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."
There's a reason why the Sixers hadn't announced the acquisition of Nemanja Bjelica.
No dotted line was ever inked.
The free-agent power forward, who had reportedly agreed to a one-year deal earlier this month, informed the Sixers on Tuesday he will not sign and instead return to Europe, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news.
The 30-year-old Bjelica, who reportedly agreed on the mid-level exception, was seen as a cheaper and younger replacement for Ersan Ilyasova, who signed with the Bucks.
A 6-foot-10, 240-pounder from Serbia, Bjelica played three seasons with the Timberwolves. Last year in Minnesota, he set career highs in minutes (20.5), points per game (6.8), rebounds per game (4.1), three-point percentage (41.5) and three-pointers made (76).
Along with Ilyasova, the Sixers also lost key bench contributor Marco Belinelli in free agency. They acquired Wilson Chandler in a trade with the Nuggets and may possibly go forward with internal options to fill out pieces to their second unit.
The team on Monday officially re-signed big man Amir Johnson. It also has some size and shooting ability along the wing in Justin Anderson (6-6), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (6-6) and Furkan Korkmaz (6-7).
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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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