The Sixers have one week to extend Evan Turner -- What are their options?

The Sixers have one week to extend Evan Turner -- What are their options?

The Sixers' three biggest preseason storylines involve Lavoy Allen missing practice, their future franchise centerpiece who probably won't play at all (which no one minds) and the creation of Team Whop.

Two things:

1. There's really, truly, sadly, but sort of gloriously, very little of note to report.
2. And even the relevant contract talk isn't happening.

So we'll dive into it here.

The Sixers have until Oct. 31 -- that's one week -- to extend Evan Turner and exercise team-options on Arnett Moultrie, Tony Wroten and Royce White for the 2014-15 season (next year).

White, Molutrie and Wroten would all become unrestricted free agents at season's end if not retained within the next week. If the Sixers choose to exercise their options, they'll all continue the normal course of their rookie deals. A few small notes on each before we get into the real reason we're discussing this (Turner):

  • Moultrie: The Sixers traded a future first-round pick to draft Moultrie 27th overall in 2012 after taking Moe Markless with their own pick. Moultrie spent his rookie season rehabbing from an ankle injury, then not playing, then not playing because he was overweight, and then finally he played a little. He's now out until some time after the new year with another ankle injury. He's due to make $1.1 million next year if kept, which is basically nothing on a team full of guys making basically nothing. Should the Sixers fail to make the playoffs in each of the next two seasons, the future first-rounder owed to Miami becomes two second-rounders. However it works out for the Sixers, this was a smart trade by the Heat, who turned a pick they couldn't afford into a future asset.
  • Wroten: Quiet offseason addition from Memphis acquired in exchange for enough cash to keep Zach Randolph's snack machine stocked through December. Former Pac-12 freshman of the year. Upside. Will contribute this season.
  • White: All reports are that White was acquired because the Sixers wanted a Turkish guy named Furkan Aldemir, and they knew they could get out of White's salary. We'll see.

Now, to the real point ...

AU did a nice job a couple weeks back looking at Turner's game and how it may or may not fit what Brett Brown and Sam Hinkie are trying to do. That's the basketball side of things. As for the money, the Sixers have the following options:

1. Extend Evan Turner by Oct. 31
This is what they did with Jrue Holiday last year after the home opener, giving him a four-year, $44 million deal. Tyreke Evans, the No. 4 pick in the 2009 draft, was not extended by the Kings last season, but was traded to New Orleans this summer, and signed Holiday's exact same deal: four years, $44 million. Derrick Favors -- who went No. 3 in Turner's draft and was one of the Sixers' options in the pu-pu platter that followed John Wall -- just signed a four-year, $49 million extension with the Jazz last week. DeMarcus Cousins, No. 4 in the platter, just got a (potentially disastrous) four-year, $62 million commitment. Larry Sanders, who many casual basketball fans have never even heard of, managed to secure himself ... you guessed it, four years, $44 million.

You may see a pattern here. Those guys -- two of whom were picked directly after Turner -- are all making upwards of $11 million per, and probably aren't getting their teams any closer to a title for that amount of cash. Turner wouldn't either.

Now, take a look at Jrue vs. Evan in their third NBA season. These are Evan's numbers from last year and Jrue's from the year before his extension:

  • Turner: 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 41.9 FG, 36.5 3FG
  • Holiday: 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 43.1 FG, 36.8 3FG

The likely scenario here is that Hinkie and the Sixers have no intention of paying Turner what he would ask for right now, and that Turner and his agent, David Falk, will use the 2013-14 season -- during which Turner could be a "good stats on a bad team" guy -- to boost his value for next summer.

Asked about a possible extension before the deadline, Turner admitted as recently as last week that there has been no contact between the Sixers and Falk. ProBasketballTalk named a post "Evan Turner isn’t worrying about contract extension he won’t get."

All of this assumes Hinkie and Co. have any interest in him at all long-term. And that's a bit of a leap when you look at Turner's advanced metrics -- or even his shot chart.

2. Make Turner a qualifying offer after the season
Should they opt not to extend him, the Sixers will have until June 30 to make Turner an $8.7 million qualifying offer after the season ends. A qualifying offer makes Turner a restricted free agent, meaning the Sixers would have the right match any deal he's offered by another club, or let him walk.

3. Don't offer at all
And then Turner hits the open market next season unrestricted, likely ending his tenure with the Sixers.

A whole lot can change between now and June 30, but the clock on Evan's future with the Sixers is currently counting down to next Thursday.

The Sixers open the season next Wednesday at home against the Miami Heat.

Stephen Colbert mocks Phillies, introduces Hilly Phanatic

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Stephen Colbert mocks Phillies, introduces Hilly Phanatic

The only surprising thing about Stephen Colbert making fun of the Phillies with the Democratic National Convention in town this week is that it took until Tuesday.

Colbert used our beloved Phillies as the brunt of a joke last night and then invited out the "Hilly Phanatic" instead because the real guy was unvailable.

"Unfortunately the Phillie Phanatic wasn't available for the convention because it belongs to some baseball team and they can't spare him because he's the only entertaining part," Colbert said.

