Hidden in Chad Ford's latest NBA mock draft is a nugget that could directly involve the Sixers.
The Kings apparently want De'Aaron Fox and they might need to trade up to get him.
"There's talk inside the organization about combining picks Nos. 5 and 10 to move up in the draft to secure Fox," Ford writes. "If they found a taker, that would be a high price to pay to move up two to three spots."
A high price, and a price the Sixers would certainly have to consider accepting, especially because they should still be able to get Kentucky sharpshooter Malik Monk, who fills a glaring need but isn't necessarily the best value at three.
Should the Sixers trade the third pick for Nos. 5 and 10, they'll have a little more wiggle room to take some chances. Monk would fill the need, and the other pick could be used on a riskier, more developmental pick. Ford's mock draft currently has French point guard Frank Ntilikina going at No. 10, which could make sense if the Sixers end up owning that selection. Here's Ford's assessment of Ntilikina:
"Ntilikina has great size for his position, plays with strength and displays a great feel. He's also an improving shooter. He reminds me a bit of George Hill," Ford writes. "… He's more raw than the other elite point guard prospects, but at this point in the draft he's a great get."
But the Sixers' question of who to take won't disappear even if they do move back. Ford has Dennis Smith Jr. slotted at No. 9, and if he ends up being wrong there, Smith Jr. could be another option. Or if they take a guard at No. 5, a wing might be the better option at No. 10.
Other players Ford sees potentially getting looks at No. 10 include Duke guard Luke Kennard, Duke forward Harry Giles and Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell.
The Sixers are not quite done making moves this offseason.
The team on Friday sent big man Richaun Holmes to the Suns for cash considerations and signed 2017 second-round pick Jonah Bolden to a four-year deal, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark.
Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania first reported the trade and Bolden's signing.
With these moves, the Sixers’ roster remains at 15 players, but that could change if the team finds a way to rid themselves of Jerryd Bayless’ contract — say, in a trade with Cleveland (see story).
The writing has been on the wall for Holmes. Now entering his fourth year, the 2015 second-round pick struggled to find a role in Brett Brown’s rotation last season with a healthy Joel Embiid and veteran Amir Johnson in the fold. While he offered energy, athleticism and weakside rim protection off the bench, Holmes lacked discipline defensively, something Brown hasn’t tolerated during his tenure.
Bolden will essentially take Holmes’ spot on the roster as a developmental big. With quicker feet defensively, Bolden has more versatility to guard fours. While his summer league performance was underwhelming offensively, Bolden did impress defensively, especially against No. 1 pick DeAndre Ayton. It’s important to note that the third and fourth years of Bolden’s deal are not guaranteed, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic.
Drafted by the Sixers out of Bowling Green State, Holmes flashed at times but was only able to get into 48 games this season, averaging 15.5 minutes a contest. He averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 156 career games with the Sixers.
A native Australian, Bolden attended UCLA for one year before heading overseas to play for FMP Beograd of the Adriatic League. As a draft and stash this past season, Bolden played for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and tested his skills in the EuroLeague. He averaged 7.2 points and six rebounds in 20.8 minutes a game. He’s shown flashes of a jump shot but shot just 31 percent from three this season abroad and 24 percent in summer league action.
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The Sixers have been searching for a way to end their partnership with Jerryd Bayless for some time now. And while a resolution may finally be coming into shape, it’s far from a sure thing.
The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey first reported Thursday that the Sixers have had discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers about a trade involving Bayless and Kyle Korver.
However, The New York Times’ Marc Stein added Friday that while a potential deal involving the two sides is “possible” it’s also “far from certain.”
Bayless has one year remaining on his contract at $8.57 million.
Korver has two years left on his deal for $7.56 million in 2018-19 and $7.5 million the following season. Of that 2019-20 salary, only $3.44 million is guaranteed if Korver remains on the team after July 7, 2019. The money becomes fully guaranteed after that point.
Any deal for the Cavaliers to take on Bayless would likely also involve a draft pick going back to Cleveland. The Sixers currently have control of most of their own assets, including six total second-round selections in the next two drafts.
Korver, who spent the first four-plus years of his career with the Sixers, is still getting it done in the NBA at 37 years old. The veteran sharpshooter played in 73 games regular-season games last season for the Cavs and averaged 9.2 points a night on 43.6 percent three-point shooting (sixth-best in the NBA).
Meanwhile, Bayless fell out of the rotation in Year 2 of his three-year, $27 million contract with the Sixers. The 29-year-old guard was a DNP-CD for 39 of the Sixers’ final 40 games, including playoffs, with the lone appearance being a showing for 1:44 in the team’s Game 1 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
In all, Bayless played in just 39 contests and averaged 7.9 points (41.6 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent shooting from three-point range).
“It wasn’t easy,” Bayless said during exit interviews of his diminished role as the season went on. “This whole year from an individual standpoint wasn’t the easiest. But, at the same time, when you’re around a group of guys that we had and the success that we had, it made it easier.
“I’m really grateful that I was able to be a part of this organization this year. We’ll see what happens moving forward.”
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