Thursday, July 31, 2014

The wide open East

The NBA offseason has been busy across the league's landscape with several prominent players relocating, or in LeBron James' case, returning home.

Taking into consideration LeBron's 'announcement', and the resulting shift of power in the Eastern Conference, it seems that the East is wide-open heading into next season. While the Cavaliers may be the on-paper (and Las Vegas) favorites, there are several other squads that could contend to be the Eastern Conference's representative in the NBA Finals. Let's take a look:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

76ers reportedly fighting proposed changes to NBA lottery system

Check out the original article from here.
The NBA has discussed altering its draft lottery system as soon as next season, but they are reportedly receiving some resistance from the team that such a move may affect the most, according to ESPN.

The 76ers, who are facing another struggle of a season in 2014-15, are fighting changes that would balance the lottery odds and work as sort of an ‘anti-tanking’ measure.

As currently constructed, the team that finishes with the league’s worst record has a 25% chance of landing the top pick in the lottery. In the new proposed format, the bottom few teams would all have an equal chance at getting the top pick.

Not surprisingly the Sixers, who are in the midst of a multi-season rebuild dependent on securing high draft picks, are opposed to the proposed changes, and want them delayed by at least a single season.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly interested in Thaddeus Young

Check out the original article from here.

Another week, another Thaddeus Young trade rumor.
The trade rumors just don’t stop circling around Thaddeus Young.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Minnesota Timberwolves are eyeing the multi-faceted forward as a potential replacement for Kevin Love, who has been central in this summer’s trade rumors.

The Timberwolves have been involved in discussions with the Cavaliers about sending Love to Cleveland to team with the recently returned LeBron James. Minnesota has also entertained offers for Love from Golden State and Chicago.

Although the Timberwolves have repeatedly expressed their interest to keep Love in Minnesota, a trade seems likely, if not inevitable, considering that Love could leave as a free agent next summer and the team would get no incoming compensation. By trading Love, at least the Timberwolves would get something in return.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel will be reunited on court this season for the Sixers

Finally. Nerlens Noel had to sit on the sideline for a season, but after over a year of anticipation, he made his debut this summer and showed signs. Good signs.

Sixers' reigning Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, and Noel were AAU teammates back in the day in Boston, and come late October, they will be reunited on the hardwood as they both suit up for the Sixers.

The re-developing chemistry between the two is something to look forward to in another struggle of a season for the Sixers.

The duo might look a little better (and older) in 76ers jerseys.

76ers reportedly interested in Dion Waiters, again

Check out the full, original article from here.

The Sixers just can't shake these Dion Waiters rumors.
Once again, the Sixers and Philadelphia native Dion Waiters are linked together.

According to a report from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Sixers are interested in acquiring the shooting guard from Cleveland.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

76ers (early) 15-man opening night roster projection

Be sure to check out the full projection on, here.
With Summer League officially over, and training camp still a while away, the Sixers are entering the quieter portion of their offseason.  There are still a few fringe free agents available to be signed, but as expected, the Sixers have been pretty quiet this summer, and will likely continue to be.

Rather than adding a plethora of players, the Sixers’ roster for the upcoming season will largely consist of returning players, draft picks, and prospects. Thus, while the team’s roster and rotation for the 2014-15 NBA season is far from set in stone, it is possible to get an idea of what the opening day roster will look like, considering current contracts and Summer League performances.

Keeping in mind that moves could be made to affect the rotation, here’s a look at what the Sixers’ opening day roster may look like.

Players under contract

1. Thaddeus Young – Young, who seems to be perpetually involved in trade talks, is entering the last year of his current contract with the Sixers. He has a player option for 2015-16, but after another stuggle of a season with the Sixers, no one would be shocked to see him split. But, barring a trade, Young will be starting for the Sixers come opening night.

2. Michael Carter-Williams – It is safe to assume that the reigning Rookie of the Year will be back in a starting spot for the Sixers this season. Despite some draft day rumors, Carter-Williams is still a Sixer, and he figures to be a big part of the franchise going forward. 

Nerlens Noel may have the most immediate impact of any rookie

Check out the full article from here.
The 2014 NBA Draft was one of the most highly-hyped in recent memory. By all accounts, the draft contained tons of talent, and it is expected to provide the NBA with at least a few future all-stars.

