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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.

Sixers reportedly rebuffed in attempt to hire Rockets GM Daryl Morey

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Sixers reportedly rebuffed in attempt to hire Rockets GM Daryl Morey

Well, you can’t say the Sixers aren’t aiming high.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Sixers “have been rebuffed in their attempt to hire away Houston's Daryl Morey to take over as their new general manager.” Stein added that the team had great interest in Morey, but he couldn’t be lured away from the Rockets.

Morey, who has served as the Rockets’ general manager since 2007, was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year after Houston secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a franchise-best 65-17 record during the 2017-18 regular season.

Morey obviously fits the Sixers from a surface standpoint with his analytics background, commitment to building a pace-and-space roster and desire to chase stars. However, what makes the Sixers’ desire in him really interesting is that Morey is the mentor of former Sixers front office executive Sam Hinkie.

Bryan Colangelo, the man who replaced Hinkie in the Sixers’ front office, resigned in June after a scandal involving multiple secret Twitter accounts rocked the franchise. Head coach Brett Brown took over as interim general manager following Colangelo's resignation.

The Sixers have been patient throughout their search as managing owner Josh Harris recently said there is no timetable to select a candidate.

“We’re just getting focused on it now, given everything with free agency and the draft, and also the other GMs are in the same place. We’re looking for the right person,” Harris told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Amy Fadool last week (see story). “One of the things that Bryan Colangelo did really well was we built a great staff, whether it be (vice president of basketball operations and chief of staff) Ned Cohen or (vice president of analytics and strategy) Alex Rucker or (vice president of player personnel) Marc Eversley or (Delaware Blue Coats general manger) Elton Brand, we have a lot of great people. It’s very consensus-oriented, there’s a lot of people in the dialogue, and we want to make sure we find the right fit for that. 

“It’s not going to be easy. My guess is it’s going to take awhile. And we’re obviously focused on doing it as quickly as possible, but at the same time I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations — it could take a little while. So we’re just starting that.”

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Sixers officially bring back Amir Johnson on 1-year contract

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Sixers officially bring back Amir Johnson on 1-year contract

The band is back together.

The Sixers are still making their offseason moves official, which is what happened on Monday when the team officially announced a one-year deal to bring back Amir Johnson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is reportedly worth the veteran’s minimum, which would be $2.39 million for the center.

“Our experience with Amir last year confirms to us, on so many levels, that he is a perfect fit for our young and developing team,” Brett Brown said in a statement. “His work ethic, leadership and buy-in to team-first basketball all comes to mind when I think of his value to our ball club and his acceptance of a backup role to All-Star Joel Embiid is priceless. We are thrilled to have Amir and his family back in our program and I know this feeling is a shared by all of his teammates.”

Johnson, the last player drafted into the NBA straight from high school, spent his 13th professional season with the Sixers in 2017-18. The 31-year-old averaged 4.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 15.8 minutes a night.

However, it was the little things Johnson did that really added up for the Sixers. The big man had the highest aggregate hustle score, which measures screen assists, deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn and contested shots per contest, to win the league’s second-ever Hustle Award. 

“This is definitely an honor,” Johnson said after receiving the award. “I pride myself on doing the little things on the court and I just want to say thank you to my teammates and coaches. This award means a lot.”

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