Bynum still silent after first practice of season

slideshow-021913-sixers-bynum-uspresswire.jpg

Bynum still silent after first practice of season

A year ago, the Sixers led the Atlantic Division for much of the lockout-shortened season. They were eventually overtaken by the Celtics for the top spot in the division, but the Sixers did win four straight road games to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the East in the closing week of the season.

The Sixers followed up with a 13-game postseason run that entertained the fans and fulfilled Doug Collins’ promise of making the team relevant in this city again.

The climb to the Eastern Conference semifinals was long and arduous. It took nine years, required seven head coaches, including two interim coaches, to get to a place Larry Brown took the franchise four times in his six seasons at the helm.

Nine months later, that level of success is likely out of reach and quite possibly for the foreseeable future.

The Sixers are just a half-game above Toronto for the worst record in the Atlantic Division at 22-32. They lost five straight games entering Monday night.

Andrew Bynum is still sidelined and has missed a career-high 55 games and counting.

It was believed that Bynum would speak to the media prior to the Sixers’ game on Tuesday with the Magic but that did not take place. The big man still has not spoken since taking part in five-on-five practice last Friday for the first time this season.

The drawn-out recovery process for bone bruises in Bynum’s knees is testing people’s patience, whether it is fans or those in the organization. Questions are presented to the Sixers on a regular basis that only Bynum has the answers to at this point.

“You have to talk to him about that,” Collins said Monday when asked if Bynum would be in uniform in the next week or two. “I think the one thing I have been very consistent with is that I am just the messenger. You have to talk to the athlete. He knows how he feels. Again, I am not trying to dodge, but I think it is unfair for me to speak for someone else.”

Bynum was also noticeably not present on the Sixers’ bench during the first half of their tilt against Orlando, though a team spokesperson said he is in the building.

Report: Isaiah Canaan becomes free agent as Sixers don't extend qualifying offer

Report: Isaiah Canaan becomes free agent as Sixers don't extend qualifying offer

It appears the Sixers are letting guard Isaiah Canaan walk.

Canaan, who was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, is now unrestricted as the Sixers did not extend him a qualifying offer, according to a report Wednesday night by Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The qualifying offer would have been worth $1,215,696. Canaan made $947,276 last season.

Canaan, 25, has played parts of two seasons with the Sixers after coming over from the Rockets in 2014-15 as part of the K.J. McDaniels trade.

The 6-foot, 201-pound guard averaged 11 points per game in 77 contests (39 starts) last season, while shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range.

Canaan has not fit with the Sixers as a shoot-first point guard, averaging just 1.8 assists per game in 2015-16, a season in which he essentially turned into an undersized, volume-shooting two-guard.

The backcourt — specifically point guard — remains the biggest priority for the Sixers this offseason.

On Wednesday, the Sixers decided to retain Hollis Thompson for next season by exercising his team option.

Dario Saric reportedly says he's coming to Sixers, but Colangelo still cautious

Dario Saric reportedly says he's coming to Sixers, but Colangelo still cautious

When dealing with a foreign player like Dario Saric, you can't help but wonder if something is being lost in translation. Keeping in mind that language barrier, a Croatian website is reporting that Saric is set on heading to Philadelphia.

The quote from Saric, as translated by Twitter user @CroSports_ reads as follows: "Everything is leading in that direction. I'm waiting for this tournament (Olympic qualifying) to end so that I can sit down and work out a deal, then head over to the USA to sign. 

"I have one more year with Efes (Turkish basketball team Anadolu Efes) and [head coach Velimir] Perasovic wants me to stay, but I gave [the Sixers] my word. My word means more than a paper.”

The speculation over Saric has been an ongoing saga for the Sixers. While president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo is cautiously optimistic about bringing over the No. 12 overall pick, he knows that Saric putting pen to paper does actually matter. 

"It’s a very solid statement on his part and indicates his commitment, but nothing is official until the buyout agreement is finalized and he gets cleared by FIBA. Then he can sign,” Colangelo said to CSNPhilly's Dei Lynam. 

Remember, earlier this month Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown met with Saric in Istanbul, and Colangelo didn't have a strong feeling either way regarding Saric's chances of coming to the Sixers.

“I wasn’t pessimistic, I wasn’t optimistic," Colangelo said at the time. "I was somewhat neutral as to whether or not I felt he would be coming over and I still feel that way."

Saric has until July 17 to notify his current team, Anadolu Efes, of his decision. 

Sixers exercise team option on G/F Hollis Thompson

Sixers exercise team option on G/F Hollis Thompson

Hollis Thompson will be back next season. 

The Sixers exercised the swingman's fourth-year team option for the 2016-17 season. The option is worth just north of $1 million, according to Basketball Reference. 

Thompson, 6-foot-8, 206 pounds, has played three NBA seasons with the Sixers after going undrafted out of Georgetown in 2012. 

In his 225 NBA games (81 starts), he has averaged 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He's also shot 39 percent from three and his 331 career three-pointers rank him eighth in Sixers history.