It is difficult to evaluate a draft class prior to the start of the inaugural season, but if the Summer League showings over the past couple weeks were any indication, that hype was not misplaced. The incoming rookie class is stock full of talented young players popping with potential, some of whom may have immediate impact.

There’s the high-flying Andrew Wiggins, who already appears to be a tightened-handle away from being a legitimate offensive option. There’s sharp-shooting Doug McDermott, who has already begun to ease fears about his transition from college to professional play. Jabari Parker was solid, if not spectacular throughout his summer league stint, displaying the skill set that made him such a promising prospect.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Report: Evan Turner to sign with Celtics

And he has a home!

Free agency talk was pretty quiet on the Evan Turner front throughout the summer so far, but the former Sixers' second pick has finally found a new place to call home.

Check out the original article from here.
Philadelphia had high hopes for Evan Turner after drafting him with the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

After three and a half mostly underwhelming seasons with the Sixers however, Turner’s time with the team came to an end, and he was shipped to the Pacers in a deadline deal that netted the Sixers a second-round pick.

There were expectations again in Indiana, as many thought the addition of Turner would solidify the Pacers’ playoff chances. Instead, Turner struggled in Indiana, and could not find consistent minutes as the Pacers made their playoff push. Indiana’s season came to a disappointing end, and Evan Turner, a free-agent who was just a few years removed from being one of the top collegiate players in the country, faced an uncertain future.

Free agency began, and rumors were generated faster than they could be reported, but aside from a few whispers here and there, Evan Turner was not a topic of conversation.

Glen Rice Jr. Named NBA Summer League MVP

From the NBA:

               LAS VEGAS, July 20, 2014 – Glen Rice, Jr. of the Washington Wizards was unanimously named Most Valuable Player of the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014, while nine additional standout players highlight the Samsung All-NBA Summer League First and Second teams, as selected by a panel of media members.  The summer classic has featured 24 teams competing in a total of 67 games over 11 days and will culminate tomorrow night in the Championship game between the 14th seeded Houston Rockets and the 8th seeded Sacramento Kings. The Championship game will air live on NBA TV at 9 p.m. Eastern/ 6 p.m. Pacific.   

Rice, Jr. played in six games in Las Vegas, helping the Wizards advance to the semifinals of the Samsung NBA Summer League tournament and secure a 5-1 record at the event.  He averaged a league-leading 25 points on .469 shooting, to go along with 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals.

Rice, Jr. is joined on the Samsung All-NBA Summer League First Team by Wizards teammate Otto Porter, along with Chicago Bulls Doug McDermott and Tony Snell and Donatas Motiejunas of the Houston Rockets.

Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Tim Hardaway, Jr. (New York Knicks), Jordan McRae (Philadelphia 76ers), Russ Smith (New Orleans Pelicans) and T.J. Warren (Phoenix Suns) make up the Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team. 

Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 has featured a tournament-style schedule for the second consecutive year, with the Golden State Warriors having won the inaugural championship in 2013.  Each of the participating teams played three games apiece between July 11 and 15 before being seeded in the tournament, which tipped off on July 16 and will run through the championship game on July 21.

The Samsung All-NBA Summer League teams are listed below.

Samsung All-NBA Summer League First Team
Doug McDermott – Chicago Bulls
Donatas Motiejunas – Houston Rockets
Otto Porter – Washington Wizards
Glen Rice, Jr. – Washington Wizards
Tony Snell – Chicago Bulls

Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team
Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz
Tim Hardaway, Jr. – New York Knicks
Jordan McRae – Philadelphia 76ers
Russ Smith – New Orleans Pelicans
T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns

Andrew Bynum may sit out 2014-15 NBA season

Check out the original article from, here
-- Andrew Bynum, famous in Philadelphia for sitting on the sidelines, may be doing exactly that again next season.

According to a report from the New York Post, the seven-foot center is "seriously contemplating" sitting out the entire 2014-15 NBA season in order to undergo a German-based knee therapy called "The Regenokine Program."

