. He coached Bakersfield in 2008.

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

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With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

The Sixers will have two No. 1 overall picks make their NBA debuts on Wednesday night in Markelle Fultz (2017) and Ben Simmons (2016). They are in for a challenge with the Wizards, one of the best teams in basketball, and with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall and Beal know that challenge well. They were both top draft picks in their own right, Wall the first pick in 2010 and Beal the third pick in 2012. They can recall in specifics their first games in the NBA and how humbling they were.

"My first game, I was going against Dwight Howard. It was fun," Wall said. "There was a lot of pressure. There were a lot of people talking."

It's often said that the point guard position is as deep as it's ever been nowadays. The last three MVP awards have gone to point guards, for instance.

There were some good ones back in 2010, too.

"I remember in a five-game span I played like [Rajon] Rondo, Derrick Rose here and then I went out west and played Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Russell [Westbrook]," Wall said. "I don't think it's gotten any harder than it was back then in 2010 with those five guys. You kind of understand what those guys are about when you get to see it firsthand and play against them."

Beal vividly remembers going up against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat as a 19-year-old. It wasn't easy.

"It was the Heat when they had [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron on the same team. That's when D-Wade was electrifying. He still had his quickness. He was strong as I don't know what and I was a baby at that time," he said.

"For me, it was like I was in awe because those are the guys I grew up watching and I was a fan of. Now I'm playing against them and I can't be a fan of them. It was amazing to play against them, but also an eye-opener like, I need to get better."

Now it's Fultz and Simmons' turn to see what matching up with NBA superstars is like and don't expect Wall or Beal to take it easy on them.

"I'm a competitive person, so I'm not going to back down from any challenge," Wall said.

Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

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Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first starting lineup of the Sixers' 2017-18 season will be Ben Simmons, Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Joel Embiid.

Brown is sticking with the group that closed out preseason competition. That group has a balance of veterans and young talent, including Simmons making his NBA debut after missing all of last season with a foot injury.

"It helps a lot (starting together in the preseason) because you're learning guys and how they move and how they play," Simmons said. "I think we have a pretty good connection going into tonight's game and it's only going to get better."

Embiid will be under a minutes restriction but Brown does not have a definitive number. The big man previously said he expected to play 16 minutes. Embiid was the last one to leave the court at the conclusion of shootaround. 

"There's a range that we'll work with," Brown said. "We're going to feel it together. We'll play Joel within some parameters and go from that base." 

Markelle Fultz also will make his NBA debut. The No. 1 pick, who has battled right knee and shoulder soreness, will come off the bench in front of his hometown crowd. 

"I'm excited," Fultz said. "It's anything you can wish for."