Kris Humphries

Jacob Pullen's contract converted to 2-way deal as Sixers make series of roster moves

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Jacob Pullen's contract converted to 2-way deal as Sixers make series of roster moves

UPDATED: 6:35 p.m.

The Sixers made a series of moves to shape their roster five days before the start of the regular season.

The team converted the contract of point guard Jacob Pullen to a two-way deal. In this new contract created by the league for this season, Pullen will play for the Delaware 87ers in the G League and can spend a maximum of 45 days with the Sixers (excluding time with the Sixers before the Sevens’ training camp). Each NBA team can sign two players to this deal. The Sixers previously inked James Michael McAdoo to one.

Pullen came to Sixers' training camp with a lengthy international resume. He averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 assists in 6.8 minutes in four games during the preseason.

“He's been an A-plus teammate, A-plus worker, no back down,” Brett Brown said of Pullen Friday (see story). “I think all those things have made him a really professional addition to our roster.”

The Sixers also waived six players: guards Andrew Andrews and James Blackmon Jr., forwards Kris Humphries, Marc Loving and James Webb III and center Emeka Okafor.

Initially, Humphries seemed like he had a chance to break into the roster. At 32, he could bring a veteran presence to the bench. He was physical in early practices and the scrimmage at the Palestra, looking like someone who could push his younger teammates competitively. Humphries, though, scored three points in as many preseason games and did not make an impact on the court.

Okafor was attempting an NBA comeback with the Sixers. He suffered a herniated cervical disc in 2013 and had not played in the league since then. The veteran was a long shot to make the team, but the Sixers needed depth at the center position because of the restrictions on Joel Embiid and later the wrist injury of Richaun Holmes. The 35-year-old Okafor will play in the G League for the 87ers, according to a report from ESPN's Ian Begley.

Blackmon Jr. had been with the Sixers since their minicamp in June. He played for their summer league teams as well. Blackmon Jr. averaged 3.0 points in 5.6 minutes over four preseason games.

Webb III is a familiar face within the organization. He went through Sixers training camp last year and played for the 87ers last season. Webb averaged 13.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in 34.8 minutes before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in March.

Andrews, a guard, averaged 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for Best Balikesir Basketbol Kulubu of the Turkish Basketball Super League last season. He played four years at Washington, the same school as Markelle Fultz.

The forward Loving went undrafted out of Ohio State this summer. He played four seasons of collegiate basketball and averaged 12.3 points and 4.7 rebounds as a senior.

The Sixers open the regular season Wednesday night in Washington, D.C. against the Wizards.

Give and Go: Which Sixer has been most disappointing through camp, preseason?

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Give and Go: Which Sixer has been most disappointing through camp, preseason?

Each week, our resident basketball analysts will discuss some of the hottest topics involving the Sixers.

Running the Give and Go are NBC Sports Philadelphia anchor/reporter Marshall Harris and producer/reporters Matt Haughton Paul Hudrick.

This week, we'll break down which Sixer has been the most impressive during training camp and preseason so far.

Harris
For me, it's Nik Stauskas. And there were others who were close (Kris Humphries comes to mind and it's completely unrelated to the boos). After two seasons with the Sixers, we know what Stauskas is. While his three-point percentage was up from 32.6 to 36.8 last season, his field-goal percentage still has never hit 40 percent in three seasons.

The Sixers signed JJ Redick, drafted Markelle Fultz, and welcomed a healthy Jerryd Bayless back into the fold. Compare Stauskas to those players (understanding that the Sixers traded up to acquire Fultz with the No. 1 pick) and the glaring weaknesses of Stauskas at shooting guard become even more evident.

A roster crunch is coming. Watching Stauskas go 2 for 11 from the field in two preseason games hasn't done anything to lead me to believe he's the answer to rounding out even the bottom of the roster.

Haughton
This is a joke, right? Seriously, this can’t be the real Kris Humphries.

The veteran big man has always been at least a serviceable body off the bench in the NBA, but those days may be over based on his play so far with the Sixers. 

In two preseason games with the team, Humphries has played 15 total minutes. He has managed to grab five rebounds in that time, which would be a solid amount if not for the numerous other boards grabbed as he was pushed aside by opponents. Then there is the offensive end where Humphries is 0 for 4 from the field (0 for 2 from three), has two turnovers and just generally looks lost.

It’s hard to explain when you think back that Humphries was just a contributor for a playoff team in the Atlanta Hawks, a squad that runs the same system as Brett Brown with fellow former Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer as head coach.

Perhaps at 32 years old and 13 years into his NBA career, time has simply caught up with Humphries. If that’s the case, he will continue to hear boo birds from fans until he receives his pink slip.

Hudrick
Marshall and Matt sort of nailed it, so my pick is Fultz. I know, I know. It's really not fair after one preseason game, but that one game was a microcosm of Fultz's issues.

Fultz has always played the point and is used to having the ball in his hands. He has a long ways to go to learn the nuances of playing off the ball with Ben Simmons running the show. 

Defense. It was a concern at Washington. It's a concern after the first preseason game. 

The shot will come, but he's obviously reworking it. I trust Brown, who's helped several players improve their jumper, but it will certainly be a work in progress.

With all that said, he was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. He's 19 years old. He showed flashes during the summer league and even against Memphis last week. I still believe Fultz becomes an elite offensive player in the NBA.

So don't panic, Sixers fans. All of this is to be expected for Fultz. It's a process.

You just have to trust it.

Charles Barkley surprises Sixers, tells them to 'make the playoffs'

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USA Today Images

Charles Barkley surprises Sixers, tells them to 'make the playoffs'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Charles Barkley has been vocal over the summer about his expectations for the Sixers to make the playoffs

This week, he let them know.

Head coach Brett Brown hosted the Sixers at his home for a team gathering on Monday. The team arranged for Barkley to arrive as a surprise guest for the players. 

Barkley delivered his message loud and clear.

“Pretty much, make the playoffs,” Richaun Holmes said on Tuesday at training camp.  

Barkley, a Hall of Fame inductee in 2006, spent eight seasons in Philadelphia. He saw his number retired in 2001. The Sixers watched highlights of his storied career during the night. 

“He had some really encouraging words for us and talked to us about what it means to play in Philly and his experience,” Kris Humphries said. “Above all, Chuck’s always entertaining, so [we] had some good laughs, too.”

The Sixers are on board with Barkley’s aspirations. This season they have the opportunity to make the jump among the top eight teams in the East. Between adding to their roster and opponents trading away key players, the conference is wide open for new faces in the postseason. 

“Our goal is to make the playoffs,” Brown said. “There are several other teams … that are in a room saying something similar. For me, let’s talk about what that really means and let’s very much zoom in on the things that will allow us to do that.” 

The Sixers will strive to play beyond April 11. The team knows the steps it has to take in order for Barkley to say, "I told you so." 

“I feel once everybody’s on the same page and doesn’t care about anything but winning … that’s when I think we’ll be a great team,” Amir Johnson said.