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


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.

67RIEFNS No. 31: Wizards’ small forwards


The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

Contract-Year Trevor Ariza, by win shares, just posted the best season by a Washington small forward since Greg Ballard led the 1981-82 Bullets in scoring. Not coincidentally, that was the last team in franchise history – before last season – to win a second-round playoff game.

No matter what happened in free agency, the Wizards were going to have a hard time replacing Contract-Year Trevor Ariza. They were going to either keep Ariza on a multi-year deal that resulted in his production slipping to relatively pedestrian levels or lose him in free agency. Ultimately, the latter occurred, with Ariza headed to Houston.

Now, Washington – which has one of the NBA’s best backcourts (John Wall and Bradley Beal) and an identity-creating big-man combo (Nene and Marcin Gortat) – must find a new small forward to bridge the gap in an emerging lineup.

It might take a little while for everything to shake out, because injuries to Beal and Glen Rice Jr. will throw the Wizards’ rotation out of balance. But once they settle in, this is one of the most underrated and intriguing extended position battles in the league. It could take the greater part of the season for Washington to find the answer, but all three candidates bring something to the table.

Paul Pierce

Pierce is an NBA champion and Finals MVP. He’s made 10 All-Star games. He’s a well-respected leader.

He just hasn’t played small forward that effectively in quite a while.

Pierce struggled in the playoffs his last season with the Celtics, and he didn’t take off in Brooklyn until the Nets went small and moved him to power forward. In the 32 games between that 2013 playoff series and before Brooklyn’s transformation, Pierce averaged 13.9 points on 39.3 percent shooting with 3.1 turnovers per game. Sample-size caveats apply, but traditional scouting certainly indicates he’s better suited to be a small-ball four at this stage.

That’s not knocking Pierce’s great career, but he’s 37 now. The bust potential, especially if Washington keeps him at power forward, is higher than most are willing to acknowledge.

Otto Porter

Porter was one of my favorite players in the 2013 draft. He was extremely productive at Georgetown, and he was the third-youngest top-10 pick (behind Nerlens Noel and Alex Len).

But Porter’s rookie year never really got off the ground as he dealt with injury. That’s the optimistic view, at least. When Porter got on the court, he was dreadful.

He’s looked considerably better in summer and the preseason, reliably hitting jumpers. In time, I still think he can do more, but on this team, someone who spreads the floor by making spot-ups is a good fit.

Can that be Porter? Some players just need a little time to transition to the NBA.

Martell Webster

Webster splits the difference between the aging Pierce and young Porter.

It seems Webster has been been in the league nine years – and he has. But he’s just 27, turning pro the last year players could declare for the NBA draft straight from high school.

Webster had a career year in 2012-13, earning a big contract, before backsliding and losing his starting job to Ariza last season. He’s faced a litany of injuries, including a herniated disc in his back that has him sidelined now.

Once Webster gets healthy, as a player theoretically in his prime, he could earn the job over Pierce (maybe too old) and Porter (maybe too young). Webster could be that just-right third bear.

No matter who ultimately becomes the Wizards starting small forward, they have enough talent at the position that finding a good option is likely. None of these three are sure things, leaving the possibility Washington strikes out, but I’m betting on the Wizards identifying at least one quality option – even if these three interesting candidates battle for the job throughout the season.

Josh Smith dunks all over Nerlens Noel (VIDEO)


I love that Nerlens Noel’s instinct was to go after that and try to block it.

But welcome to the NBA rookie. He’s not strong enough or ready to stop someone with the power of Josh Smith going to the rim.

Smith had a monster game — 17 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and five hockey assists (his pass led to another pass that led to a bucket). He did it a little bit of everything in the Pistons 109-103 victory.

Report: Sixers in talks to acquire Marquis Teague from Nets


The Philadelphia 76ers are closing in on a trade for Brooklyn Nets point guard Marquis Teague, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s unclear what the Nets will receive in return, but it doesn’t appear to be anything noteworthy, likely just cash considerations.

The Philadelphia 76ers are in talks with the Brooklyn Nets to acquire guard Marquis Teague, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Nets wouldn’t receive anything of significance in return for Teague, sources said.

The Chicago Bulls drafted Teague, the brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, No. 29 overall in 2012. He averaged just 8.2 minutes per game in his rookie year and was dealt to the Nets during the 2013-14 season.

This trade is about as minor as it gets, but Teague is one of the more accomplished players on the Sixers, by default. He’s an end-of-the-bench guy on a team like the Nets hoping to make the playoffs, but Philadelphia is currently just throwing whatever they can find at the wall, and Teague has a chance to earn some real minutes, especially while Michael Carter-Williams misses time with a shoulder injury.

Report: Michael Carter-Williams’ goal is to miss just seven games


When Michael Carter-Williams had shoulder surgery this offseason, he was given a timeline that meant he’d miss 5-50 games this season.

The 76ers point guard is trying to keep that diagnosis on the low end.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

Michael Carter-Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers have set a target date of Nov. 13 for his return, a source close to the situation told

Philadelphia plays Dallas that day in its eighth game of the season.

You can be sure the tanking 76ers will be as cautious as possible, especially now that the NBA will keep the same lottery format for this season. There’s a chance Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year and team’s top player, helps Philadelphia win – which would counteract its short-term goals.

More importantly, as long as winning is not a focus, the 76ers will want to ensure Carter-Williams fully heals. There’s no sense letting this injury become a long-term concern if a little extra rest now would help.