Tag: Nerlens Noel

Sacramento Kings Media Day

Nik Stauskas looking for redemption in Philadelphia


LAS VEGAS — Nik Stauskas’ rookie year was not pretty.

Touted as one of the best shooters in the draft, taken No. 8 by the Kings, he shot just 28.8 percent on jumpers before the All-Star break. He called it the worst slump of his life. It didn’t help that the Kings’ went through three coaches with three different philosophies in one season, but Stauskas isn’t making excuses.

“Very poor,” were the words Stauskas used to describe his play last season. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to and that’s just on me. That’s just on me. That’s why this summer I’ve taken the time to work as hard as I can so I don’t have to go through that and I can show people the player I am in this league….

“Anyone who has three coaches in a year, there’s not going to be a lot of consistency, whether it’s with minutes or style of play and whatnot. But I can’t use that as an excuse on gameday, I’m out on the floor and I’ve either got to put the ball in the basket or not put the ball in the basket, and I wasn’t doing that last year.”

He’s going to do try and get his redemption in Philadelphia.

He was shipped East as part of a salary dump deal by the Kings that also included Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, a future first-round pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2016 and 2017  going to Philly for second round draft-and-stash guys Arturas Gudatis and Luka Mitrovic. (Philly won that trade by a mile.)

Stauskas started to show some of his promise under the faster-paced, more open style of George Karl — he shot 42.1 percent from three after the All-Star break. But it wasn’t his offense that kept Karl from trusting him more, it was the defense and he knows that’s where he will need to improve.

There were countless times last year I would go on the floor and I was targeted, right away teams would attack me, and the adjustment to the physicality and defense,” Stauskas said. “It’s an adjustment and I’m just getting better every day on it.”

That work was put on hold for a couple weeks after he rolled his ankle this summer, but Stauskas said his ankle is better now, and there was no structural damage.

With Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel in the paint, if Stauskas can knock down threes to space the floor, and if he can play at a fast pace, Brett Brown is going to give him some run.

Stauskas is going to get a second chance to make a first impression. He just wants the one in Philadephia to go much better than that first attempt.

Report: Sixers’ Joel Embiid to have another foot surgery, could miss entire next season

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers

This just sucks.

Joel Embiid was on track to be the No. 1 (or at worst No. 2) pick in the 2014 NBA draft, until concerns with his foot needing surgery had him fall to the Sixers at No. 3. He missed all of last season recovering from that injury (although by May both his agent and the team said he was back to “playing basketball”), however, a recent setback raised concern that the recovery had gone well off track.

It has — Embiid is going to need another foot surgery and likely will miss the entire 2015-16 NBA season, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 7-footer will have a second surgery after the latest setback in the healing of his right foot, according to several NBA sources. The team will decide whether to have it in North Carolina or at the New York Hospital of Special Surgery

“I would say there’s a great possibility that Embiid won’t play next year,” the source said. “Just think how long they sat him when they thought he was healthy.”

The need for surgery has been confirmed by John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com. However, Gonzalez notes that the timeline for Embiid’s recovery is unknown — it will depend on what the surgeons find and need to do — and he could potentially return next season.

Whatever the case could this now be career threatening? Maybe. Sixers fans have reason to be concerned. Chronic foot issues and NBA big men — whose job requires running up and down a hardwood floor — are a terrible mix.

The Sixers drafted Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick this year and he will play along the front line with Nerlens Noel (who sat out his first year after knee surgery but played last season). Those two with Embiid could have made a formidable front line rotation for years to come.

Now you have to wonder if we’ll ever see it.

Report: Dario Saric wanted to join Sixers this season

Dario Saric

Dario Saric was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but the plan was for him to remain in Europe for at least two more seasons.

That’s probably part of the reason the rebuilding Sixers traded for him on draft night, given their propensity for selecting players who aren’t ready to contribute to the team’s win total in the immediate future.

Saric, however, was ready to make the jump now. But he couldn’t get out of his current contract in order to make that happen.

From David Pick at Basketball Insiders:

“Saric told people he wanted to join Philadelphia now, but couldn’t because his contract had no out-clause,” a source told Basketball Insiders.

Despite the Sixers’ late push to bring him over as soon as possible, negotiations with Turkish finalist Anadolu Efes failed to materialize. Saric is handcuffed overseas until 2016, but it was clear, sources familiar with his wishes said, that he wanted to join Philadelphia.

I asked Saric for his thoughts about moving to the U.S. and the situation with his Turkish club.

“It’s really hard for me to answer that,” Saric said. “I can’t comment.”

Tanking jokes aside, the Sixers did seem to want to add Saric to the roster this season. It’s time to start developing all that young talent in order to begin to turn things around — even though the 6’10” power forward is a duplication of sorts, alongside Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and the newly-drafted Jahlil Okafor.

Report: Sixers did not disclose Jrue Holiday injury to Pelicans, fined $3 million by NBA

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings

On draft night two years ago, the Philadephia 76ers traded Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel. In those two years, Holiday has been healthy enough to play in 74 games, missing 41 games his first year after the trade due to a stress fracture in his right leg that required surgery.

The NBA says that the Sixers knew about a stress fracture in Holiday’s leg but didn’t disclose it — and they fined the Sixers for it, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer.

The 76ers were ordered to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million by the NBA last season for not fully disclosing Jrue Holiday’s injury history before he was traded two years ago, according to two sources….

The sources said Holiday played with stress fractures in his lower right leg during his final season with the Sixers. However, the sources said, those injures weren’t fully disclosed to the Pelicans.

The Sixers, of course, deny this. Also, the Pelicans gave Holiday a physical before the trade went through.

However, the NBA felt strongly enough about it after looking at the evidence to fine Philadephia for its actions.

Interestingly, the Sixers are trying to get the league to look closely at what the Lakers knew before trading Andrew Bynum to them back in 2012, according to the same report. Bynum never played a minute for the Sixers.


Sixers GM ‘would like to think’ he would have drafted Jahlil Okafor even if Joel Embiid was healthy


When the Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, it made things fairly tough for the Philadelphia 76ers.

L.A. was expected to go with Jahlil Okafor in the weeks leading up to the draft, which would have made Russell an easy choice for the Sixers when looking at the team’s glut of frontcourt players.

But even with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid needing plenty of minutes in order to develop, Philadelphia took Okafor anyway, because he was the best player available regardless of position.

Okafor may end up filling a need, if the setback suffered by Embiid in regards to his foot injury turns out to be a worst-case scenario. The fact that Embiid’s season is in question made the decision to select Okafor a little easier, but Sixers GM Sam Hinkie believes he may have gone with Okafor anyway, even if Embiid was 100 percent.

From John Smallwood of Philly.com:

Hinkie said selecting Duke University freshman center Jahlil Okafor third overall was not connected to Embiid’s situation. He said Okafor was the pick because he was the best player available.

But what if there was no issue with Embiid?

“I’d like to think we’d have had the courage to do it anyway,” Hinkie responded when asked if he would have still selected Okafor. “I knew and it’s hard to unknow where things stood with Joel, but I’d like to think we’d have the courage anyway.”

It seems far more likely that Philadelphia would have attempted to trade down to select a point guard like Emmanuel Mudiay if there were no issues with Embiid, rather than grabbing yet another big man to add to an unbalanced roster.