Dan Feldman

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: Jorge Gutierrez #13 of the Brooklyn Nets brings the ball up court against the Boston Celtics during a preseason game at TD Garden on October 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Report: Nets signing Jorge Gutierrez

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The Nets have a clear 1-2 at point guard with Jeremy Lin and Greivis Vasquez.

Beyond that, it gets murky.

Randy Foye and Isaiah Whitehead are combo guards. Yogi Ferrell‘s deal is just partially guaranteed.

Another candidate to be third point guard? Former Nets third point guard Jorge Gutierrez.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Brooklyn has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit, with guaranteed salaries. But the Nets are so far under the salary floor, they probably wouldn’t hesitate to eat a guaranteed contract if Gutierrez wins the job.

Gutierrez broke into the NBA with the Nets in 2014, when they were run by deposed general manager Billy King and coach Jason Kidd. It seems more coincidental than institutional Gutierrez is returning to Brooklyn under the Sean Marks/Kenny Atkins regime.

In stints with Kidd’s Bucks and the Hornets, Gutierrez has continued to look like a fringe NBA player. He’s a decent defender, but his lack of outside shooting holds him back.

Report: Clippers signing Xavier Munford

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Xavier Munford #14 of the Memphis Grizzlies goes for a layup against Paul Pierce #34 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of the basketball game against Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center April 12, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Xavier Munford went from a D-League All-Star to a key contributor down the stretch for the injury-ravaged Grizzlies.

What’s next for the 24-year-old point guard?

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Though Munford was rough around the edges in Memphis, he proved himself a fringe NBA player. It probably doesn’t hurt that he had two of his better games against Doc Rivers’ Clippers. But is unlikely to stick in Los Angeles.

The Clippers already have 15 players, the regular-season roster limit, with guaranteed salaries. Hard-capped and with little wiggle room, they probably won’t waive a guaranteed player for Munford – though there’s at least a theoretical chance they could eat Raymond Felton‘s deal and keep Munford behind Chris Paul and Austin Rivers.

Much more likely, Munford tries to impress now in case the Clippers – or another team – has an opening later in the season.

Lakers sign Thomas Robinson

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14:  Thomas Robinson #41 of the Brooklyn Nets passes against Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics during their Preseason game at Barclays Center on October 14, 2015 in New York City.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Lakers aren’t just signing washed-up veterans.

They’re also adding a player who could help the team on the court now and in coming years: Thomas Robinson.

Lakers release:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Thomas Robinson, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

Robinson opted out of a guaranteed minimum contract with the Nets. I’m surprised he had to settle for an unguaranteed deal.

But he could make the regular-season roster and break even.

The Lakers have 14 players with guaranteed salaries, plus Yi Jianlian and maybe minus Nick Young. That leaves Robinson, Metta World Peace, Zach Auguste, Travis Wear and Julian Jacobs seemingly competing for one spot.

Robinson, just 25, is a strong rebounder and shot blocker. The Lakers want to depend on Timofey Mozgov in the middle, but they still need a long-term answer at center (which raises questions about signing 30-year-old Mozgov to such a lucrative deal). Might that be Robinson? He could at least be a stop-gap around their perimeter talent depending on Mozgov’s aging curve. Robinson can also provide depth behind Mozgov in the short-term.

Of all the Lakers without guaranteed deals, I like Robinson the most – and that includes Yi. Still, Robinson must prove himself in the preseason.

51Q: How do the 76ers manage all their bigs?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Jahlil Okafor #8 and Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers play in the game against the Utah Jazz on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We continue PBT’s 2016-17 NBA preview series, 51 Questions. For the past few weeks, and through the start of the NBA season, we tackle 51 questions we cannot wait to see answered during the upcoming NBA season. We will delve into one almost every day between now and the start of the season.

Thought experiment: Consider how many minutes per game each 76ers’ rotation-caliber player should get – in a vacuum – at power forward and/or center if the primary goals were winning and development. You can tinker with the numbers, but here’s my rough outline:

That’s a grand total of 165 minutes with just 96 minutes available between power forward and center – obviously unworkable.