Bynum played in 26 total games last season for the Cavaliers and then the Pacers, after staying sidelined for the entirety of the 2012-13 season for the Sixers.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Michael Carter-Williams invited to Team USA camp, won't participate

Check out the original article on here.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Sixers’ reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams was honored with an invite to Team USA Camp in Vegas later this month as a member of the select squad.

Image from wikipedia 
The USA Select Team practices with the National Team, and participates in drills and scrimmages with them throughout the three-day camp.  
It is a nice honor to be asked, as the Select Team is typically comprised of some of the league’s best up-and-coming young players. Carter-Williams however, will be unable to participate as he continues to recover from his recent shoulder surgery.

On the heels of a successful rookie season, practicing with basketball’s best would have been excellent experience for Carter-Williams, but getting his body back to full strength before season’s start is his top priority.

If he can build upon the success of his rookie season and continue to improve and expand, he will have many more opportunities to play with Team USA.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sixers going gold

Check out the original article on, here.
The Sixers will have a new addition to their jerseys starting next season, and no, that addition is not (yet) an advertisement.

According to ESPN, all NBA teams that have won a Championship will don a small gold tag on the back of their jersey collars as a form of commemoration.

The concept is similar to that used in international soccer to denote World Cup victories, except that the NBA will use only a single tab for each qualifying team, rather than separate tabs for each title.

The Sixers have won two titles (1966-67 & 1982-83) since their move to Philadelphia, and will thus be one of the teams going gold.

A preview of the gold tag can be seen below:

An interview with UFC's Jim Miller

Around the Arc is taking a (brief, very brief) break from basketball. (It is the off-season after all. Although in today's NBA there really is no off-season).

The topic? UFC.

In advance of his five-round Lightweight bout against Donald Cerrone at Revel in Atlantic City on July 16, I sat down with UFC fighter and New Jersey native Jim Miller to discuss the development of his career and his expectations for his upcoming fight.

Check out the full interview at, and check out some of the questions after the jump.

The Sixers redshirt program may be beneficial

Check out the original article from, here.
Redshirting a player is a pretty common practice in collegiate athletics.

One of the benefits of redshirting a player for a year during their college career is allowing the player time to acclimate to their new team, league, or environment. A player can learn a lot, and improve upon themselves throughout a redshirt year without losing any eligibility, or suffering any serious in-game wear-and-tear to their body. Players often come out of a redshirt year more mentally and physically prepared to play after soaking up information on the sideline for a season.

In an unprecedented approach to rebuilding, the Sixers have borrowed the common collegiate practice of redshirting and applied it to their own organization.

The 2014-15 NBA season will represent the third straight season in which the Sixers’ biggest offseason acquisition will sit for an entire season. (It hasn’t been officially announced that Joel Embiid will sit the entire season, but all signs point in that direction).

Monday, July 14, 2014

Waiting for Waiters

On Saturday afternoon, I was sent to South Philadelphia's Joe Hand Boxing Gym to cover their community fitness day.

The day was designed to give anyone ages 7 and up a place in the community to go to get off of the street and learn about an active, healthy lifestyle.

The event was enlightening, as I was able to talk to, and learn from, Joe Hand himself,  a couple top trainers, and NFL free agent Raheem Brock.

You can check out a full video of the event here.

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters was also supposed to be in attendance at the event.

I was excited about the opportunity to get to talk to him just a day after LeBron James had announced his intentions to rejoin the Cavaliers. I was of course going to ask how he felt about the move, about the possibility of being traded to clear further cap space, and about that the fact that Cleveland was now the odds-on favorite to win the 2014-15 NBA title according to Las Vegas.

I waited around for a while, but unfortunately Waiters never showed up at the gymnasium, and I was unable to pick his brain about the LeBron addition.

All was not lost however, as I got to talk to some nice ring card girls while waiting for Waiters.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain & Sumo Steaks' card girls (Joe Hand Boxing Gym). 

James Brunson aimed to impress at LeBron James Skills Academy

Check out the original article, from, here.
In the midst of the media circus surrounding the decision of where he will continue his NBA career, LeBron James kicked off his annual Skills Academy in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The three-day event features 80 top high school players and 30 top collegiate players from across the country working on their skills and competing against each other. The Academy affords the participants an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of NCAA and NBA scouts in attendance.