As you can see below, the Hilly Phanatic has the personality of Mike Pence compared to the real Phillie Phanatic. This one looks like the Phillie Phanatic's second cousin from overseas, not from the Galapagos but rather from the land of Smurfs.

Union sign prospect Derrick Jones to homegrown contract

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USA Today Images

Union sign prospect Derrick Jones to homegrown contract

Midfielder Derrick Jones has made Union history.

On Wednesday, the club announced Jones, 19, has been signed to the Union first team as a Homegrown Player. Currently playing with the Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel, Jones is the first Union Academy graduate to make the move from Union Academy to Union first team.

“Derrick’s progression through our system has been quicker than anticipated and it’s evident that he is ready for the next step of his career,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said in the team’s official release. “This is a testament to Derrick’s commitment to his trade, and it should be considered a tremendous accomplishment to become the first player to come through our Academy, to Bethlehem Steel, and finally to the first team.”

Jones, who moved to Philadelphia in 2012 from Bantana, Ghana, and worked his way through the Union Academy before joining the Steel in 2016, made his Union debut in a friendly match against Crystal Palace on July 13 at Talen Energy Stadium. 

The 6-foot-3 rangy midfielder, who doesn’t have a set position, showed well playing the entire second half, presenting his on-the-ball poise at the attacking mid position.

“Derrick has now set the benchmark for every player in our youth system,” Stewart said. “That there is a pathway to the professional level, and that it is achievable if you remain committed to your goals.”

Jones is the first Union homegrown signing since 2012. Homegrown status means the player avoids being submitted into the MLS SuperDraft. The Union Academy has been around since 2013 and is located at the YSC Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania. 

“I’m delighted that Derrick is our first and that the work of our staff has come to fruition in this way,” Academy director Tommy Wilson said. “This is a proud moment for Derrick and his family. I would like to congratulate them and everyone else who has played a part in his development.”

In final stage of rehab assignment, Aaron Altherr eager to return to Phillies

In final stage of rehab assignment, Aaron Altherr eager to return to Phillies

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The Phillies can be forgiven to some extent for their failure to get consistent production out of their corner outfielders this season. After all, they've been without one of their projected starters since spring training.

The good news is Aaron Altherr is on the verge of returning after missing almost four months with a wrist injury. The 25-year-old reached the final stop of his rehab tour through the Phillies' minor league system Tuesday, going 1 for 3 with a double in a 4-2 victory for the Triple A Ironpigs.

Needless to say, Altherr is feeling better.

"It's going good," Altherr said of his recovery. "It gets a little tight every now and then. Just gotta loosen it up. I'm good to go."

Altherr suffered a torn ligament in his left wrist attempting a diving catch in a Grapefruit League game back in March. The injury was expected to keep the righthander out four-to-six months, possibly even ending his season.

If the current rehab assignment is any indication, it turns out he's about ready to rejoin the Phillies. Through 12 minor league games, which includes stints at Reading, Clearwater and in the Gulf Coast League, Altherr is 13 for 34 (.351) with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs. He's also walked seven times to six strikeouts and stolen two bases. Yet while clearly enjoying himself, he feels as though he's ready to rejoin the big club.

"It's been fun," Altherr said. "Was just down to (Double A) Reading, good crowd there. It's gonna be another good crowd up here (in Lehigh Valley) I'm sure. I always enjoy going to these places and seeing people again, so it's definitely fun.

"Mentally and physically, I think I'm ready to go. My timing is there. I'm just ready to go and get after it and play some games up there."

As for what he could bring to MLB's 29th-ranked offense, which too often this season has seen little impact from its corner outfielders, Altherr will do what he can to provide a spark for the Phillies.

"I hope so," Altherr said. "I'm not gonna try to do too much though. I'm just gonna go up there and do what I know I can do and hopefully help out the team any way I can."

A ninth-round draft pick in 2009, Altherr got his first serious look with the Phillies last year, batting .241 with 19 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs in 39 games. It wasn't nearly enough to anoint the German-born prospect as part of the franchise's rebuilding effort, but the organization was hoping to use 2016 to evaluate his potential as an everyday player.

"I wouldn't say missed opportunity," Altherr said about the poor timing of his injury. "Things like this happen. I'll get back stronger than ever and show what I can do. It is what it is. I've worked hard every day and tried to get back as fast as I could."

He's right, of course. It's not like all is lost in that sense. Cody Asche, Peter Bourjos and Tyler Goeddel have had their moments, but none has cemented his role moving forward. Outside of likely September call-up Nick Williams posting quality numbers at Triple A, there isn't exactly a long line of players knocking down the door for one of those two spots.

"There's always going to be competition no matter where you are in life, so I definitely don't really think about it too much," Altherr said. "I just have to go out there and control what I can control and play the way I know I can play."

Altherr's opportunity is coming any day now. A 6-foot-5, 215-pound athlete who also happens to be a plus-defender could bring a lot to the mix for the Phillies right now. It may be too late to find out this year if he has a long and bright future with the club, but he could certainly provide some excitement down the stretch.