Will Ben Simmons play summer league? Brett Brown thinks it 'would be good'

Will Ben Simmons play summer league? Brett Brown thinks it 'would be good'

With one game left in the regular season, it's already time to start thinking about summer league. For the Sixers, the biggest question about the competition in July is, will Ben Simmons play?

"I think it would be good if he did, but I wouldn't say it's a prerequisite he has to play," Brett Brown said. "I think still his health and the judgement of his health rules the day."

Simmons was sidelined for his entire rookie season with a Jones fracture in his right foot. He has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice with the Sixers.

Given the fact he has been limited in closely monitored activity with his teammates, it would not be unusual for the team to hold him out of summer league play. Simmons did not participate in every game last summer when he was healthy, let alone coming back from a lengthy injury.

The Sixers would have liked to get a more comprehensive look at how Simmons will fit into their system, a forecast unafforded to them this season.

"I do concede the thing that we missed with him not playing after the All-Star Break is, I have this vision that I want to pursue with him as a point guard," Brown said. "Nobody can promise that I'm right. I don't know either. But I think from what I have studied from truly his childhood, and high school and LSU, I feel confident that we should try this and look at it. We would know a lot more in that regard had he had played and we could know a lot more in a summer league. But we don't."

Evaluating Simmons' role must come in two parts. First, can he play point guard? Second, what kind of backcourt pairing will the Sixers need to complement him? Last offseason, the Sixers signed point guard Jerryd Bayless to a three-year deal with the vision he could play the combo guard role with Simmons.

"It's somebody that can guard the other point guard, it's somebody that can make a three, it’s somebody that can bring the ball up the floor from time to time or run a second side pick and roll," Brown said. "I think that Jerryd does, to (president of basketball operations) Bryan Colangelo’s credit, fit the qualities that we’re going to need in that position next to Ben Simmons."

Brown is thinking far beyond summer league when it comes to Simmons. He envisions a starting core with the players on the roster, even if they are currently unavailable to be on the court.

"I think if you go Ben Simmons at a one, that type of player at a two, (Robert) Covington at a three, (Dario) Saric at a four and (Joel) Embiid at a five, when you start draping over the tenants of how we want to play, can that team play defense, you bet? Can they run, yes they can," Brown said.

How will all of that pan out with Simmons playing point? The Sixers may not be able to see until training camp.

Sixers draft pick Jonah Bolden signs 3-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Sixers draft pick Jonah Bolden signs 3-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Sixers draft pick Jonah Bolden is officially headed back overseas.

Bolden, the 36th overall selection in last month’s draft, signed a three-year contract to play in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team announced. The deal does contain opt-out clauses for the NBA.

“Jonah is a very talented young player with great potential, an athletic forward who knows how to shoot the ball and a great guy who likes to work hard,” Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Neven Spahija said, per the EuroLeague's official website. “We believe he will develop into a great player.”

Bolden had hoped to join the Sixers for next season after spending summer league with the squad. The 6-10, 227-pound forward averaged 8.7 points on 36.8 percent shooting from the field and 31.4 percent from three-point range between the Utah and Las Vegas Summer Leagues. He also put up 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks in 23.4 minutes a game.

Bolden entered the draft after putting up 12.1 points (59.7 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range), 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game for KK FMP Beograd of Serbia last season. Those numbers earned him the Adriatic League’s Top Prospect award, previously won by Dario Saric and Nikola Jokic.

Bolden won’t be the only player on Maccabi Tel Aviv’s roster with Sixers/Philly ties. Former 2013 Sixers second-round pick Pierre Jackson and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, native Jake Cohen are both members of the team.

NBA Notes: Kyrie Irving asks Cavaliers to trade him

NBA Notes: Kyrie Irving asks Cavaliers to trade him

CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving wants the stage for himself.

Cleveland's All-Star point guard has asked the Cavaliers to trade him, two people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Friday. Irving made the request last week to owner Dan Gilbert, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on the star's demands.

Irving's appeal was first reported by ESPN.

A four-time All-Star, Irving has spent six seasons with the Cavs, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011. The 25-year-old has overcome injury issues and blossomed into one of the league's elite point guards and biggest stars.

And now that he's finally established himself playing alongside LeBron James, Irving wants out (see full story).

Wizards: Wall reportedly gets 4-year, $170 million extension
WASHINGTON -- A person familiar with the deal says that All-Star point guard John Wall has agreed to a $170 million, four-year contract extension with the Washington Wizards that will start with the 2019 season.

The person confirmed the terms of the agreement to The Associated Press on Friday night on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Wall is a four-time Eastern Conference All-Star who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of Kentucky. He becomes the third player to agree this summer to a designated player "supermax" extension, joining Houston's James Harden and Golden State's Stephen Curry.

Wall's deal was first reported by NBA.com (see full story).

Cavaliers: Altman promoted to full-tme general manager
CLEVELAND -- A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Cavaliers are promoting assistant general manager Koby Altman to be their full-time GM.

Altman has been serving as the club's interim GM for the past few weeks. His deal is being finalized and will be announced in the next few days, said the person who spoke Friday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Altman has been with the Cavs since 2012 and had worked as David Griffin's assistant since after the 2016 title season. Griffin left the club last month after he couldn't work out a contract extension with owner Dan Gilbert.

The 34-year-old Altman will be one of the league's youngest executives.

He'll have a lot on his plate as All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has asked to be traded and LeBron James can opt out of his contract next summer.

Spurs: Gasol agrees to 3-year deal
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Pau Gasol has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs.

The 7-foot Spaniard and the Spurs came to agreement on Friday on a deal that is partially guaranteed for the third season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made an official announcement.

Gasol declined the $16 million option on his contract in June the intent of signing a longer-term deal with the Spurs. The Spurs re-signed Patty Mills and added free agents Rudy Gay and Brandon Paul.

Gasol averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game for the Spurs last season.

ESPN first reported the agreement.

Grizzlies: Ex-Oregon forward Brooks signs
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month's NBA draft.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.