Summer League: Sixers lose despite hot McRae


Summer League: Sixers lose despite hot McRae

The Sixers' bid to claim both NBA summer league titles came to an end on Thursday night with a 79-68 loss to the Chicago Bulls in Las Vegas.

The loss took place in the second round of the Las Vegas Summer League's tournament portion and dropped the Sixers' record in Sin City to 2-3. The Sixers will finish their stay in Vegas with a consolation game at 10:30 p.m. on Friday against the D-League Select team.

Jordan McRae did his best to deliver the Sixers a win. The second-round pick scored a game-high 25 points on 7 of 8 shooting. McRae was also 10 of 10 at the foul line. His lone miss of the night came on a three-pointer with 41.9 seconds left in the game.

Nerlens Noel didn't fare as well in his return to the lineup. After sitting out the Sixers' previous two games, Noel came back to score 14 points against the Bulls but they came on 13 shots. He did add five rebounds and two assists as he battled a cold and some hard collisions in the loss.

K.J. McDaniels chipped in with 11 points to round out the Sixers who scored in double figures.

The top-seeded Bulls were led by guard Tony Snell and forward Cameron Bairstow, who scored 18 points apiece to run their record to 4-0.

The No. 11 overall pick in last month's NBA draft, Doug McDermott, had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night. McDermott scored 11 points on just 3 of 10 shooting, including 1 of 6 from three-point range. He did grab five boards and block two shots.

As they've done throughout the Las Vegas Summer League, the Sixers fell behind early again on Thursday. They trailed the Bulls by as many as 14 points during the first half before rallying to take a lead in the second quarter behind 14 points in the frame from McRae.

However, with the game tied at 52 and 3:17 remaining in the third, the Bulls went on a 9-0 run to finish the quarter and regain control on their way to victory.

Sixers eyeing players waived by other teams before finalizing roster

Sixers eyeing players waived by other teams before finalizing roster

CAMDEN, N.J. — As the Sixers decide who to keep on their roster and who to waive before the regular season, they also are keeping an eye on moves around the league.

Teams have been making cuts as the preseason winds down. In addition to assessing their own group of players, the Sixers are watching who becomes available. 

"There's always stuff that comes in late. You think you know a few days out and sometimes something happens," Brett Brown said after practice Thursday. "There are other teams that are releasing people too, and so the table is very fluid. The marketplace forces you to pay attention and make sure you're doing your job and growing your team. It's hard to say honestly (that) everything's in place and it's set, you know exactly [who] the 15 (players) are going to be. That is not true."

The Sixers' needs have shifted since the start of training camp. Once deep in the frontcourt and at the one spot, the Sixers have been hit by injuries to point-forward Ben Simmons (right Jones fracture), projected starting point guard Jerryd Bayless (sore left wrist), big man Jahlil Okafor (right knee) and center Nerlens Noel (left groin strain). They reportedly expressed interested in Timberwolves point guard Tyus Jones, according to The Vertical.

The roster stands at 20. Elton Brand announced he will be retiring, which clears up a spot. Cat Barber, Shawn Long, Brandon Paul and James Webb III, who signed with the Sixers this offseason, are those likely to be waived. Players that don't make the Sixers still could end on their D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers.

The Sixers will play their final preseason game on Friday against the Heat in Miami. Brown does not foresee a huge change to happen from the finale. He has been observing many of the Sixers since Summer League, and others returned to Philadelphia to work out ahead of training camp.

"I think it all adds up," Brown said. "We've seen a body of work. We've seen a lot. I think that it will play out more with that in mind than a dramatic performance on the last game of an NBA preseason."

When it comes time for Brown to make the final decision, the conversations don't get easier over the years. 

"It's always hard for me," Brown said. "A lot of these guys were with us over the summertime, so it's not like you just met him. It's never an easy time. But it's also a time, you feel like you've done your best to help them. They'll be better off, I think, for having spent time with us."

The Sixers begin the regular season on Oct. 26 at home against the Thunder.

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

With Ben Simmons and Jerryd Bayless hurt, the Sixers are still lacking a distributor, and so it makes sense that they've been in contact with the point guard-rich Timberwolves.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Sixers and New Orleans Pelicans have shown interest in T'wolves backup point guard Tyus Jones. 

With fifth overall pick Kris Dunn and Ricky Rubio, Minnesota is set at PG. Jones, 20, is third on the totem pole a year after being drafted 24th overall. 

According to Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves are more inclined to trade Jones than Rubio. 

Jones has a connection to the Sixers in Jahlil Okafor, a former teammate at Duke. Both were one-and-dones for the 2014-15 National Championship team. Jones averaged 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists for the Blue Devils. 

He played sparingly as a rookie last season with Minnesota (37 games), averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 15.5 minutes, but stood out this summer, winning Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

T.J. McConnell has started the majority of the preseason at point guard for the Sixers. Sergio Rodriguez got the nod in the last game against the Pistons. Brett Brown is also looking at Nik Stauskas to fill the spot in a non-traditional role.