adrian wojnarowski

Sixers intend to sign veteran guard

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Sixers intend to sign veteran guard

Veteran guard Marco Belinelli will likely be the newest member of the Sixers.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato confirmed Saturday night that the Sixers intend to sign Belinelli. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that Belinelli had committed to signing with the Sixers upon clearing waivers. Belinelli agreed to a buyout with the Hawks on Friday.

Belinelli, an 11-year NBA veteran, averaged 11.2 points per game on 37.2 percent three-point shooting this season with Atlanta. 

Brett Brown expressed interest in adding to his bench's scoring, specifically from long range, prior to the trade deadline (see story). Belinelli won the three-point contest in 2014. 

Though the Sixers were linked to several players, Belinelli included, they made no moves before the deadline. Now, it appears the team will look to Belinelli to boost their second-unit offense.  

It looks like Belinelli is excited to join his new team ...

This is not the first time Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo will have made a move to acquire Belinelli. Back in 2009, Colangelo traded for Belinelli from the Warriors while president and general manager of the Raptors. 

At that time, Colangelo said of Belinelli, "Marco fills a void at the wing position where his shooting and scoring strengths will be needed. Marco's versatility and playmaking abilities make him a very valuable piece for us." 

Sixers trade deadline rumor tracker

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Sixers trade deadline rumor tracker

Updated: 12:15 p.m.

There's a parade in town today, in case you hadn't heard.

But it's also the NBA trade deadline, and the Sixers could very well make a move for an additional scorer (see story).

Keep it locked here throughout the day for Sixers updates ahead of the 3 p.m. deadline:

Hesitant to move a first
Tyreke Evans has been connected to the Sixers over the last week, but the all-knowing Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported early Thursday morning that so far, the Sixers, Celtics and Nuggets have resisted parting with a first-round pick for the Grizzlies guard.

"Boston, Denver and Philadelphia have resisted offers beyond either a young player or second-rounder," Woj tweeted. "First-rounders have never been gripped so tightly."

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Richaun Holmes could fall under that "young player" category. TLC isn't a necessity on this team, and Holmes has played eight games since Christmas, yet both have enough promise to intrigue another team.

Cavs-Lakers trade affects LeBron
The Sixers are one of only a few NBA teams with cap space this summer and squads like the Bulls and Hawks won't be signing stars. So there's a dream Sixers fans have of LeBron James coming to Philly.

Well, today's Cavs-Lakers trade makes that more difficult. Cleveland has traded Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and its own first-round pick to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., per Woj.

The move improves Cleveland defensively, but the real story here is that it gives the Lakers cap space this summer because of the expiring contract element. The Lakers will now have enough cap space to sign two players to max contracts this summer.

So L.A. would become another suitor for LeBron, but also keep in mind that the Cavs' giving L.A. this cap room probably means they know LeBron isn't going there. Cleveland might be showing its hand here, making the assumption that LeBron will stay.

Update: The Cavs weren't done. About an hour later, they acquired George Hill from the Kings and Rodney Hood from the Jazz in a three-team deal. Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose are headed to Utah in the deal, while Joe Johnson goes to Sacramento.

And minutes after that, the Cavs traded Dwyane Wade back to Miami for a heavily-protected second-round pick.

Keep an eye on the seconds
The Sixers currently have four second-round picks in the 2018 NBA draft: 37, 42, 47 and 59.

If the Sixers want someone like Marco Belinelli of the Hawks, it might take two second-round picks. That, after all, is the price the Hawks themselves paid last year to acquire Ersan Ilyasova from the Sixers. Ilyasova and Belinelli have similar values.

Hawks players
Aside from Belinelli, the Sixers also reportedly have interest in Atlanta center Dewayne Dedmon, whose value has never been higher.

Dedmon, 28, is having a career year for the Hawks, averaging 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.7 blocks. He's shot 56.4 percent from the field, but what sticks out the most is his added floor spacing. Dedmon attempted one three-pointer in his first four NBA seasons. This year, he's averaging 0.7 makes on 1.7 attempts per game, shooting 39.3 percent from deep.

