For a team without a full-time GM, the Sixers have been awfully busy.
The team on Wednesday announced the trade for Hawks big man Mike Muscala and the signing of 2016 second-round pick Jonah Bolden. As part of a three-team deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to Atlanta, the Sixers sent swingmen Justin Anderson to the Hawks and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Thunder.
In Muscala, the Sixers get a stretch big that can help mitigate Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica backing out of his agreement to sign with the team. A five-year veteran out of Bucknell, Muscala has shot 38 percent from three in 243 NBA games.
“Mike Muscala joins our program at a fantastic stage of his career,” head coach and interim GM Brett Brown said in a statement. “He has enjoyed some NBA success and his upside in the future is extremely bright.
“We will use him both as a backup five and, at times, a power forward. His ability to shoot the ball and the energy with which he plays will help our basketball team.”
Anderson and Luwawu-Cabarrot are first-round picks — Anderson by the Mavericks, Luwawu-Cabarrot by the Sixers — that haven’t quite panned out.
Anderson, acquired in the Nerlens Noel trade, has provided physical defense but has been inconsistent with his jumper. Luwawu-Cabarrot flashed at the end of his rookie season but struggled with injuries and inconsistency as well last season.
With the Sixers, Anderson averaged just 16.7 minutes, scoring 7.1 points a game in 62 games. Luwawu-Cabarrot played in 121 games with the team but averaged just 6.1 points in 16.5 minutes per contest.
“We thank both Timmy Luwawu and Justin Anderson for their contributions in growing the 76ers strong culture,” Brown said. “They are fantastic people, extremely dedicated NBA players and will be missed. I believe their new situations will afford them the opportunity to find themselves and give them every chance to stay and grow in the NBA.”
Brown and company have always preached patience but were obviously ready to cut ties with two young players in Anderson (24) and Luwawu-Cabarrot (23).
The Sixers have been patient with Bolden since they drafted the Australian in 2017. The 22-year-old spent a season at UCLA before opting to play overseas. The Sixers stashed Bolden this past season with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.
Bolden’s shot hasn’t come along like maybe the team had hoped, but he’s impressed by being an active and versatile defender.
“We have been following Jonah Bolden for a while and are very excited to bring him into our program as a young, up-and-coming prospect,” Brown said. “He experienced positive growth and development last season at Maccabi Tel Aviv, a team led by Neven Spahija, who is a friend of our program and an excellent coach.
“Jonah’s style of play is that of a modern-day player and we’re thrilled to grow our team with him.”
There may be more moves coming with Jerryd Bayless still on the roster. The Sixers are likely to buyout or stretch his deal if they’re unable to trade him.