76ers

Sixers officially add JJ Redick, Wilson Chandler

Sixers officially add JJ Redick, Wilson Chandler

The Sixers officially announced some of their offseason moves Friday.

As was previously reported, JJ Redick has re-signed with the Sixers, while the team has acquired Wilson Chandler, a 2021 second-round pick and the right to swap 2022 second-rounders in a trade with the Nuggets. The Sixers reportedly sent minimal cash considerations to Denver for Chandler and the draft considerations.

The Sixers also announced the trade that was reported the night prior to the June 21 draft. This was the deal in which the team sent the rights to Isaac Bonga (No. 39 overall) to the Lakers for the Bulls' 2019 second-round selection (via the Lakers) and cash considerations.

However, the Sixers had no announcement on the reported Nemanja Bjelica acquisition as well as the reported Amir Johnson re-signing, which we'll get more into below:

• Redick, who made $23 million last season, reportedly agreed to a one-year deal for between $12-13 million. The Sixers did not disclose any details of the deal. The 34-year-old guard posted a career-high 17.1 points per game and shot 42 percent from three-point range in 2017-18. 

“Our ability to retain JJ is big for us and his obvious shooting skills are only a part of his importance to our team,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said in a release by the team Friday. “His leadership and professionalism add to the overall special package that he brings to our team, and all of this makes him incredibly valuable. Our ability to maintain continuity will strengthen the team’s continued growth and certainly puts us in better shape as the season begins.”

• Like Redick, Johnson will reportedly take a substantial pay cut. After making $11 million last season, Johnson will reportedly sign a one-year, veteran minimum ($2.4 million) contract. The winner of the NBA’s Hustle Award, Johnson averaged 4.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season backing up Joel Embiid. Brown values his defense and veteran presence. The Sixers did not have any word regarding Johnson.

• And the same goes for Bjelica, who the Sixers will reportedly add using the room mid-level exception (one year, $4.4 million). With his outside shooting prowess, the Sixers will look to Bjelica to fill many of the roles the departing Ersan Ilyasova played. The 6-foot-10 Bjelica, who posted 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounders per contest for the Timberwolves last season, shot a career-best 41.5 percent from long range.

• Chandler, an 11-year veteran, should provide some of the athleticism and ability to create his own shot the Sixers were missing from their wing players off the bench in 2017-18. For his career, Chandler is a slightly below-average three-pointer shooter at 34.1 percent. He’s started 447 of 590 games in the NBA. Last season, he posted 10 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. The Sixers absorbed Chandler’s $12.8 million salary.

"This team is built to compete for a ring, and I look forward to helping them achieve that goal," Chandler said in the release. "I know how passionate the city is about basketball, and I can’t wait to suit up and play for the 76ers and their fans."

With the signings of first-round picks Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet, the Sixers’ roster will be at 17 players once the Bjelica and Johnson signings become official. Second-round selection Shake Milton, who will miss summer league with a stress fracture in his back, has yet to be signed and draft-and-stash Jonah Bolden said he plans on playing for the Sixers in 2018-19.

The Sixers will have to trim their roster down to 15 players or fewer by the start of the season. 

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It sounds like Brett Brown has a long-term plan without Ben Simmons in mind

It sounds like Brett Brown has a long-term plan without Ben Simmons in mind

Updated: Tuesday, 5:09 p.m.

We now have a diagnosis on Ben Simmons' injury. Simmons suffered a nerve impingement in his lower back and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, a team source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Philadelphia (see story). Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the news.

Speaking before the Sixers' win Monday night over the Hawks, head coach Brett Brown was unsure how long the injury would sideline Simmons. The 23-year-old sustained the injury at practice Wednesday going up for a rebound, according to Brown, and irritated it in the first quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Bucks.

“I don’t know,” Brown said. “And it really is like how long is a piece of string — who knows? Who knows? … Whatever the time equals on days, games, period of time, we can talk more honestly as this thing shakes out.”

However, it sounded as if Brown was preparing for his two-time All-Star point guard to be out for a while. He framed the situation as one the Sixers can cope with if other players take advantage of the chance to play expanded roles.

There’s 25 games left. … It’s an eternity,” he said. “Just keep going back to the end game. What’s the bottom line? I’ll say it again — if you get their health and their spirit, it’s got a chance to equal form. … And it’s all about landing the plane. And so with 25 games left, we’ve taken a hit with Ben. 

"I do see it this way. I’m not spinning it. It’s an opportunity for us to learn and something will emerge. And we need something to emerge. It’s not like we were all saying, ‘Oh, here it is, it’s anointed.’ It wasn’t that. So, I think we’re going to learn something and find something. If this was six games out, I wouldn’t be telling you this story. When it’s 25 games out, it is, with all my heart, what I think. That’s what I said to the team, that’s what I really think and that’s what I’m going to try to pull off.

Who specifically will take over ball handling duties? Brown said it “will be done by committee” for the time being, and he named a few players who he expects to be in that mix. Monday night, the team started Shake Milton, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Joel Embiid. 

“The candidates could be Raul Neto or [Furkan Korkmaz] or Alec Burks or J-Rich, Shake," he said. "So, you have capable people that aren’t traditional point guards but have the ability to get the ball up the floor. Then at that point, you’re probably going to have to be in something that has motion and continuity instead of just giving Chris Paul the ball and saying, ‘Go to work’ out of a pick-and-roll, as an example.”

Regardless of Brown’s attitude, the tangible impact of not having Simmons will clearly be significant. He leads the league in steals, has assisted on the most three-pointers and is a highly athletic, versatile and talented player.

The loss of all those attributes will no doubt be difficult to overcome.

“When there is a vacuum, as there is right now with Ben, something will happen,” Brown said. “Somebody will step up. I’m trying to see the world through those eyes, and I really do — it’s not even creative coach speak. I see it as an opportunity, and I think I need to see it that way.”

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Sixers injury update: Ben Simmons suffered nerve impingement in lower back

Sixers injury update: Ben Simmons suffered nerve impingement in lower back

Ben Simmons suffered a nerve impingement in his lower back and will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks, a team source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Simmons will undergo daily treatment. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the news. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports “there's little expectation that [Simmons would] be ready to return to lineup that soon,” and says “doctors are hopeful treatment can drive improvement, but Sixers are preparing to play without him." 

According to head coach Brett Brown, Simmons was first injured at the team’s practice last Wednesday. The 23-year-old All-Star missed the team’s first game after the All-Star break, a win Thursday over the Nets. 

“It was a play where he went up for a rebound and I looked over and he left the court, and went and got treatment,” Brown said Thursday. “And it has played out as it has played out. We don’t believe it’s anything too significant.”

Simmons sat out the Sixers’ game vs. the Nets on Thursday and played Saturday in Milwaukee. He appeared to be in discomfort after drawing a foul in the first quarter on the Bucks’ Brook Lopez. The 23-year-old stayed in the game to make 1 of 2 free throws, then exited when Matisse Thybulle committed a foul to create a stoppage of play and ensure Simmons could return to the locker room.

Ahead of the game against the Bucks, Simmons had averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 assists, 7.9 rebounds and a league-best 2.2 steals. He’d played 36.3 minutes per game, most on the Sixers and third-highest in the NBA ahead of Saturday’s games. 

Brown talked before the Sixers’ win Monday over the Hawks as if he was prepared for a long-term absence. He said the team would split up ball handling responsibilities by committee, with Shake Milton, Josh Richardson and Alec Burks among the possible candidates. Milton started on Monday. 

The 36-22 Sixers are fifth in the Eastern Conference and play the Cavaliers on Wednesday night in Cleveland. 

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