Casper Ware

It’s official: 76ers acquire Marquis Teague for Casper Ware, second round pick

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Not exactly what you’d call a blockbuster by any stretch (well, maybe in Sam Hinkie’s world), but we have a trade on the days leading up to the NBA season.

As previously reported would happen, Marquis Teague has been sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, the teams announced Friday. The Nets will get a personal favorite in Casper Ware — Go Long Beach State! — who will be waived by the team before the season starts, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. I’d like to think Ware will land a spot on an NBA team, he’d make a good third point guard somewhere, but I’m not optimistic.

What the Sixers get that they really want is a future second round pick (the better of the Milwaukee and Sacramento picks the Nets are owed that year). Sixers GM Hinkie loves him some picks.

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What the Sixers also add is the former No. 29 pick out of Kentucky in Teague, who has struggled to look like an NBA point guard at pretty much every stop. But with Michael Carter-Williams out for a while, Teague goes in the mix with Tony Wroten and Alexey Shved to see who gets the minutes in Philadelphia.

Just consider this another addition in the “wow the Sixers are going to be bad this year” file.

Report: Will Cherry drawing interest from Cavaliers, Raptors

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One of my favorite little duels of Summer League was when Will Cherry and Casper Ware went mano-a-mano for a lengthy stretch of a Cavaliers vs. Sixers game in Las Vegas. These are two very quick, undersized point guards who want the ball in their hands and were trying hard to make an impression, trying to catch on as a third point guard in a league where carrying that guard is becoming more common.

Cherry was hard to miss even for a guy generously listed as 6’0” — on a team with Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett he was the aggressor with the ball, never fearing to attack or take a shot. He was a gunner. He averaged 12.8 points a game but shot a very nice 52 percent doing so. The former Montana star played a few games in the D-League for the Canton Charge last season but made an impression in Las Vegas.

Enough that he is getting looks from Cleveland and Toronto, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

My guess is Cherry ends up with a make-good contract heading into training camp.

For a team looking for a third point guard who can come in and be a spark, put up points, be a fan favorite, and work hard in practice a guy like Cherry (or Ware) can be a good fit. Not on every roster, but there are spots he could work in the league and Cleveland could be one of them.

Miami Heat sign James Ennis, Udonis Haslem

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I’ll just admit my bias up front — I’m a Long Beach State season ticket holder and I love this news about James Ennis.

Although the expected news about Udonis Haslem is probably the bigger story.

The Miami Heat announced they have signed James Ennis to a contract and will be bringing back Haslem for two more seasons.

Haslem opted out of his contract to give Pat Riley room to maneuver during free agency and there was no way he wasn’t going to be back — Miami signed him with the room exception, giving him $2.7 million next two seasons.

As for James Ennis, Riley talked about him.

“We were excited to draft James a year ago and have been impressed by the growth of his game in Summer League and Puerto Rico, as well as his terrific experience in Australia, leading Perth to a championship. We are looking forward to the infusion of energy he will bring to our roster.”

Miami traded for the rights to Long Beach State’s Ennis on draft night in 2013 in a trade with Atlanta, but he went to play last season overseas in Australia (he would have spent the season in the D-League stateside, overseas he got paid more). He led the Perth Wildcats to the Australian Basketball League title averaging 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and shooting 35 percent from three.

Ennis showed his growth in five summer league games for Miami, scoring 15.1 points a game and shooting 48.1 percent from three.

He’s going to be a “3&D” guy in the NBA and he’s got some work to do to really bring that at an NBA level, but he’s shown growth and he has the athleticism, so he’s going to get the chance.

For you keeping track at home, that could mean two Long Beach State alums in the NBA, the other being the Sixers’ Casper Ware.

Notes from a Summer League Monday: Sign me up for the Dante Exum fan club

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LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Summer League is a three ring NBA circus. There are two simultaneous games and the sideshow of agents, coaches and players just hanging out and talking. There’s a lot to take in, a lot of stories to tell.

Here is some stuff from my notebook for Monday.

• You can sign me up for the Dante Exum fan club. The guy has a real star quality about him and his game.

Monday was the first time I have seen him play in person and there is a lot to like. He has this loping dribble that he can turn into quick step to drive or to set up a pass (call it a wicked hesitation dribble). Exum is tall for a guard and that combined with a fantastic floor vision leads to some very smart passes other guards do not see (and also a few rookie passes he will learn he can’t make against this level of athlete). He is very quick on the dribble and can get into the paint. He struggled a little with his shot Monday night but his form looks good. Utah may really have something with Trey Burke at the point and Exum at the two (or Exum may take his point job).

• There were a lot of Jazz fans who made the trip to Sin City, and they love them some Rodney Hood. With reason. He showed off a sweet stroke and hit 7-of-10 from three on his way to 29 points against the Bucks. It was a shooting exhibition. He’s not going to create his own shot but he did a nice job losing his defender then getting off his shot in a small window. On a team with Burke and Exum a guy who can knock it down like Hood has real value.

• Andrew Wiggins is a physical freak of nature. I know, you knew that, but I don’t think it can be emphasized enough. We already showed you his highlight dunk, now check out his block of 7’0” Nerlens Noel.

It wasn’t just those two highlight plays, either. He ran down a Sixers fast break and knocked the ball out of bounds from a Philly guard before he could get a shot off. He had a couple steals because nobody thought he could get into that passing lane. He’s got a lot to learn about how to harness and use that athleticism, his dribbling and shot need polish (he was 2-of-6 on shots outside the paint), but there is a lot to like.

Let me put it this way, even seasoned NBA observers are left shaking their heads on some of his plays.

• Russ Smith looked good for the Pelicans, he could make a nice change-of-pace guard off the bench (a lot of teams carry three point guards, he could be in that mix). New Orleans might be a place he could latch on.

• I said this yesterday but it bears repeating: Sim Bhullar is a massive human being. Seriously. Massive.

• A nice game from Nik Stauskas Monday — 6-of-8 from the field for 15 points. If he shoots like that for the Kings he gets run.

• Mathew Dellavedova has been maybe the best point guard in Las Vegas. Not in terms of pure talent, but because he can run an offense and always seems to make the right play. Summer League is where players come to get noticed and often point guards don’t want to just organize and run the offense. Dellavedova is doing just that. He got into the paint and can finish (3-of-4 in the paint in this game) also got a nice outside catch-and-shoot motion, which could come in handy with that LeBron James guy on the Cavs now.

• One of the most fun matchups Monday: Cleveland’s Will Cherry vs. Philadelphia’s Casper Ware. To lightning quick, dogged point guards who just went back and forth. Both got overlooked because they are under six foot but both are the kinds of guys who could latch on with an NBA team as a third point guard, said Sixers Summer League coach Chad Iske.

“He doesn’t see them as physical limitations,” Iske said of Ware’s height, which is generously listed officially at 5’10”. “He doesn’t think there is anything he can’t do. And he is so strong.”

• Jabari Parker is skilled but he isn’t used to dealing with the length of someone like 7’1” Jazz center Rudy Gobert inside and got blocked a couple of times because of it. Parker has some nice moves but he doesn’t come off as NBA ready yet as had been projected.

• Gobert had a really nice game with five blocks and 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting.

• You can hear the Utah coaches yelling at Gobert to work on the “rule of verticality” every time he is defending in the post — “go straight up Rudy” ring out through the arena.