Philadelphia 76ers

Chasson Randle chasing NBA goals with Sixers

Chasson Randle chasing NBA goals with Sixers

CAMDEN, N.J. — His name is pronounced ‘chase-in’ — “like you’re chasin’ somebody,” he explained.

Chasson Randle is chasing his NBA aspirations with the Sixers.

The point guard signed a 10-day contract on Tuesday following a four-player workout that included fellow D-Leaguers Cat Barber, Yogi Ferrell and Briante Weber.

Randle was averaging 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 19 games for the Westchester Knicks this season. 

“I just want to bring a lot of energy on both ends of the floor, be aggressive, and try to make plays out there and be a great teammate because we’ve got a lot of great guys here,” Randle said after his first practice. “I’ve only been here 24 hours, but I can just tell these guys are amazing.”

Although listed as a point guard, the Sixers envision utilizing Randle at the one- and two-spots. This versatility addresses multiple needs across the backcourt, which the Sixers took into consideration when making the decision to sign him.  

The Sixers are without Jerryd Bayless (wrist) for the season, and Sergio Rodriguez returned on Sunday from an ankle sprain. They have been starting third point guard T.J. McConnell and shifting shooting guard Nik Stauskas to the backup one position.

Over at the starting shooting guard spot, Gerald Henderson has been battling hip issues. The addition of Randle allows the Sixers to plug in another player during practice when managing Henderson.

“It gives us a balanced practice,” Brown said. “We’re very mindful of Gerald Henderson’s health. At times we don’t spend our money in practice and we need another body there.”

The Sixers also were thinking down the road with the signing. Should Randle still be on the team when Ben Simmons returns (no timetable announced), he has the skillset that could complement Simmons. The first overall pick went through his first five-on-none work on Tuesday and played point guard (see story).

“With the selection of [Randle], you feel like if he was able to continue on, there could be a place for him,” Brown said. “He’s a combo guard like Jerryd Bayless.”

Randle spent last season overseas with ČEZ Nymburk in the Czech Republic. He posted 12.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 47.3 percent from three. 

Randle went undrafted in 2015 following a standout four-year career at Stanford. During his senior year, he was named a Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honoree and Stanford’s first Capital One Academic All-America First Team selection since 2006. 

“He’s the all-time leading scorer in the history of Stanford basketball, and I felt like the gym was smarter today,” Brown said. “There’s intellect, there’s a history, there’s pedigree that we respect and there’s a balance to our team that he allows us to fill.”

Randle’s first game with the Sixers will be Wednesday against his former NBA affiliate, the Knicks.

Joel Embiid, T.J. McConnell win NBPA Players Voice Awards

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Joel Embiid, T.J. McConnell win NBPA Players Voice Awards

Joel Embiid was a big winner in the 2017 NBPA Players Voice Awards.

He earned honors for Comeback Player of the Year and, in what seemed like a lock all season, Best Social Media Follow.

Embiid made a huge impact in only 31 games after missing his first two seasons because of foot injuries. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, all while being capped on a minutes restrictions and held out of back-to-back games. Embiid was on pace to win Rookie of the Year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He underwent surgery in March. 

His influence was just as big on social media. Embiid became a Twitter star before he even played an NBA game. Now with over 857,000 followers, he has kept fans entertained with everything from his admiration of Rihanna, an All-Star campaign to get a date, and his recent beef with LaVar Ball. Embiid frequently posts videos engaging with fans (who usually are chanting "Trust the Process") and puts a creative spin on his Instagram locations.

Embiid wasn't the only Sixer to win an award. T.J. McConnell earned the well respected "Best Teammate" award, presented to one player from each NBA team. McConnell’s hard-nosed approach and relentless hustle earned him the starting point guard role in late December. The underdog has fought to establish his place in the league for the last two seasons and has made an impression on the Sixers' staff, fan base and his peers while doing so.  

NBA players voted on these awards at the end of the regular season. The winners were announced on the NBPA's Twitter Friday morning.

Joel Embiid's and Ben Simmons' 2017-18 NBA MVP odds

Joel Embiid's and Ben Simmons' 2017-18 NBA MVP odds

The odds are in for the 2017-18 NBA MVP and a pair of Sixers are in the mix.

Joel Embiid’s odds are 50/1 while Ben Simmons’ are 66/1, according to Bovada.

Russell Westbrook is the frontrunner at 7/2. Kevin Durant (9/2), Kawhi Leonard (13/2), LeBron James (15/2) and James Harden (8/1) round out the top five.

At 50/1, Embiid has the same odds as DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard. Embiid always jokes he wants to be a point guard one day, now he’s in the same company as some of the best in the league in this case. 

Embiid’s odds are better than Draymond Green (60/1). Simmons follows behind Green at 66/1, ahead of Gordon Hayward (70/1), Carmelo Anthony (75/1), Jimmy Butler (75/1), and Andrew Wiggins (75/1). 

Embiid only has played 31 games and Simmons has not played at all, yet they are right up there with All-Stars and proven players. Here’s the complete list:

Russell Westbrook (OKC)            7/2 
Kevin Durant (GS)                       9/2
Kawhi Leonard (SAN)                 13/2 
LeBron James (CLE)                   15/2
James Harden (HOU)                   8/1
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)   17/2
Steph Curry (GS)                         11/1
Anthony Davis (NOP)                 16/1 
Paul George (OKC)                     25/1 
Chris Paul (HOU)                        25/1 
Isaiah Thomas (BOS)                  25/1 
DeMarcus Cousins (NOP)          33/1 
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)       33/1 
John Wall (WAS)                        33/1
Blake Griffin (LAC)                   40/1 
Nikola Jokic (DEN)                    40/1 
DeMar Derozan (TOR)               50/1
Joel Embiid (PHI)                       50/1 
Kyrie Irving (CLE)                     50/1 
Damian Lillard (POR)                50/1 
Draymond Green (GS)               60/1 
Ben Simmons (PHI)                   66/1 
Gordon Hayward (BOS)            70/1 
Carmelo Anthony (NYK)          75/1 
Jimmy Butler (MIN)                  75/1 
Andrew Wiggins (MIN)             75/1 
Kevin Love (CLE)                     100/1 
Kyle Lowry (TOR)                    100/1 
Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)         100/1 
Marc Gasol (MEM)                   150/1
Paul Millsap (DEN)                   150/1 
Kemba Walker (CHA)               150/1 
Bradley Beal (WAS)                  200/1 
Mike Conley (MEM)                 200/1 
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)                250/1 
Andre Drummond (DET)          250/1 
Dwight Howard (CHA)             250/1 
Jeff Teague (MIN)                     250/1
Hassan Whiteside (MIA)          250/1