Image from 
Amongst the participants was Jalen Bronson, son of former Temple University standout Rick Brunson, who has recently made headlines for his off-court activity.   

Jalen, who will be a senior next season, is the top point guard prospect in his class according to ESPN. The 6’1’’, 180 pound Brunson has already received offers from several schools, including Villanova, and his father’s alma-mater, Temple.

Jalen however, is not rushing to make a commitment, and is instead using the LeBron James Skills Academy as an opportunity to show his stuff and also improve his game.

“Just to show that I can be a leader on the court,” Brunson replied when asked what he was hoping to show out on the court at the Academy. When asked what he wanted to improve upon, Brunson replied:

 “My quickness and strength, and also just to be a more consistent shooter.”

Brunson said that he hopes to make his college decision before the start of his senior season in November, and he will continue to expand his game, and weight his options, until then.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Las Vegas is LeBron James' number one defense: Las Vegas capitalizing on LeBron James' free agency

You know the saying: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Apparently the city is taking that slogan seriously in regards to the media circus surrounding LeBron James' free agency status. 

In my inbox this afternoon was a press release from a Vegas PR firm, lauding the city for its secrecy and in-house attitude. 

'Only one place on Earth is secure enough to hold meetings for a decision this big,' the release read. 

On Wednesday, Las Vegas reaffirmed its reputation as the safest place for secrets, shutting down any prying eyes and ears via the destination’s popular Facebook page with a special message to Lebron James as he reportedly takes NBA team meetings in the destination.

Amid speculation about where King James will take the throne for the 2014 NBA season, Las Vegas has served as a fortress of secrecy while he makes the decision. In true “What Happens Here, Stays Here” fashion, details about where the legendary basketball player will sign have been kept under wraps and will remain covert until a public announcement is made. We’ve got your back, Lebron.

The ball is in your court, LeBron. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sixers win 2K title

The 76ers may be a couple years away from truly competing for a title, but thanks to NBA 2K14, I didn't have to wait to celebrate with the Sixers.

On Monday evening, I completed a virtual season with the Sixers that ended with them taking home the NBA title.

The 76ers, led by Finals MVP Michael Carter-Williams, took down the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 6-game series.

While I kept the Sixers' 2014 roster intact to an extent, I did make a few moves throughout the season.

My starting five ended up as follows:

Michael Carter-Williams
Delonte West
Vince Carter
Thaddeus Young
Nerlens Noel

And the bench looked like this:

Tony Wroten
James Anderson
Corey Maggette
Brandon Davies
Marcus Camby

After their hard-fought six game Finals victory over Oklahoma City, the virtual Sixers got to do some celebrating.

Hopefully this virtual celebration is a preview of things to come a couple years down the road. 


Quiet summer expected for Sixers

Check out the original article from here.
Since free agency began over a week ago, the Sixers have been associated with several scenarios.

First, the team was reported as interested in Avery Bradley, who has since re-signed with the Celtics. More recently, the team is reportedly involved in trade talks centered on Jeremy Lin, and Amare Stoudemire, separately. 

I guess when you have the most salary cap space across the league’s landscape and no immediate intention to win, it is no surprise that teams looking to clear cap space would be interested in talking to you.

Joel Embiid selects Sixers number

Check out the original article, from, here.

It is worth noting that while Embiid Tweeted that he had selected #11, second-round selection K.J. McDaniels had that number at the introductory press conference.

It is also worth noting, that the recent injury to Pierre Jackson makes his making the team seem somewhat unlikely, and thus #55 may be available for Embiid after all.
Image from
A week after being selected third overall by the Sixers in the 2014 NBA Draft, Joel Embiid has settled on a uniform number.   

In a conference call with media members earlier in the week Embiid said that he wanted to wear #55 with the Sixers, but since fellow new-acquisition Pierre Jackson wears the number for his grandmother, he would select another number.

Embiid has apparently decided upon #11 with his new franchise, sending out his selection in a Tweet Thursday evening.

“I’m getting #11. EMB11D #Togetherwebuild,” he Tweeted.

As you may recall, #11 was worn by Jrue Holiday throughout his four-year stint with the Sixers.