If the Sixers pony up, they could even acquire both Belinelli and Dedmon from the Hawks. They might even be able to get that done with a package of TLC and a couple second-round picks. Belinelli is a free agent at season's end, while Dedmon is on the books for one more year at $6.3 million.

Report: Markelle Fultz 'literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot'

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Report: Markelle Fultz 'literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot'

Updated: 10:14 p.m.

CAMDEN, N.J. — Markelle Fultz's shoulder saga has taken another turn.

After initially telling ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Fultz had his right shoulder drained of fluid during the preseason, Fultz's agent, Raymond Brothers, shared different medical details.

"He had a cortisone shot on Oct. 5, which means fluid was put into his shoulder — not taken out," Brothers told ESPN.

According to a team source, Fultz has been undergoing physiotherapy and has met with multiple specialists who have confirmed the Sixers' treatment plan. They are treating and monitoring Fultz on a daily basis for irritation and discomfort, per the team source.

Also, there is no structural damage to Fultz's shoulder, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark.

"My intention earlier was to let people know that he's been experiencing discomfort," Brothers said. "We will continue to work with (Sixers president of basketball operations) Bryan Colangelo and the medical staff."

In the report published Tuesday, Brothers painted a grim picture of Fultz's current health.

"He literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot the basketball,” Brothers said. “He decided to try and fight through the pain to help the team. He has a great attitude. We are committed to finding a solution to get Markelle back to 100 percent."

The problem became apparent during preseason play when Fultz altered his free throw form. The 2017 No. 1 pick acknowledged the impact his shoulder was having on his shot but emphasized he was not going to use it as an excuse. Fultz did not pinpoint a specific cause of injury, rather that it was an ongoing situation. 

His struggles carried over into the regular season. It’s not just that Fultz hasn’t been scoring the ball, it’s that he’s been hesitant to shoot it, especially outside the paint. He is 9 for 27 from the field and has not taken a single three-pointer in his first four games (6.0 points in 19.0 minutes). Fultz averaged 5.0 three-point attempts per game and shot 41.3 percent from long range in his only year at Washington. 

Fultz is shooting 6 for 12 from the line, including some ugly misses. He wasn’t stellar from the line in college (64.9 percent) but he has visibly been out of sync in the pros. 

Fultz hasn't looked like the same player who led the Pac-12 and all freshmen in the nation in scoring last season (23.2 points).

"From a basketball perspective, it's been encouraging to see that Markelle can get any shot he wants during the games, but he has been unable to shoot the ball," Brothers said.

The Sixers have not shut down Fultz during these struggles. Wojnarowski reported there has not been a decision if Fultz will miss any games “in the immediate future.” Head coach Brett Brown was asked about that possibility at practice on Tuesday before the ESPN report was published. 

“That’s a fair question,” Brown said. “They’re going through that on their side of the office right now, just trying to come up with a thoughtful plan to deliver Markelle further into the season. I don’t know what that’s going to be. I will, like I always am, [be] directed by the medical staff.”

The Sixers have encouraged Fultz to attack the basket, where he has showcased his spin moves and physicality at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. Fultz didn’t pay any attention to his injury when he dove after a loose ball in Monday’s win over the Pistons.

“We can’t dismiss the fact that there is some concern that he obviously has with his shoulder,” Brown said. “We continue to look at it. We continue to try to stay on top of that. But the other parts of his game, I think are stuff you step back and you can understand why he was the first player chosen.”

Any injury, big or small, is a hot topic on the Sixers given their lengthy medical history. Fultz’s health is particularly significant, however, because of what the Sixers gave up to land him in June. The Sixers traded their 2017 first-round pick (third overall) and the coveted 2018 Lakers first-round pick to move up to No. 1. 

The Sixers made such a drastic move in part because of Fultz’s ability to complement Ben Simmons off the ball. The initial thought was to have Simmons at point guard and Fultz at shooting guard in the backcourt together. Fultz barely got any preseason playing time because of injuries and, as a result, started the season coming off the bench. The Sixers have gone with veteran Jerryd Bayless at the two instead. 

The Sixers are dealing with an injured rookie for a fifth consecutive season. Unlike Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Simmons, Fultz has been able to play.