Who are they? A closer look at Sixers' new faces

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Who are they? A closer look at Sixers' new faces

They’ve scored points, grabbed rebounds, handed out assists and played defense. Well, maybe not that much defense.

The Sixers have gotten off to a surprising 5-4 start, and it hasn’t been all on the backs of the team’s familiar names. While Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and rookie Michael Carter-Williams have certainly played at a high level so far, the Sixers’ lesser-known names have more than done their part.

But exactly who are these guys?

Let’s take a closer look at the Sixers’ unheralded crop of newcomers:

James Anderson
Position: Guard
Age: 24
Height/weight:
6-6/210
College: Oklahoma State
Drafted: First round in 2010 (20th overall pick) by San Antonio
Previous teams: Spurs and Rockets
2013-14 averages:
10.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 33.6 mpg
Fun fact: Anderson has always been a scorer. He notched 29 points in his very first collegiate game and averaged 17.9 a matchup for his collegiate career. He also averaged 38 points a contest during his senior year of high school.

Tony Wroten
Position: Guard
Age: 20
Height/weight:
6-6/205
College: Washington
Drafted: First round in 2012 (25th overall pick) by Memphis
Previous teams: Grizzlies
2013-14 averages: 11.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 23.4 mpg
Fun fact: Wroten comes from an athletic family. His father, Tony Sr., played football at Washington and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wroten’s mother Shirley ran track at Washington and Arizona State. His aunt, Joyce Walker, was a two-time All-American at LSU and played for the Harlem Globetrotters. Wroten is also the cousin of NBA guard Nate Robinson.

Darius Morris
Position: Guard
Age: 22
Height/weight:
6-4/195
College: Michigan
Drafted: Second round in 2011 (41st overall pick) by Los Angeles Lakers
Previous teams: Lakers
2013-14 averages: 5.7 ppg, 2.8 apg, 1.2 rpg, 15.3 mpg
Fun fact: Morris was Michigan’s single-season assists leader with 235 in 35 games during the 2010-11 season until Trey Burke passed him with 260 in 39 games last season.

Daniel Orton
Position: Center
Age: 23
Height/weight:
6-10/275
College: Kentucky
Drafted: First round in 2010 (29th overall pick) by Orlando
Previous teams: Magic and Thunder
2013-14 averages: 2.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 11.1 mpg
Fun fact: Orton won state titles in his freshman, sophomore and junior years of high school in Oklahoma before tearing his ACL during his senior season.

Brandon Davies
Position: Forward
Age: 22
Height/weight:
6-10/240
College: BYU
Drafted: Undrafted
Previous teams: None
2013-14 averages: 2.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 bpg, 9.9 mpg
Fun fact: You’ll likely know Davies for this incident while at BYU.

Hollis Thompson
Position: Forward
Age: 22
Height/weight:
6-8/206
College: Georgetown
Drafted: Undrafted
Previous teams: None
2013-14 averages: 1.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.3 bpg, 8.5 mpg
Fun fact: Thompson set a Georgetown record by shooting 44 percent from three-point range in three seasons.

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.