Throw another one on the pile: Sixers sign raw prospect center Daniel Orton

Throw another one on the pile: Sixers sign raw prospect center Daniel Orton

What do you do when you've already got a big man rotation stuffed with raw, unpolished, high-upside young'ns like Royce White, Gani Lawal and (eventually) Nerlens Noel? Why, go out and get another one, of course! Like any smart GM, Sam Hinkie knows that you can never buy too many lottery tickets, so he's dispensed of German center Tim Ohlbrecht (who reminded me too much of Spencer Hawes anyway in like the four minutes of game action I saw him in) and picked up former Oklahoma City Thunder center Daniel Orton.

The Sixers' new pickup is a 23-year-old third-year player, originally taken 29th in the 2010 draft by the Orlando Magic. Orton declared after one season in Kentucky in which he barely played at all, and since joining the pros, he's barely played there either, averaging just ten minutes a game across 29 games, most in garbage time. He did get some burn with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League last year, averaging a steady 13 points, eight boards and two blocks a game, with pretty good shooting numbers and peripherals.

As a young, athletic, decently skilled big man, Orton still has considerable untapped upside, which he's shown in his D-League and some extended Summer League minutes. But as with Tony Wroten, a recent first-rounder the Sixers poached from the Grizzlies for basically nothing, Hinkie was able to take advantage of the Thunder's contending nature to skim an asset off them that OKC wasn't going to have room to utilize anyway--they already have their hands full developing young project bigs (and more recent first-round draft selections) Steven Adams and Perry Jones III, and Orton was probably never going to pan out for them.

Chances are, he won't pan out for the Sixers either. He might not even make the team for the start of the season, as we currently have 20 players on our training camp roster, at least five of whom will not be on the roster for season's tip. But he could carve himself a nice role on the Delaware 87ers for the rest of 2013, and maybe show the Sixers what he can do in preparation for a mid-season callup. It's all tryouts this year with this team anyway, so no pressure and no rush.

Ultimately, another low-risk, medium-reward signing for Hinkie, so good news all around. Only bummer is that it means Orton is no longer as the same roster as Russell Westrbook, who he looks like a creepy blown-up version of, which is pretty hilarious.

RIP Ortbrook. Viva Hinkie.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

plain-peacock-logo.png

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Circumstances lead to new Sixer, rotation changes

usa-larry-drew.jpg
USA Today Images

Circumstances lead to new Sixer, rotation changes

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers' already-shorthanded backcourt will be down another key player against the Bulls.

T.J. McConnell will miss Wednesday’s game to attend his father-in-law's funeral. The Sixers, already down JJ Redick (leg) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist), signed guard Larry Drew II to a 10-day contract Thursday. 

There’s no easy substitution for McConnell, who has averaged 12.6 points, 5.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds off the bench in his last five games. So much of his contributions come from hustle.

“You’re especially going to hear us say that the energy and the sort of spark that he gives needs to be generated as a group through our defense,” Brett Brown said Tuesday. 

Brown plans to play starting point guard Ben Simmons more than his averaged 35.0 minutes. He also intends to utilize Drew, a familiar face who already has played on the Sixers through 10-day contracts and summer league. 

“I respect him,” Brown said of Drew. “He’s good. He’s solid. He’s a true point guard. He was a natural request from my side when these other injuries and circumstances, like T.J. is going through, happened.” 

Drew had been playing in the G League this season, averaging 11.3 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals for the Heat’s affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. 

“[Brown] gave me kind of the rundown of what he was expecting from me and I told him he has the man for the job,” Drew said. “Come in, run the team, just be a leader, get guys shots and take open jumpers when you have them. No turnovers, just take care of the ball.” 

Turnovers a hot topic
That last item on Drew’s to-do list was at the forefront of topics for Brown when he addressed the media the day after the Sixers’ 105-101 loss to the Grizzlies (see story). The team committed 10 of its 24 turnovers in the decisive fourth quarter, a number further magnified when those 10 errors led to 20 Grizzlies points. 

“We can say let’s just dribble it up the floor, post Jo (Joel Embiid), and I bet we reduce our turnovers,” Brown said. “Or you can say, we play with a pace, we play with a speed, we lead the NBA in passes, we’re amongst the elite in assists, we like the style of play. But it needs to be filtered, it needs to tempered. All those things end up my answer to where we’re feeling some pain.”

Brown said the players have to “own” their turnovers. Embiid (4.2) and Simmons (4.0) lead the team in that category. Brown noted it is his job as the coach to keep emphasizing it game after game. The Sixers rank worst in the NBA with 17.6 turnovers per game. 

“I don’t want to overreact to Memphis,” Brown said. “I’m not discounting it. It’s not in my bucket of, ‘Oh, there’s 82 games.' It isn’t that. It’s a stinky loss. It’s a poor loss. But we’re going to move on.”

Injury update
James Young (gastroenteritis) is questionable Wednesday against the Bulls.