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.

5 forwards the Sixers should target in free agency

5 forwards the Sixers should target in free agency

We’ve looked at free-agent options for the Sixers among veterans (see story) and guards (see story).

Now here’s a breakdown of forwards on the open market that could help the Sixers.

Kevin Durant
Haha. A team can dream, right?

Andre Iguodala
Durant’s teammate is a more realistic option as reports have already stated that the Sixers are interested in a reunion with the swingman (see story).

It makes sense for the Sixers. Iguodala spent the first eight seasons of his NBA career in Philadelphia and still possesses the same defensive ability, rebounding and passing that he made a staple of his game over that time.

On the offensive end, Iguodala has been able to show improvement even with more than a decade in the league. He averaged just 7.6 points last season, but the forward shot 52.8 percent from the field (highest mark of his career), 36.2 percent from three-point range (second-highest mark of his career) and 70.6 percent from the free throw line (highest mark since 2009-10).

At age 33, it remains to be seen how much Iguodala has left in the tank. And you definitely have to think he would prefer to remain with the juggernaut Golden State Warriors.

Still, it wouldn’t hurt the Sixers to make a phone call and gauge his interest in a return.

Danilo Gallinari
If it’s scoring the Sixers are going for, Gallinari could be their man.

The Italian combo forward has always been a consistent force on the offensive end. Gallinari has averaged double digits in scoring during eight of his nine seasons in the NBA.

Last season, he led the Nuggets with 18.2 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Gallinari also connected on 44.7 percent from the field and a career-high 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Defense and injuries have always been issues for “Gallo.” He was a key cog for a Denver Nuggets team that finished 29th in defensive rating a season ago and has played only 70 or more games twice in his career.

While those warts are glaring, Gallinari’s overall production outweighs them. The 28-year-old ranked 31st in the entire league in 2016-17 in real plus-minus, which measures net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions.

In the end, a veteran player that can operate offensively on both the low block and perimeter is an attractive piece. Gallinari’s ability to play either forward spot would open up even more options for Brett Brown’s lineup. That’s the type of guy the Sixers should take a serious look at in free agency.

Serge Ibaka
How about a good mix on both ends of the floor? Two-way players do exist and Ibaka is among the better ones.

Ibaka has primarily been known for his defense throughout his career. He was named to the league’s all-defensive first team three times. Plus, the 6-10 forward has finished in the NBA’s top 10 in blocks per game for seven straight seasons (league leader in 2012 and 2013).

While that part of Ibaka’s game has been a constant, he has made tremendous strides on offense since coming from overseas. Ibaka entered the league as strictly a bruiser near the rim and has progressively added to his skill set. 

He averaged 14.8 points last season split between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors. He shot 48.0 percent from the field and a career-high 39.1 percent from three.  

At 27 years old, there doesn’t appear to be much to dislike about Ibaka — except the potential price tag. Ibaka will absolutely be looking to cash in this offseason. The Sixers have money to spend, but that doesn't mean they should go overboard for the veteran.

Otto Porter Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic
The Washington duo of Porter and Bogdanovic are the only restricted free agents on the list but could be worth the trouble of having to deal with the Wizards potentially matching an offer sheet.

Porter enjoyed a breakout season in 2016-17. He put up career highs in points (13.4), rebounds (6.4), steals (1.5), field goal percentage (51.6), three-point percentage (43.4) and free throw percentage (83.2).

At just 24 years old, Porter would be a strong fit to grow with the Sixers’ young core for the foreseeable future if they are able to pry him away from D.C. Highly unlikely, but worth a try.

Bogdanovic provides less efficiency, but a massive amount of experience from playing all over the globe. The 28-year-old Croatian recorded 13.7 points a night last season on 44.5 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three with the Brooklyn Nets and Wizards. 

With the Wizards still looking at a possible trade for Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George and an owner in Ted Leonsis that has maintained a stance of avoiding spending into the luxury tax, the Sixers might be able to snag either Porter or Bogdanovic.

NBA Notes: Tim Duncan's ex-financial adviser gets 4 years in prison for defrauding him

NBA Notes: Tim Duncan's ex-financial adviser gets 4 years in prison for defrauding him

SAN ANTONIO -- An ex-financial adviser to retired San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for defrauding the former NBA star of millions of dollars.

Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Charles Banks of Atlanta was sentenced during a court hearing Wednesday in San Antonio.

A judge also ordered Banks to pay $7.5 million in restitution.

Banks had pleaded guilty in April to one count of wire fraud.

Investigators say Banks manipulated Duncan --who retired last year after five NBA championships with the Spurs -- into guaranteeing payment of a $6 million debt related to a merchandising business.

Prosecutors say Banks failed to disclose commissions and loans he received in the deal.

Banks is set to report to federal prison as early as Aug. 28.

Lakers: Team exercises Nwaba's $1.3 million option
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their $1.3 million contract option on guard David Nwaba for the upcoming season.

The Lakers announced the move Wednesday.

Nwaba earned a job with the Lakers after they called him up from their D-League affiliate on Feb. 28. The rookie averaged 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while impressing Luke Walton's coaching staff with his hustle and defensive play.

The Lakers signed him to a new contract with a multi-year component just three weeks after his NBA debut.

Nwaba is a local product, attending University High School in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica College before finishing his college career at Cal Poly.

Raptors: Webster promoted to general manager
TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors have promoted Bobby Webster to general manager, making the 32-year-old assistant the youngest GM in the NBA.

Webster will report to team president Masai Ujiri. He replaces Jeff Weltman, who left Toronto in May to become president of the Orlando Magic.

A former staffer at the NBA league office in New York, Webster joined the Raptors in 2013 and was named assistant GM in 2016.

His first task will be deciding what to offer All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who opted out of the final year of his contract last month after Cleveland swept Toronto in the second round of the playoffs.

Forwards Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson are all unrestricted free agents.

Also Wednesday, Toronto promoted Dan Tolzman to assistant general manager.

The Raptors have posted consecutive 50-win seasons and made four straight playoff appearances.

Cavaliers: James teaming with Showtime on documentary
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James will help tell a story he's still shaping.

The Cavaliers superstar is teaming with Showtime on a documentary that will examine the modern NBA and the league's impact on popular culture worldwide. James, who has been producing TV and movie projects for several years, will serve as an executive producer with long-time business partner Maverick Carter.

The three-part documentary will be directed by filmmaker Gotham Chopra and premiere in 2018.

James has become one of the game's most transcendent players. The 32-year-old recently led Cleveland to its third straight Finals -- his seventh consecutive trip. The three-time champion continues to play at an amazingly high level after 14 pro seasons.

"We developed the idea for these films because of the incredible, generational impact some of the NBA's most successful players have had on every aspect of American culture," said Carter, CEO of SpringHill Entertainment. "Gotham is the perfect filmmaker to bring these stories to life, and Showtime is the right platform to showcase how they were able to transcend the game and shape the culture in an unprecedented way."

Chopra previously produced and directed a successful documentary on Kobe Bryant.

"Despite the fact that I am a Boston Celtics fan to the bone, collaborating with Maverick and LeBron was an inspired opportunity," he said. "Sports in general and specifically the NBA provide a great backdrop for storytelling. But these films offer us a chance to go beyond that; to weave a broader cultural narrative in our current social climate."