76ers

Sixers, De'Aaron Fox to have individual workout Saturday

Sixers, De'Aaron Fox to have individual workout Saturday

The Sixers will hold an individual workout for De'Aaron Fox on Saturday, hosting the possible fit for the No. 3 pick less than one week before the draft.

The standout Kentucky point guard met with the Sixers during the combine in May. He is confident he can play off the ball to complement Ben Simmons in the backcourt.

"They asked me about it, Ben being able to bring the ball up the court and being a facilitator," Fox said in May. "I feel like I'm shooting it a lot better. Once I'm getting back to how I shot it in high school, I feel like I could really fit with Ben. He's fast. I feel like the position he plays, not many people can grab a rebound and push it with the speed and vision that he has.

"I am comfortable moving off the ball, but I have to show people that I can do it. No one really thinks I can do it because I struggled shooting it in college. I started shooting it well at the end of the year and I feel like if I'm knocking down shots, I'm very comfortable off the ball."

Fox averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds at Kentucky. He shot 47.8 percent from the field.

"De'Aaron's so quick, he's so agile," Fox's college teammate Isaac Humphries said at a Sixers workout on Friday. "He controls the floor so well. He can jump, he's athletic, he's a great leader. I loved playing with him just because of how he can shoot the ball and create for his team."

The Sixers also worked out Kentucky sharpshooter Malik Monk on Thursday.

The team will hold a group workout with SMU guard Sterling Brown, Baskonka center Ilimane Diop, Maryland center Damonte Dodd, Mega Leks center Alpha Kaba, Vanderbilt forward Luke Kornet, and Iowa State guard Naz Long on Saturday before Fox.

Movement of 2014 picks highlights how well Sixers did in that draft

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Movement of 2014 picks highlights how well Sixers did in that draft

Despite it taking place over four years ago, the 2014 NBA draft continues to look better by the day for the Sixers.

Of course, that’s the draft in which the Sixers selected Joel Embiid at No. 3 and dealt the No. 10 choice (Elfrid Payton) to the Orlando Magic for the rights to Dario Saric at No. 12 along with a pair of draft picks.

Even recapping that first-round haul for the Sixers should bring a grin across your face.

That’s mainly because of what is transpiring with the careers of the other players from that draft class.

The latest move was the No. 2 overall pick that night, Jabari Parker, being allowed by the Milwaukee Bucks to sign an offer sheet to join his hometown Chicago Bulls earlier this week.

Now think back to 2014. Remember when people were hoping and praying the Sixers would be able to move up a spot or two to snag Parker or eventual top pick Andrew Wiggins? Recall how some didn’t want to touch Embiid, who was coming off a back injury at Kansas and suffered a broken bone in his foot during the pre-draft process? Add on those that weren't supportive of grabbing the then-mysterious Saric (you know he's never coming over, right?).

It’s unlikely you’ll hear those individuals speak up now. Not with Embiid as the Sixers’ All-Star anchor in the middle and Saric serving as a rock-solid forward next to him.

And they’ll be even quieter once you factor in the statuses of those other 2014 selections.

Look at Wiggins. Yes, he’s found a home in Minnesota and even signed a $146 million extension prior to last season. However, his inconsistency has been maddening at times and even forced Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to recently say he’s not ready to give up on the 23-year-old swingman.

When it comes to Parker, the Bucks let him walk for a reason. The combo forward suffered two torn ACLs in his four-year stint in Milwaukee. And while he was a solid contributor when on the floor, it was clear the Bucks now run through budding star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Even after that trio at the top, things aren’t exactly booming career-wise for the players that followed in the draft. 

Aaron Gordon, the No. 4 overall pick, inked an $80 million deal this summer to remain in Orlando for the next four seasons. However, the team has a 114-214 record since Gordon was drafted.

The Jazz committed $33 million over three years to guard Dante Exum earlier this offseason. But realistically, the team had so much confidence in the oft-injured fifth pick in ’14 that it drafted Donovan Mitchell and acquired Ricky Rubio from the Timberwolves just a year ago.

There are plenty of solid players after the top five from the 2014 draft, but none of them are the caliber of Embiid and few measure up to Saric.

Things really get hairy when you take a look at the middle of the lottery. Former Sixer Nik Stauskas, who was taken eighth, is now on his fourth NBA team. Noah Vonleh was picked ninth and is now playing for his third franchise. Payton was the Sixers’ pick at No. 10 before being shipped to Orlando. He signed to join the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency earlier this month, which marks his third team in four years. And the 11th name called that night, Doug McDermott, will suit up for his fifth NBA team when next season rolls around.

In all, only 10 of the 30 players taken in the first round in 2014 are with the original team they suited up for on opening night (that includes Marcus Smart and Clint Capela, who remain on the market as restricted free agents).

Two of them are Embiid and Saric, who are still helping the Sixers climb from the cellar just a few years ago to the top of the NBA food chain.

Not a bad draft haul at all and it looks even better now.

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Spurs reportedly trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors

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Spurs reportedly trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors

The Raptors are going for it.

Toronto has reportedly struck a deal with the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

So another whiff in Brett Brown and the Sixers' star hunting search ... for now.

Let's check in on how the trade is working out for both sides so far.

*Cue dumpster fire gif*

That seems about right.

Leonard has made his desire to play in a big market known — it would seem preferably Los Angeles — for a while now. And, uh, Toronto is not exactly a basketball mecca. 

So, for now — things can change — it seems unlikely Leonard would sign an extension in Toronto and would elect to test free agency next summer as an unrestricted free agent. 

Keep in mind this is the same man who played just nine games in 2017-18 and sat out the Spurs' first-round playoff loss — whether because of mysterious injury or spite.

So we'll possibly see Kawhi for the whole star hunting thing again next summer.

The full trade, according to Woj: The Spurs receive DeMar DeRozan, Jacob Poeltl and a top-20 protected 2019 first-round pick while Kawhi and Danny Green head to Toronto. And after one year, that first-rounder becomes two seconds. Meh.

It's a solid move for the Raptors — if they can get Leonard motivated or healthy. The East is wide open with LeBron's departure and the Raptors are hoping to fill that void.

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