Two days after the season ended -- his third season as owner of the club -- Sixers owner Josh Harris came to the team's practice facility to address the media.
Ironically, the subject of a new practice facility and the details about it being built was the first order of business Harris was asked about.
"There are multiple sites that we are looking at and very advanced thinking," Harris said. "Hopefully, I would like to announce something this summer. Like everything else we do, we are trying to do it in the right way and for the long run. Some alternatives have developed."
The Sixers currently practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine but would like to have their facility to come and go as they please.
Harris said building of a facility at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, not far from the Wells Fargo Center, was not off the table. However, there are potential sites Harris said the team is considering, both in and outside the city.
As far as a time frame for the building to be up and running -- it is further down the line than one might expect.
"Realistically, once we announce the site it is going to take a couple years to build it appropriately," Harris said. "When you think about that it will probably open for the third season from now."
Harris is absolutely committed to the Sixers having their own practice facility. However, he did say the team remains a tenant of the Wells Fargo Center for playing games.
"With the practice facility what we are doing is we are trying to build a great place for elite people to work, from the players to the coaches and hopefully the management," Harris said. "You want to create an environment that is world class, so that is why it is taking a little bit longer."
Whether or not the Sixers keep Tiago Splitter after acquiring him from the Hawks for Ersan Ilyasova has not been determined (see story). In the meantime, get to know the newest member of the team.
Splitter already knows his coach
Brett Brown was working on the Spurs’ coaching staff when Splitter began playing for the team in 2010. Splitter was a member of the 2013 Spurs squad that won the championship the year after Brown departed to coach the Sixers.
Another international addition
This season, half of the Sixers’ roster is comprised of international players. Splitter is from Brazil and played on the national team. He was unable to compete in the Olympics last summer because of hip surgery. Splitter also played overseas in Europe before coming to the NBA. The location on his Twitter profile is “Smwhere in Usa or Brazil.”
First-rounder in ‘07
Splitter did not play his rookie season until 2010, but he was drafted in 2007. The Spurs selected Splitter with the 28th overall pick. He was chosen one pick after Arron Afflalo and one before Alando Tucker. That is the same draft in which the Sixers chose Daequan Cook at No. 21 and traded him to the Heat for Jason Smith.
Splitter on the mic
Nik Stauskas isn’t the only member of the Sixers with a broadcasting resume anymore. Splitter made appearances on the Hawks’ television broadcast this season and also for a Brazilian network during 2016 Summer Olympics.
Will Splitter raise the cat? He’s already raised his five-month-old puppy in this recent Instagram post.
The Bulls are apparently still after Jahlil Okafor.
Chicago has continued its trade push for the Sixers’ big man, according to a report Wednesday night by The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
In early February, the Bulls inquired about Okafor, according to a report by CSNChicago.com.
With Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline nearing, the clock is ticking on the Sixers’ possible trade of Okafor, who “will get moved” by the mandatory cutoff date, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge on Tuesday.
The Sixers already have one trade completed. They finalized a deal late Wednesday night that sent Ersan Ilyasova to the Atlanta Hawks for Tiago Splitter and draft pick considerations (see story).
With Okafor, aside from the Bulls, other teams have reportedly expressed interest in the second-year center, including the Pacers, Blazers, Mavericks and Pelicans (who are expected to be out of the running after landing DeMarcus Cousins).
Okafor is averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 23 minutes per game this season over 38 contests. Last season, he played 53 games (48 starts) as a rookie and averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds.
The 21-year-old has taken all the trade buzz in stride.
“Trade rumors are something that’s going to be part of my life probably for as long as I’m in the NBA," Okafor said on Feb. 4 after the Bulls’ reported interest originally surfaced. "I’ve been hearing it since I’ve been in the NBA about me being traded. I just try to focus on what I can. That’s being here on this team and trying to help this team win.”