Even if you move all Simmons’ minutes to point guard and all Grant’s and Saric’s minutes to small forward that would leave 98 minutes. That’s not far from 96. It just requires exclusively using players at suboptimal positions. Not playing Embiid on back-to-backs will help some nights. But for him to meet Philadelphia’s lofty expectations, he’ll have to work toward carrying a larger load. And there are still far more games after an off day.

This is Philadelphia’s most imminent dilemma, and general manager Bryan Colangelo knows it. Until he fixes it, it’s coach Brett Brown’s problem.

The 76ers inherited this uncomfortable position from Sam Hinkie, whose Process was tormented by draft redundancies.

Noel (No. 6 in 2013), Embiid (No. 3 in 2014), Okafor (No. 3 in 2015) and Simmons (No. 1 in 2016) all made sense at their draft slots. But, collectively, they’re unplayable together. It’s too much size. The NBA’s small-ball trend has also pushed Saric and Grant toward the power end of the combo-forward spectrum.

And to a certain degree, so what? The greater sin might have been passing on the best prospect for a better fit on a team going nowhere anyway. Throwing good money after bad was not a fix.

If the 76ers have too many valuable bigs, that’s not a bad problem.

But they’re not there yet, and solving that puzzle requires three difficult steps:

1. Identify talent.

Simmons, Saric and Embiid have yet to play in the NBA. Okafor might not fit in the modern NBA due to his lack of rim protection and jumper, and his off-court issues are a red flag. Noel has been up and down, potentially due to injury. Grant and Holmes might just look like overachieving second-rounders in the backdrop of a historically bad team.

Each of these players needs minutes to prove himself one way or the other.

2. Preserve trade value.

This roster was assembled to stockpile talent, not jell together. In other words, it was built for trades.

But Philadelphia doesn’t want to sell low on anyone – which requires showcasing talent. Good luck with that.

Okafor and Noel fit awfully last season, and it’s difficult to construct a rotation of complementary big men without cutting out some entirely – which defies step one. That’s part of Brown’s sometimes contradictory mandate, regardless.

3. Make a trade.

The 76ers might prefer to trade Okafor rather than Noel, but Noel probably carries more trade value. Colangelo can’t simply dump the bigs he likes least. He must also consider the return.

So, this could take a while to suss out – which makes step two even more difficult.

There’s just no magic bullet for untangling this far-reaching web of complications.

It’s on Colangelo and Brown to work through it.

Bucks GM says he discussed max contract with Giannis Antetokounmpo

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 25:  Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks carries the ball against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at TD Garden on February 25, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

When Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension with no options, my immediate reaction was: He got how little?

C.J. McCollum, less valuable than Antetokounmpo due to a three-year age gap, got a quasi-max extension of $106 million.

The implication here is Antetokounmpo could’ve gotten more.

Bucks general manager John Hammond:

There was a max number out there, and that was discussed, discussed internally and externally. And the one thing we asked Giannis to do was take that into consideration as we move forward. Give us every opportunity. We want to become a championship-level team. There’s going to be guys and guys who have done that, players who have given back some. And it’s a little bit of the time, as we move forward, hopefully we’re going to have other guys with the organization willing to do that. Those small pieces can turn into a bigger chunk at some point.

If Antetokounmpo passed on a true max deal, we won’t know how much he saved the Bucks until next offseason. By the time the new salary cap is set and the Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon, it could be substantially more than $6 million over four years. (The complication: With a max deal Milwaukee could have given Antetokounmpo a fifth year on his extension. The non-max limit was four.)

The Bucks have done well in this area. Not only did Antetokounmpo take less than his apparent market value, so did Milwaukee’s second-highest-paid player – Khris Middleton, who signed for $70 million over five years last summer. This puts some pressure on Jabari Parker, who’ll be eligible for an extension next offseason.

As Hammond said, these prudent signings give the Bucks extra money to spend elsewhere.