Throw another one on the pile: Sixers sign raw prospect center Daniel Orton

Throw another one on the pile: Sixers sign raw prospect center Daniel Orton

What do you do when you've already got a big man rotation stuffed with raw, unpolished, high-upside young'ns like Royce White, Gani Lawal and (eventually) Nerlens Noel? Why, go out and get another one, of course! Like any smart GM, Sam Hinkie knows that you can never buy too many lottery tickets, so he's dispensed of German center Tim Ohlbrecht (who reminded me too much of Spencer Hawes anyway in like the four minutes of game action I saw him in) and picked up former Oklahoma City Thunder center Daniel Orton.

The Sixers' new pickup is a 23-year-old third-year player, originally taken 29th in the 2010 draft by the Orlando Magic. Orton declared after one season in Kentucky in which he barely played at all, and since joining the pros, he's barely played there either, averaging just ten minutes a game across 29 games, most in garbage time. He did get some burn with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League last year, averaging a steady 13 points, eight boards and two blocks a game, with pretty good shooting numbers and peripherals.

As a young, athletic, decently skilled big man, Orton still has considerable untapped upside, which he's shown in his D-League and some extended Summer League minutes. But as with Tony Wroten, a recent first-rounder the Sixers poached from the Grizzlies for basically nothing, Hinkie was able to take advantage of the Thunder's contending nature to skim an asset off them that OKC wasn't going to have room to utilize anyway--they already have their hands full developing young project bigs (and more recent first-round draft selections) Steven Adams and Perry Jones III, and Orton was probably never going to pan out for them.

Chances are, he won't pan out for the Sixers either. He might not even make the team for the start of the season, as we currently have 20 players on our training camp roster, at least five of whom will not be on the roster for season's tip. But he could carve himself a nice role on the Delaware 87ers for the rest of 2013, and maybe show the Sixers what he can do in preparation for a mid-season callup. It's all tryouts this year with this team anyway, so no pressure and no rush.

Ultimately, another low-risk, medium-reward signing for Hinkie, so good news all around. Only bummer is that it means Orton is no longer as the same roster as Russell Westrbook, who he looks like a creepy blown-up version of, which is pretty hilarious.

RIP Ortbrook. Viva Hinkie.

Sixers waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss; officially sign Cat Barber

Sixers waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss; officially sign Cat Barber

The Sixers made some roster tweaks on Wednesday night.

The team waived forward Carl Landry and center Tibor Pleiss, while officially announcing the signing of guard Anthony "Cat" Barber.

The Sixers were expected to cut Pleiss, who was acquired last Friday in a trade with the Jazz. On July 21, Barber and the Sixers reportedly agreed to a partially guaranteed deal.

Landy, a 32-year-old veteran, played one season with the Sixers after being acquired last summer in a trade with the Kings, a deal in which he was essentially a toss-in as it revolved around bringing Nik Stauskas to Philadelphia. Landry, who was under contract for 2016-17 at $6.75 million, battled injury to start 2015-16 and ended up playing in 36 games (12 starts), averaging 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Barber, 6-foot-3, 173 pounds, will fight for a roster spot at point guard during training camp. The 22-year-old went undrafted in June after declaring following his junior season at NC State in which he averaged 23.5 points per game, seventh most in the country and best in the ACC.

Ben Simmons working out with LeBron James

usa-ben-simmons-summer-league.jpg

Ben Simmons working out with LeBron James

Ben Simmons' fellow NBA rookies may not think too highly of him, but when the best basketball player on the planet is giving him pointers, he must be doing something right.

On Tuesday, a photo of Simmons and LeBron James dribbling side by side started making the rounds on Instagram. That's right. The Sixers' number-one overall draft pick and franchise savior is apparently training with the four-time league MVP and reigning world champion.

#Klutch @klutchsports

A photo posted by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Those workouts continued on Wednesday, when 12-time All-Star Dwayne Wade posted a photo of himself, Simmons and James, as well as Richard Jefferson and Jordan McRae. That's some good company for a first-year player to keep.

Good day of work!

A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

What does all of this mean for Simmons and the Sixers? Hard to say, but it can't be a bad thing that the rookie point-forward is spending time with a pair of future first-ballot Hall of Famers. Surely he must be learning something.

That's good news for the Sixers, who hope that Simmons can even come close to living up to the lofty comparisons some have drawn to James already.

Tonight's Lineup: Tommy Joseph starts for 1st time against Gio Gonzalez

lineup.jpg

Tonight's Lineup: Tommy Joseph starts for 1st time against Gio Gonzalez

Tommy Joseph is back in the starting lineup … as he's expected to be for most of the final month of the season. Joseph bats fourth behind third baseman Maikel Franco.

Joseph did not start Tuesday night in the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. The 25-year-old is hitting .251 with 17 home runs and 34 RBIs.

The slugger has a significantly higher average against left-handed pitching than righties, despite clubbing 12 of his 17 homers against right-handed pitchers.

Joseph has yet to faced Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez.

In other lineup notes, Tyler Goeddel gets the start in left field and will hit eighth, while A.J. Ellis gets his second start as a Phillie. He'll catch Adam Morgan.

Here is the full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Freddy Galvis, SS
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Tyler Goeddel, LF
9. Adam Morgan, P

For more on tonight's game, read Steven Tydings' game notes.