Sixers Notes: Despite skid, Brown loves his team

uspresswire-sixers-brown-thompson.jpg

Sixers Notes: Despite skid, Brown loves his team

HOUSTON – Though the 76ers are generating news with their 25-game losing streak entering Thursday’s road game at Houston, head coach Brett Brown doesn’t seem to mind answering the questions about the second-longest losing streak in NBA history.

And the rookie coach certainly enjoys coaching this team, the youngest in the league.

“In a twisted way this is enjoyable,” Brown said. “I’m watching the guys get better. We’re headed in the right direction.

“We encourage them to feel good about themselves. We’re the youngest team in the history of the game. With that comes some losing.”

The losses mount. The previous franchise record of 20 straight losses set in 1973 was eclipsed. There are six rookies on the current roster and James Nunnally and Casper Ware are on 10-day contracts.

“This year we’re judged by different measurements,” Brown said. “Our guys are bringing their ‘A’ effort.

“We realize we’re coaching a bunch of young players. That’s fine by me. That’s what I signed up for. I love coaching the group.”

Nunnally pleased to be back
James Nunnally isn’t overly concerned about the Sixers' losing streak. He’s glad to be part of the team and the league. On Thursday the club signed the 6-foot-7 forward from California-Santa Barbara to a second 10-day contract.

“It means they’re looking at me, watching me,” said Nunnally. “I just have to come out and play more aggressive. Be myself and play within myself.

“I’m really blessed to be in the NBA. I’ll play anywhere on any team. I know it’s a rebuilding year for this team. They’re looking for guys to build with in the future. I just got to play.”

Nunnally has appeared in five games this season with the Sixers. In 35 games between Bakersfield and Texas of the D-League, Nunnally was averaging 18.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Nunnally’s specialty is three-point shooting.

“I can definitely fill that role,” he said. “I feel I can do much more but that’s what they want me to do here.”

5 things to know about new Sixers big man Tiago Splitter

5 things to know about new Sixers big man Tiago Splitter

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. 

#RAISETHE …?
Will Splitter raise the cat? He’s already raised his five-month-old puppy in this recent Instagram post. 

Será que esta grande o Buddy? #5meses #dog He keeps growing 😱

A post shared by Tiago Splitter (@tgo_splitter) on

Report: Bulls continuing trade push for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Bulls continuing trade push for Jahlil Okafor

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.”