With a number selected, the next step for Embiid is to get healthy to enough to wear his jersey in some on-court action. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Report: Sixers talking Jeremy Lin with Rockets

This was originally reported by SB Nation's Liberty Ballers, which produces a lot of reports, not all of them true. However, this move seems it would make some sense.

Check out the original article on here.
The Sixers abundance of salary cap space is one of their biggest assets this offseason, as it provides the franchise with financial flexibility. The team has money to sign top-tier free agents, or to take on unattractive expiring contracts from teams that are looking to clear cap space.

The Sixers are unlikely to sign a superstar this summer, so acquiring expiring contracts that come off of the books next summer, when they may be looking to be more active in free agency, makes some sense.

Enter: Jeremy Lin.

Sixers 'tracking' Spencer Hawes

Would the Sixers really bring back the sharp-shooting center?

Check out the original article from here
It has been almost five months since the Sixers shipped Spencer Hawes to Cleveland, and apparently the organization is still interested in the center.

According to ESPN's NBA Insider page, Hawes, who is currently exploring his options in free agency, is being ‘tracked’ by his former team.

Hawes is in ‘no rush’ to make a decision according to the story, which lists Cleveland, Houston, Portland, L.A., and Philadelphia as potential suitors for the center.   

Image from 
In 53 games with the Sixers last season, Hawes averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while serving as one of the team’s top three-point shooters.

In bringing him back, the Sixers would get themselves a center who could spread the floor while Nerlens Noel produced in the paint. Hawes could provide some veteran support to the Sixers’ stable of developing bigs, which currently includes Henry Sims, who came over from Cleveland in the Hawes trade, and an injured Embiid, in addition to Noel.

Hawes is already familiar with the Sixers’ system, and could provide Brett Brown with some offensive flexibility, which could be helpful considering the team’s dearth of deep threats.

The Sixers need to be shrewd in their spending, and over-paying for the sharp-shooting center would be unwise. But with that said, there could be benefits to bringing him back at the right price. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Joel Embiid wants LeBron James to join him in Philadelphia

I'm already starting to like Joel Embiid.

Check out the original article from here.
Joel Embiid remains a good while away from suiting up for the Sixers and seeing some on-court action, but that isn’t discouraging him from recruiting talent to his new team.

In a Tweet directed at LeBron James on Thursday afternoon, Embiid asked the 4-time NBA MVP if he wanted to join the currently under-construction Sixers squad in Philadelphia.

“Hey bro, hope you’re having a good day… Want to join us in Philly?? Peace,” the Tweet read.

James, who is in ultimate ‘win now’ mode, likely won’t be taking his talents to the City of Brotherly Love, as the team lacks the strong supporting cast he is looking for. You have to applaud Embiid’s effort though, and his politeness.

Joel Embiid is likely to miss the entire 2014-15 NBA season for the Sixers

Sad, but true.

Check out the original article from, here.
He didn’t come out and say it in Thursday’s conference call with media members, but the writing is on the wall; Joel Embiid likely won’t play for the Sixers this season.

Just as Sam Hinkie had no issue with selecting a big guy with injury issues for the second consecutive year, he will similarly have no issue with sitting said big guy for the entirety of the season if he feels as though it is the best course of action.

With the Sixers still stationed in rebuilding mode and not really contemplating contention for the upcoming season, it is probably the best course of action, again.

Sixers reportedly interested in Avery Bradley

I mean, they do need a shooting guard.

Check out the original article from here.
The Sixers are not expected to be extremely active in the offseason on the free agency front, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make some moves. The team has around $30 million to spend, and they may have to use some of that to round out their roster.

According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the team reached out to shooting guard Avery Bradley shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning.

Image from
In light of the recent release of James Anderson, the Sixers desperately need a shooting guard, so their interest in Bradley isn’t necessarily surprising.   

Bradley, 6’2’’ and 180 pounds, is entering his fifth season in the league after spending his first four with the Celtics. He had a career-year last season, posting averages of 14.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He is a decent three point shooter who connected on 79 triples out of 200 attempts last season.

At 23 with some solid experience, Bradley is still young enough to fit in with the franchise’s developing youth movement, and he could fill a big need at the shooting guard spot. Depending on the price tag – it is worth noting that various injury issues have prevented him for playing in a complete 82-game season – he could be a sensible signing for the Sixers.