NBA free agency

Sixers agree to deal with Trey Burke, who figures to be in the mix at backup PG

Sixers agree to deal with Trey Burke, who figures to be in the mix at backup PG

The Sixers have their 15-man roster.

The team has agreed to terms on a one-year, veteran minimum deal with point guard Trey Burke, a team source confirmed Thursday night to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the agreement. 

With the signing of Burke, the Sixers have the maximum of 15 players under contract for next regular season, along with Christ Koumadje on an Exhibit 10 deal and Marial Shayok and Norvel Pelle on two-way deals. Teams can have up to 20 players on the roster during training camp, so the team could add still add two more players at this stage as long as it cuts down to 15 by the start of the regular season. In all likelihood, this current group of 15 players will be the roster that starts the 2019-20 season for the Sixers. 

The 6-foot-1 Burke averaged 10.9 points and 2.7 assists in 58 games last season between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. This will be the 26-year-old’s fifth NBA team.

He projects to be part of the competition for the Sixers at backup point guard. The Sixers also signed Raul Neto to a one-year, veteran minimum deal this summer, but Neto’s injury history — he hasn’t played more than 41 games in a season over the past three years — makes the decision to add another point guard very understandable. Shake Milton is another player who could be part of the backup point guard picture, though you’d figure Neto and Burke would currently have the edge over the 22-year-old Milton given their status as proven NBA players. 

Burke isn’t an elite three-point shooter (35.6 percent from three last season), but his strength is shot creation, a tool the Sixers could use off the bench. 

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Sixers bring back young wing Furkan Korkmaz and now have just 1 roster spot open

Sixers bring back young wing Furkan Korkmaz and now have just 1 roster spot open

The Sixers are bringing back Furkan Korkmaz on a two-year minimum deal, a team source confirmed Wednesday. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news.

According to the source, the first year of Korkmaz's contract is guaranteed, while the second year has a trigger date of July 10, 2020, to become guaranteed.

It's an interesting turn of events for Korkmaz and the Sixers after the team declined to pick up his third-year option in the fall and the Turkish guard suffered a meniscus tear in February. Korkmaz averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 48 regular-season games last season, shooting 32.6 percent from three-point range in his second NBA season. The team considers his outside shooting a strength, though Korkmaz has yet to be effective as a three-point shooter at the NBA level. He did impress in last year's summer league, scoring 40 points in a game, and has had success for the Turkish national team.

After the departure of JJ Redick, Korkmaz is an option, at least theoretically, to provide three-point shooting.

Korkmaz was briefly part of head coach Brett Brown's "quiet tournament" for wing minutes off the bench, along with James Ennis and Jonathon Simmons. Ennis won convincingly.

The Sixers now have 14 players guaranteed under contract for 2019-20, one under the maximum a team can have entering the regular season. The team has also signed Christ Koumadje to an Exhibit 10 deal and Norvel Pelle and Marial Shayok to two-way deals.

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How Clippers reportedly landing Kawhi Leonard, Paul George impacts Sixers

How Clippers reportedly landing Kawhi Leonard, Paul George impacts Sixers

This has arguably been the craziest offseason in NBA history with so many stars changing places and shifting the balance of power.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more nuts, Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers said hold our beers.

In the wee hours Saturday, it was reported that the Finals MVP Leonard will sign a four-year max deal with the Clippers.

But wait, that’s not all …

L.A. also swung a deal for MVP finalist Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder “for a record-setting collection of draft choices,” per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This comes just a year after George signed a max deal with the Thunder.

So how does all this affect the Sixers? Well, good news, bad news.

The good news is that with Leonard out West and Kevin Durant likely not playing for the Nets this season, the Sixers have as good a chance as anyone to come out of the East. The bad news … well …

There are two legitimate juggernauts in the Western Conference with the pairings of Leonard and George and LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Lakers (see story). And let’s not forget about the Warriors or the Rockets, who’ve run things in the conference the last couple years.

There is a path for the Sixers to become the best team in the East, though.

The Bucks will still be tough with the league’s MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Despite losing Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee did well to bring back Brook Lopez and George Hill and sign guys like Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez. While it lacks the star power of others, it looks to be the deepest team in the league.

Brooklyn, though much more formidable than it was a year ago now with Kyrie Irving, will not quite be at the upper echelon of the conference with Durant’s Achilles injury and uncertain timetable. The Celtics are a bit of wild card. They signed Kemba Walker, who should flourish in Boston, but lost Irving, and more importantly Al Horford. The Raptors went on a historic run last season, but without Leonard, it’s difficult to see them repeating that journey. They’re still dangerous, but not quite like they were.

The Sixers still have plenty to sort out. Will the starting five feature enough shooting and scoring? Will Tobias Harris continue to improve and look more like the Clippers version? Will Horford and Joel Embiid be a good fit? And the most important question of all: Will Embiid and Ben Simmons be motivated by last year’s playoff defeat and make the necessary improvements to join the NBA’s elite?

With Leonard heading out to Hollywood, the East is truly up for grabs. The Sixers should have as good, if not better, chance than anyone to take it.

But beating one of the West teams in the Finals? That would be a tall order.

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