76ers

Sixers rookies Landry Shamet, Shake Milton receive good (!) injury news

Sixers rookies Landry Shamet, Shake Milton receive good (!) injury news

Finally, some good health news, Sixers fans.

While Zhaire Smith continues an unfortunate trend of Sixers’ rookies suffering injuries, two other 2018 draft picks are progressing.

First-round pick Landry Shamet (sprained right ankle) and second-round pick Shake Milton (stress fracture in his back) are both asymptomatic, the team said Monday.

Shamet has been cleared for “light basketball activities” while Milton can “resume limited basketball activities.”

Shamet, a guard out of Wichita State, got banged up in the first half of the Sixers’ first summer league game against the Celtics. Shamet logged just 12 minutes before suffering the ankle sprain. He hit 2 of 5 from three for six points during the stint.

Milton never got the opportunity to play in summer league having suffered his injury during the pre-draft process. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward out of SMU is on a two-way contract with the Sixers, meaning he’ll spend the majority of his season with the Delaware Blue Coats and can spend no more 45 days with the big club.

Smith, the 16th overall pick acquired in a draft-night trade with the Suns, suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot and underwent successful surgery last week. There’s been no timetable for his return.

Both Shamet and Milton offer something the Sixers covet: shooting. Shamet shot 44 percent on 5.1 threes a game in 71 games. Milton was also proficient, shooting 43 percent on 5.1 attempts from distance in 87 games.

The Sixers’ rotation should be a tough one to crack this season, but being healthy for camp would be a fine start for Shamet and Milton.

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Sixers injury update: Jimmy Butler (groin) doubtful Wednesday vs. Nets

Sixers injury update: Jimmy Butler (groin) doubtful Wednesday vs. Nets

CAMDEN, N.J. — After straining his groin in the Sixers’ win over the Pistons Monday night, Jimmy Butler is doubtful for Wednesday’s game against the Nets.

Butler exited early in the second quarter after playing nine minutes against Detroit and did not return. He did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. 

Head coach Brett Brown said Butler had an MRI, which “came back favorable” and “revealed nothing significant.”

Brown had no insight into Butler’s status beyond Wednesday night or what caused Butler’s injury.

If Butler doesn’t play, Brown said he expects T.J. McConnell, Landry Shamet and Furkan Korkmaz to fill his minutes.

Shamet started in Butler’s place in the second half vs. Detroit.

Those three players all scored in double figures Monday, with Korkmaz posting a career-high 18 points.

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Sixers trade rumors: Breaking down Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's fit

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Sixers trade rumors: Breaking down Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's fit

A popular name among Sixers fans came up in a trade rumor over this past weekend.

Suns swingman Trevor Ariza was mentioned in a possible move to the Lakers, per ESPN.

Ariza going elsewhere could be disappointing to some, but the reason we’re writing about it is that the Sixers are mentioned as a team that could help facilitate the deal. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is reportedly unhappy with his role and the Sixers "could be a landing spot," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Caldwell-Pope is an interesting player for the Sixers. The team needs bench help — either guys that can guard or guys that can shoot. Caldwell-Pope is a strong defender, both on the ball and at getting deflections. His length and athleticism are a big part of that. Aside from Jimmy Butler, he’d become the Sixers’ best defensive wing.

His shot has been inconsistent since he entered the league. He shot a career-high 38 percent from three last season but that number has dipped to 34 percent this year. Over the last two-plus seasons, he’s been right around the league average at 36 percent on 5.4 attempts a night. He’s still just 25 years old. Looking back at Ariza’s career, he didn’t become a consistent three-and-D guy until his age-27 season. 

Caldwell-Pope, the eighth overall pick in 2013, has also seen a reduced role this season. The Lakers signed some guy named LeBron James, and Caldwell-Pope is playing just 21.5 minutes a night. With younger perimeter guys like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart getting a larger role this season, there isn’t as much burn for Caldwell-Pope.

If he were traded to the Sixers, he’d likely become their sixth man almost immediately. He can provide more on both ends than Landry Shamet, T.J. McConnell or, when he’s healthy, Markelle Fultz.

A three-team swap between the Sixers, Lakers and Suns would be a little tricky. Ariza is making $15 million this season while Caldwell-Pope is making $12 million. Since both players were signed this offseason, neither player can be moved until Dec. 15.

What would the Sixers have to give up? Well, they’d basically have to dump salary to the Suns in order to make the deal work. They do have a $2,526,840 trade exception from the Butler deal — since they gave up more salary than they took on — so that should certainly help. But as far as actual assets, it’s hard to say.

If the cost is a couple bottom-of-the-roster players and cash, that’s a no-brainer. Caldwell-Pope becomes your best bench option and his contract expires at the end of the season. Also, the Lakers are likely giving up a lot more to acquire Ariza than what the Sixers will to get Caldwell-Pope.

Caldwell-Pope is not Ariza, but he’s an upgrade over what you have and a pretty damn good consolation prize.

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