'Simba' returns as Sixers bring back familiar face


The Sixers are bringing back a familiar face.

Wing Justin Anderson is signing a two-year, partially guaranteed deal with the team, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. There are partial guarantees in Year 1 and the second year is non-guaranteed. Paul Hudrick of 97.3 ESPN first reported the news. 

The 27-year-old Anderson has played for the Hawks and Nets since leaving the Sixers following the 2017-18 season. He’s also put up big scoring numbers in the G League, averaging 20.6 points last season across stints with the Long Island Nets and Raptors 905. A 29.6 percent three-point shooter in his NBA career, Anderson hit 35.3 percent of his 7.7 threes attempted per game in the 2019-20 G League campaign. 

With the Sixers, Anderson — nicknamed “Simba” — was on the edges of the 2017-18 team’s playoff rotation, memorably scrapping with Dwyane Wade in the Sixers’ first-round series win over Miami.

Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Furkan Korkmaz are the only Sixers still on the team since Anderson was traded to Atlanta in July of 2018. His relationships with the Sixers’ two All-Stars, NBA experience and high-energy bench presence are factors that could work in Anderson’s favor. He’s yet to establish himself as anything beyond a fringe NBA player, though, and obviously doesn’t have a secure place on the Sixers’ regular-season roster. 

NBA teams can have a maximum of 20 players during training camp and must trim down to 15 with two two-way contracts for the regular season. At the moment, Derrick Walton Jr., Ryan Broekhoff and Anderson are the Sixers with contracts that are not fully guaranteed. Dakota Mathias and rookie Paul Reed are the Sixers on two-way deals, according to The Athletic's Derek Bodner.


Isaiah Joe, the 49th pick in this year's draft, signed a three-year contract Friday with the Sixers, according to Kevin McPherson of Pig Trail Nation. The deal is reportedly guaranteed for the first two years and worth as much as $4.2 million.