Kurt Helin

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Joel Embiid working out with Sixers Summer League team, not playing with them


Joel Embiid is not going to take the court with the Philadelphia 76ers Summer League team in Las Vegas.

However, he is in Sin City with the team working out with them in practices, something Jessica Camerato wrote about at CSNPhilly.com.

Embiid has been cleared for monitored, controlled five-on-five scrimmages. He will not be playing, but traveling west with the summer squad is an important part of working his way back on to the floor.

“His progression is very separate from the rest of the team,” Sixers Samsung NBA Summer League coach Lloyd Pierce said. “This allows him to still be around the coaches and players on and off the court.”

She also got this video of him working out with the team.

Video of Joel Embiid out at #LasVegas #SummerLeague. #Sixers #NBA

A post shared by Jessica Camerato (@jcamerato) on

There’s certainly an “I’ll believe it when I see it” aspect to Embiid’s return, but for his sake — and the Sixers — hopefully, we will see what he can do on the court in the fall.

Watch highlights of Orlando Summer League championship game


Friday saw Summer League tip off in Las Vegas, and it came to a close out in Florida where the Pistons and Magic’s White team (they also had a blue team) faced off for the league title.

While high draft picks Henry Ellenson (22 points) and Stanley Johnson (21) played well for Detroit, the balanced attack of five Magic players in double digits, led by Kevin Murphy’s 19 points.

Keep checking out NBC for the latest on Summer League where we will have a couple reporters on scene in Las Vegas.

Tyronn Lue says Cavaliers near deal with Chris “Birdman” Andersen

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The Cavaliers are playing in Summer League in Las Vegas, opening play with a loss to Milwaukee where second-year point guard Jordan McRae dropped 23 points (on 3-of-15 from the floor, but he got to the line 17 times).

While the game was going on, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue swung by NBA TV and broke a little news — the Birdman Chris Andersen is on his way to Cleveland.

This is a good pick up, a lower cost replacement for Timofey Mozgov (who was overpaid by the Lakers). The way Lue wants to play, smaller and faster, the backup center spot is going to get limited minutes anyway, this would be a solid pickup for the spot.

It’s not official yet, but expect that news soon.

Report: Kings’ Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos available via trade

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In free agency, the Sacramento Kings went out and got Arron Afflalo to be a solid two guard, and they got Matt Barnes, who can start at the three and fit in the system. Of course, all that goes around the centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins.

With those three guys on the roster, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos may not be, something long rumored and now confirmed Marc Stein of ESPN.

None of that is shocking, although this is an interesting twist.

Gay is the biggest name of the three, and he remains an athletic wing who scored 17.2 points per game last season. He’s not elite (at either end), and after a few injuries his efficiency slipped last season, but he’s still a quality NBA wing that a number of teams could use. He’s on a now reasonable contract for $27.6 million over the next two seasons.

With Gay by himself, Sacramento maybe could swap solid veterans with a team, or get a non-lottery first round pick. But packaging McLemore or Koufos could add to that value. McLemore should catch the eye of teams looking for wing depth — he shot 36 percent from three last season, his feel for the game is improving, and he’s still on his rookie deal. Koufos is the kind of defensive bit a number of teams could use.

Now that the main crush of free agency is over, teams will step back, assess where they are missing, and try to fill that in via remaining free agents or trades. Which means the Kings may well get some phone calls about these three.

Reports: Heat reach deal with Derrick Williams, working on contract for Udonis Haslem.

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Miami has found itself a little Chris Bosh insurance.

Bosh’s status for next season remains up in the air — he wants to return, the Heat need to be convinced — so Miami was looking for a little depth at the forward spot. They found it in a deal with Derrick Williams, who spent last season with the Knicks. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel reported there were talks, now Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports reports the deal is done.

Williams would have made $5.1 million had he opted in with the Knicks, but he thought he could do better on the open market. Turns out he needs to prove himself again.

Williams quietly had a quality, efficient campaign for the Knicks last season — he had a career best PER of 17.2 in somewhat limited minutes. His game seemed to mature — he turned the ball over less, and he shot 42 percent on corner threes (he should not shoot them above the break).

On another note, it looks like there will be at least one “Heat lifer” sticking around.

Dwyane Wade headed to Chicago, but it looks like Udonis Haslem will be staying in Miami, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

It looks like one member of the Miami Heat will be returning for a 14th consecutive season, with a source close to the negotiations confirming Friday to the Sun Sentinel that the team is working toward an agreement with power forward Udonis Haslem.

Haslem, like guard Dwyane Wade, began his NBA career when he joined the Heat for the 2003 season. Unlike Wade, who departed the franchise this week for the Chicago Bulls as a free agent, Haslem appears to be working toward an amicable resolution, at a salary above the NBA’s minimum scale.

Haslem played a limited role in just 37 games for the Heat last season, making $2.9 million. He likely will make a little more than that this year as the Heat have cap space to sign him into (not the level of money Wade wanted, but more than enough for Haslem). The Heat want him in the locker room, in part to serve as a mentor for Hassan Whiteside (who the Heat did re-sign).