76ers

Are Sixers falling behind in draft preparation during Bryan Colangelo investigation?

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Are Sixers falling behind in draft preparation during Bryan Colangelo investigation?

Whatever the outcome of the Sixers’ investigation into Bryan Colangelo’s alleged use of burner accounts on Twitter, the impact will be massive. Either the Sixers will be moving forward with a new president of basketball operations or Colangelo will have to somehow regain players’ trust, listen as the rest of the NBA jokes at his expense and try to convince free agents to come to Philadelphia (see story)

The team also has to be prepared for the NBA draft on June 21. Looking at last year’s pre-draft timeline, it’s fair to wonder whether the Sixers will be scrambling to get ready if they don’t make a decision on Colangelo soon.

May 17, 2017: Colangelo says he’s keeping all options open in the draft, including trading the No. 3 pick.

June 5, 2017: The Sixers hold their first official pre-draft workouts. In 2016, pre-draft workouts began on May 16.

June 16, 2017: The Sixers are reportedly in serious trade talks with the Celtics regarding the No. 1 overall pick.

June 17, 2017: Markelle Fultz works out with the Sixers.

June 20, 2017: The Sixers hold their final pre-draft workouts.

June 22, 2017: The Sixers officially trade up for the No. 1 overall pick and select Fultz.

While most draft preparation happens behind the scenes, it’s worth noting that Colangelo himself has said that he finds watching prospects in person to be an important part of the process.

“I’ve got several cases in history where I’ve gone from really liking a player to absolutely being assured that that’s the guy I wanted to pick,” he said last June, via Sixers.com.

“Sometimes you see something different. It might just be something that clicks at one of these group workouts that you might not have seen before. There are some things that do come to light at these workouts.”

Colangelo or whoever takes his job will likely already have a shorter period than usual to conduct pre-draft workouts at the Sixers facility in Camden, New Jersey.

On top of that, the chaos around the investigation has reportedly already led to Colangelo missing a number of agent-run workouts.

Still, even if the investigation were to drag on for weeks, it’s not as if the Sixers would have no idea what they were doing. The Sixers have scouts and members of the basketball operations team who are dedicated to the draft year-round, so they should be well-informed on the prospects, even if they do end up having to accelerate their typical pre-draft workout timeline.

Vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley would presumably play an important role if Colangelo is fired. In all likelihood, Eversley would have to collaborate with the basketball operations staff and Colangelo’s replacement to make the final decisions on the Sixers’ selections.

Sixers sign and then waive Shizz Alston Jr., Terry Harris for purpose of adding them to Delaware Blue Coats

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Sixers sign and then waive Shizz Alston Jr., Terry Harris for purpose of adding them to Delaware Blue Coats

Updated: 2:27 p.m.

The 2019-20 Delaware Blue Coats are shaping up to be a fascinating team.

The Sixers are signing and then waiving Terry Harris, Shizz Alston Jr., Julian Washburn, Jared Brownridge and Xavier Munford with the purpose of adding them to the Blue Coats. Harris' deal is an Exhibit 9 contract.

Terry Harris is the younger brother of Sixers forward Tobias Harris, whom the team re-signed to a five-year, $180 million contract this summer. Terry played for the Sixers this year in summer league and scored nine points in three games. The 6-foot-6 wing worked out with the Sixers in June and said "it would be a blessing" to play with Tobias for the first time since eighth grade. As a redshirt senior at North Carolina A&T, Terry averaged 8.1 points per game and shot 41.1 percent from three-point range. Outside shooting is his trademark skill.

Alston grew up in Philadelphia and attended The Haverford School before going to Temple, where he played for four years. The point guard had an excellent senior season, leading Temple to a 23-10 record and averaging 19.7 points and 5.0 assists per game. Like Harris, he had a pre-draft workout for the Sixers. Alston played with the Indiana Pacers in summer league and scored 24 points across three contests.

The 6-foot-8 Washburn has 136 career games of experience in the G League, including 38 last season between the Austin Spurs and Memphis Hustle. He signed a two-way contract with the Grizzlies in January and appeared in 18 NBA games last year, averaging 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds. Washburn was part of the trade between the Grizzlies and Warriors in July involving Andre Iguodala, and was later waived by Golden State.

Brownridge, who played his college ball at Santa Clara, played 49 games (27 starts) with the Blue Coats last season. He led the G-League in threes made with 187.

Munford spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. He's also played in China and Spain after his collegiate career at Rhode Island ended.

In addition to Washburn, Alston, Harris, Brownridge and Munford, 7-foot-3 Christ Koumadje, Saint Joseph's product Isaiah Miles and Haywood Highsmith are candidates for the Blue Coats this season. Those three players were part of the Sixers' preseason roster and will be waived (see story).

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Sixers waive Christ Koumadje, Haywood Highsmith and Isaiah Miles

Sixers waive Christ Koumadje, Haywood Highsmith and Isaiah Miles

Updated: 2:17 p.m.

The Sixers have waived Christ Koumadje, Isaiah Miles and Haywood Highsmith. Those moves leave the team with its regular-season roster of 15 players, with Marial Shayok and Norvel Pelle on two-way contracts.

Because Koumadje, Miles and Highsmith signed Exhibit 10 contracts this summer, they can be incentivized to join the Delaware Blue Coats. Under the terms of an Exhibit 10 deal, a player who is waived can receive a bonus of up to $50,000 if he signs with the team's G-League affiliate and stays there for at least 60 days. 

Koumadje played four years of college basketball at Florida State and stands 7-foot-3 without shoes. He’s seeking to become the first NBA player from the country of Chad. Senior vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley said in June at a pre-draft workout featuring Koumadje that the big man is agile for his size, which Koumadje attributed to playing soccer and running before fully focusing on basketball.

Koumadje has been seen working on his game with 7-foot-2 player development specialist Roy Hibbert. He said at media day that the Sixers’ player development staff has been helping him develop some of the finer points of his offensive game, such as non-dunk finishes near the basket and ball handling.

A 6-foot-4 wing, Highsmith played in 46 games for the Blue Coats last season, averaging 12.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He also played in five games for the Sixers, with the team converting his contract to a two-way deal in January. Highsmith, who was waived by the team this summer to free up the two-way spot used on Pelle before signing his Exhibit 10 deal, played at Division II Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

Miles played his college basketball much closer to the Wells Fargo Center, at Saint Joseph’s, and is, like Highsmith, a native of Baltimore, Maryland. The 25-year-old was on the Sixers’ summer league teams in 2017-18 and 2018-19, and last played for Limoges CSP in France’s Pro-A league.

Based on what we saw in the preseason, below is a rough, projected depth chart by position. The backup point guard picture isn't yet clear, while several of the players at the shooting guard and small forward spots are interchangeable:

Point guard

Starter: Ben Simmons

Depth: Josh Richardson, Raul Neto/Trey Burke, Shake Milton

Shooting guard

Starter: Josh Richardson

Depth: Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton, Zhaire Smith, Marial Shayok (Two-way player)

Small forward

Starter: Tobias Harris

Depth: James Ennis, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz

Power forward

Starter: Al Horford 

Depth: Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Jonah Bolden 

Center

Starter: Joel Embiid

Depth: Al Horford, Kyle O’Quinn, Jonah Bolden, Ben Simmons, Mike Scott, Norvel Pelle (Two-way player) 

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