Warriors trade Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson


Players have been traded, but it was all about the money.

The Golden State Warriors agreed to send Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson (Wallace had come to the Bay Area in the David Lee trade with Boston). The Sixers also get some cash and the right to swap the lower of Miami or Oklahoma City’s 2016 picks (the Sixers have the rights to both) for the Warriors’ pick. (That pick swap borders on meaningless, Golden State likely has a top three — top five at worst — record next year.)

Why did the defending champion Warriors make this move? To save money at the end of the bench without hurting their rotation. Former Nets executive and now Twitter star Bobby Marks breaks it down, n0ting you need to consider this move in tandem with the David Lee trade.

Thompson, who has spent his entire career in Sacramento not living up to his potential, is not going to see a lot of playing time behind Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli on the bench. Thompson provides some inconsistent but at times solid defense, and he doesn’t take a lot of shots on offense.

Why do the Sixers make this move? To add some money to the payroll this season — they want to try to get to 90 percent of the salary cap number, which is the salary floor — plus save some money next summer. Wallace will get $10.5 million in this last season of his contract. Thompson makes “only” $6.4 million this season but has a $2.8 million guarantee next season (on a $6.8 million contract). Don’t be shocked if the Sixers just waive Wallace.

Neither guy is going to make a difference on the court for these teams. This was just moving some money around.

Report: Second-rounder J.P. Tokoto will sign with 76ers, after all


At face value, it didn’t make much sense for No. 58 pick J.P. Tokoto to play overseas or in the D-League rather than signing with the 76ers.

Even if Tokoto had to accept the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, a team must extend to retain a draft pick’s rights – he’d be better off with the 76ers.

First of all, they might keep him. The rookie minimum probably bests offers in other leagues.

And if they waive him, he could seek an offer from any NBA team, not just the one that drafted him. He wouldn’t be stuck negotiating with just Philadelphia. Given that Tokoto fell all the way to No. 58, he might not get any other NBA offers. But, even in that worst-case scenario, he’d be in the same boat – headed overseas or to the D-League. This way, when he tried to return to the NBA, he could seek an offer from any team.

So, despite a previous report to the contrary, Tokoto will apparently sign with Philadelphia.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

We’ll see whether Tokoto just accepts the tender or signs a longer contract. The 76ers surely want to lock him up for as long as possible on a low-paying deal in case he develops. They also surely want to minimize his guarantees in case he doesn’t. So, it’s a tradeoff. They can offer more guaranteed money in exchange for lengthening the contract.

Tokoto always has the required tender, which K.J. McDaniels took, in his back pocket if Philadelphia doesn’t make a satisfying offer.

To be clear, Tokoto can attend training camp only with an NBA contract. At that point, the 76ers can either keep him or waive him. If they waive him, they’d lose his rights. Once he signs, there’s no way for the 76ers to keep his rights while he develops elsewhere unless they assign him to the D-League. But in that event, he’d continue to count against Philadelphia’s cap at his NBA salary and take up a roster spot.

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


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”


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.