Tag: Philadelphia 76ers

Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers

Report: 76ers second-rounder J.P. Tokoto won’t sign with Philadelphia


J.P. Tokoto entered the NBA draft knowing he wasn’t a first-round pick. He just wanted to turn pro.

But, even after the 76ers drafted him with the No. 58 pick, he won’t necessarily get an NBA contract.

John Finger of CSN Philly:

An NBA source said Tokoto likely will not sign this year and will opt to play overseas or in the D-League

I’m a bit surprised Tokoto would agree to this.

The 76ers must offer him a one-year contract to retain his rights. Tokoto could force their hand by accepting that deal, which is surely at the league minimum and unguaranteed. Then, Philadelphia would either keep him for the year or waive him before the regular season.

If Tokoto sticks for the league minimum, that’s probably more than he’d make overseas. It’s definitely more than he’d make in the D-League. Plus, he’d gain a year of service, which would increase his minimum salary in future seasons and move him closer to unrestricted free agency.

If the 76ers cut him, that’d be preferable in many ways, too. Tokoto would no longer be stuck negotiating with a single team. He could leverage all NBA teams against each other as a free agent. That might not produce an NBA offer, but at worst, he’d be right where he is now – headed overseas or to the D-League.

That’s the cold outlook. In reality, there could be other factors.

Perhaps, Tokoto agreed to delay signing on condition the 76ers draft him. I’d be a bit surprised, given No. 58 seemed to be on the low end of his draft range. But maybe Tokoto made that bargain on draft night as he saw himself falling.

Maybe the 76ers promised Tokoto a better contract next summer if he waited. That’s not exactly legal, but those under-the-table deals happen. As long as nothing is in writing – which means Tokoto would be putting his trust in Philadelphia – the league doesn’t crack down. The 76ers’ roster is filling up, and they’d surely prefer to maximize the number of young players they’re betting on. If Tokoto signs elsewhere, he wouldn’t count toward Philadelphia’s 15-man roster limit.

The least-sinister and best-for-Tokoto scenario is the 76ers setting him up with an overseas deal he couldn’t get without their help. Philadelphia has connections Tokoto and his agent might not.

So, it’s possible this is in Tokoto’s best interest. It’s also very possible it’s not.

76ers sign Richaun Holmes

Philadelphia 76ers: Richaun Holmes Portrait

The 76ers did well to draft Richaun Holmes – No. 30 on my board – with the No. 37 pick.

Now, they’ve locked him up long-term.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

76ers second round selection Richaun Holmes has agreed to terms on a multi-year rookie contract with Philadelphia, league sources told RealGM.

Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers:

The first two seasons of which will be significantly guaranteed, per the source.

CSN Philly:

Whether Holmes will be ready to participate in training camp remains to be seen. The athletic 6-foot-8 power forward broke his elbow during summer league action in Utah

If this is like Philadelphia’s other contracts with second-round picks, it’s for four years and Holmes will make a little more than the minimum in year one and possibly year two.

The 76ers obviously have time to be patient with Holmes’ elbow. They’re not trying to win this season, anyway. As long as his injury doesn’t cause long-term harm – and it doesn’t seem like it would – it’s not a problem.

Holmes is a fairly raw big man who excelled at Bowling Green defending the paint, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. His offense game needs polish, and the jump in competition level will be steeper for him than most rookies. But he was already productive, and it seems he has a lot of room to grow – a promising combination.

Jahlil Okafor on upcoming rookie season: “My role is to dominate”

Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes and J.P. Tokoto attend a press conference after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft

The Sixers have been looking for a franchise centerpiece for several years. In the last three drafts, they’ve taken big men with high ceilings, and the first two, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, have battled injuries at the beginning of their careers. Embiid is out for the upcoming season after re-fracturing a bone in his right foot, which will open up plenty of room for this year’s No. 3 overall pick, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, to get minutes. Okafor says he’s ready to assume the mantle of franchise player.

From Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

Okafor won’t have much help as he begins his NBA journey. Nerlens Noel, a wiry first-team all-rookie power forward, is expected to serve as a defensive complement to Okafor, but the 76ers currently only have four other players on the roster selected in the first round. And, Joel Embiid, the third pick of the 2014 draft, won’t make his NBA debut for at least another season after reportedly re-breaking the same right foot that caused the 7-foot center to miss all of last season. Okafor doesn’t believe his responsibilities to the organization will change with Embiid sidelined.

“My role is to dominate,” Okafor said. “I’m one of the centerpieces of the team, so my role is the same.”

Okafor’s former Duke teammate Tyus Jones also offers a ringing endorsement of Okafor in Lee’s story:

“He’s a winner,” Jones said of Okafor. “He’s someone who is going to work his tail off in the gym. And try to learn at the same time. Him being a competitor, he hates to lose, so he’ll bring a winning culture to that franchise and he’s going to help them out a lot.”

Throughout much of last college basketball season, Okafor was the presumptive No. 1 pick in the draft. He fell to No. 3 after the Lakers surprisingly took Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell second. He’s still considered an elite, potentially franchise-changing talent at center, and showed flashes of that at Summer League. If he emerges as that level of player in his first season as a pro, it will go a long way in advancing what has been a controversial and interminable rebuilding process so far in Philadelphia.