Justin Patton

Sixers plan to sign veteran center Greg Monroe

Sixers plan to sign veteran center Greg Monroe

With the backup center position still a big question mark heading into the postseason, the Sixers are bringing in outside help.

The team will sign veteran center Greg Monroe and waive center Justin Patton on Thursday.

The nine-year veteran has had stints with this season with the Raptors and most recently played out a 10-day contract with the Celtics. A former lottery pick by the Pistons in 2010, Monroe has never quite lived up to the billing and has bounced around. He’s still just 28.

With Boban Marjanovic’s struggles on defense and Jonah Bolden’s inconsistency, it’s worth taking a flyer on a guy like Monroe with five games left to play.

It’s hard to imagine Monroe — who’s had defensive issues of his own — overtaking both players before the playoffs start, but it’ll at least give Brett Brown options.

Patton, acquired from the Timberwolves with Jimmy Butler, saw action in just three games with the Sixers. The 21-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent when the season ends.

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Report: Sixers have interest in former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut, but Warriors are 'frontrunner'

Report: Sixers have interest in former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut, but Warriors are 'frontrunner'

Updated: 1:30 p.m. -- The Warriors plan to sign Bogut for the rest of the season, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes

The Sixers might want to add a third native of Melbourne, Australia, to their roster.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Sixers are expected to express interest in Andrew Bogut, the No.1 pick in the 2005 draft. Charania mentions that the Warriors are the favorite for the 7-footer.

Bogut is a free agent after the Sydney Kings’ season ended with a loss to Melbourne United in the NBL playoffs. He won the NBL MVP award this season, edging out former Process-era Sixer Casper Ware

Back in February 2017, Bogut was also briefly a part of the Process — in a way. He was acquired by the Sixers in the Nerlens Noel trade, then waived without playing a game. 

In 694 NBA games, the 34-year-old Bogut has averaged 9.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

Brett Brown has a relationship with Bogut dating back to his time as head coach of the Australian national team. He told Tom Moore in 2015 that Bogut, when healthy, is “a world-class defender.”

Though Joel Embiid (left knee tendinitis) and Boban Marjanovic (bone bruise and right knee sprain) are out, neither player should be sidelined much longer. Bogut could theoretically supplement the Sixers’ interior defense, but it’s difficult to envision him supplanting Marjanovic and Jonah Bolden at backup center. 

It doesn’t appear Brown has much faith in 21-year-old big man Justin Patton. When Bolden got into foul trouble Saturday night against the Warriors, Patton stayed on the bench, even with DeMarcus Cousins on the floor. The Sixers had a frontcourt of Ben Simmons and Mike Scott for most of the fourth quarter.

Because Bogut hasn’t played for an NBA team this season, the March 1 playoff-eligibility waiver deadline would not apply to him; he would be eligible to play in the postseason. 

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Sixers recall Justin Patton from Blue Coats with injuries to Joel Embiid, Boban Marjanovic

Sixers recall Justin Patton from Blue Coats with injuries to Joel Embiid, Boban Marjanovic

Desperate times may call for desperate measures.

With Joel Embiid (knee soreness) and Boban Marjanovic (knee sprain) both ruled out in Oklahoma City Thursday, the Sixers on Wednesday recalled center Justin Patton from the Delaware Blue Coats.

Patton, acquired from the Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler deal, played in just one NBA game in Minnesota last season. The 21-year-old suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in September and has spent the last month in the G-League.

The former first-round pick has flashed some of his abilities. He’s playing just 18.2 minutes a night but is averaging 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in seven games with the 87ers. Selected 16th overall by the Bulls out of Creighton, Patton has a lot of the skills you’re looking for out of a modern NBA big.

He’s an athletic rim runner, meaning he can get up the floor in transition and defend the rim at the other end. He has good touch and has extended his range during his time out. The free throws (57 percent in Delaware) are still an issue.

The biggest concern will be at the defensive end — and the matchup Thursday isn’t ideal. The Thunder start the hulking Steven Adams but also have two athletic former Sixers in Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant, who at times plays small-ball five. If Brett Brown mixes Patton in with rookie Jonah Bolden and veteran Amir Johnson, it’ll be a big ask.

With that said, there’s likely never been a better time to get a look at Patton, who will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Plus, we have an idea of what Bolden is and definitely know what Johnson is. 

Let’s see what Patton can bring to the table.

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