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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Articles tagged: Philadelphia 76ers

Steve Ballmer takes shot at Sixers over The Process

Steve Ballmer

Rather than trusting The Process, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is making it clear that he very much doubts it.

Speaking with fans and season ticket holders at an event this week, Ballmer said that the Clippers would not be tanking for a high draft pick this season and got in a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers while he was at it.

“That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” said Ballmer of bottoming out, per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years.

“I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in,” he continued. “How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”

To be fair, the Sixers only actively tanked for four years as part of The Process, the brainchild of former general manager Sam Hinkie. The gambit also helped them put together an elite young core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and others, a group that won 52 games last season. But the cost of that was a combined 253 losses over those four seasons and a totally unwatchable product on their floor for their fans for all that time.

The Clippers, meanwhile, are now facing a talent vacuum that could see the losses pile up for them in a similar fashion over the next few years. However, Ballmer has always been one to try to keep his team as relevant as possible, so a Hinkie-esque total free fall seems quite unlikely for them.

76ers eyeing Spurs GM RC Buford?

The Philadelphia 76ers are still without a general manager, but they may be biding their time in order to go after a fairly big fish.

According to a report by Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer on Monday, San Antonio Spurs GM RC Buford has been mentioned as a possible target for the Sixers. Pompey does add though that the team would have a hard time prying Buford away from San Antonio.

The 57-year-old Buford just completed his 27th season with the Spurs and his 16th as their GM. During that span, he has helped build five championship teams and has won the NBA Executive of the Year Award twice.

The link here makes sense — Sixers head coach (and current acting GM) Brett Brown worked with Buford as an assistant in San Antonio for several years. However, the Eastern Conference up-and-comers may have better luck hiring another one of their targets for the gig, as Buford has become a Spurs staple.

Report: LeBron’s reps only met with 76ers as a courtesy

LeBron James’ representatives met with the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, the same day that they announced James would join the Los Angeles Lakers. If it seems like the Sixers didn’t really have a shot at James, it’s because that was the case by all accounts.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Sunday night that LeBron’s representatives met with the 76ers as a courtesy. He says James’ free agency decision only came down to the Lakers and Cavaliers.

The fact that James did not attend the meeting with Philly and that the Lakers announcement was made the same day certainly seem to show that it was never a serious consideration for LeBron.

LeBron is probably going to hear some grief from Joel Embiid now as a result.

Spurs reportedly asked 76ers for huge haul in exchange for Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

While negotiations remain in the early stages, it’s now clear why no team has yet pulled the trigger on a deal for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

According to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports, the Spurs’ asking price for Leonard in trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers was three future first-round picks and two unknown players.

We don’t even have any idea who the players involved are. You could be looking at Markelle Fultz in addition to three first-rounders, for instance, which is an enormous price to pay.

There’s a lot of smoke around a Leonard trade to Philadelphia, however. There may be one big reason why they’re being so persistent in their efforts to acquire him.

76ers reportedly believe they could sign Kawhi Leonard long-term

Kawhi Leonard

The Philadelphia 76ers are still hoping to make one or more major splashes this offseason, and they may have plenty of incentive to offer a respectable trade package for Kawhi Leonard.

For starters, the Sixers were expected to meet with LeBron James’ representatives on Sunday, and one of their main talking points will reportedly be that they feel they have a “real chance” to acquire Leonard. Sticking with that theme, ESPN’s Ian Begley was told there are people with the 76ers who believe Leonard could be convinced to sign with Philly long-term.

Leonard clearly wants out of San Antonio, but he can make life difficult for the Spurs by refusing to sign long-term with any team but the Los Angeles Lakers. If Leonard tells a team like the Sixers that there’s no chance he would sign an extension with them next summer, there’s little incentive to give up assets for the star forward.

Of course, someone is probably going to have to make the first move. Leonard might be more likely to sign long-term with the Sixers if they sign LeBron, and LeBron would probably be more likely to sign with Philly if they land Leonard.

The Los Angeles Lakers still look like the favorite to sign LeBron, and they can also sell him on the idea of playing with Leonard and another star free agent they are pursuing. It won’t be long before the first domino falls.

Report: 76ers believe they still have ‘real chance’ at Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

As the Philadelphia 76ers try to entice LeBron James to join them in free agency, they appear to believe they may end up having one advantage.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, one of the key selling points that the Sixers plan to make in their meeting with James’s agent Rich Paul is that they believe they have a “real chance” of trading for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe indicated that the Sixers’ offer to San Antonio isn’t acceptable at the moment, but they could certainly change that.

The 76ers look like significant underdogs in the LeBron sweepstakes at this moment, so they would probably need something big to turn the tide. Adding Leonard would certainly qualify, though it may simply be a selling point given that they have no concrete evidence of this to offer.

On the other hand, if one report is to be believed, James has already made up his mind and this is moot. It can’t hurt to try, though.

76ers reportedly still in mix for LeBron James

LeBron James

The Lakers seem like the most likely landing spot for LeBron James whenever he makes an official decision, and most people think he will remain with the Cavaliers if he doesn’t pick L.A. According to one of the NBA’s most respected reporters, the Philadelphia 76ers were still very much in the mix as of Sunday morning.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Sunday that LeBron still had not made up his mind and the Sixers should not be counted out.

Woj later reported that LeBron’s representatives were scheduled to meet with the Sixers on Sunday, but LeBron was not expected to attend.

If you’re a believer in Las Vegas odds telling the story, the LeBron sweepstakes have already ended. On Saturday, most sportsbooks adjusted the Lakers to an overwhelming favorite to sign James.

We even heard about one surprise team entering the LeBron frenzy over the weekend, but anything outside of him signing with the Lakers or remaining in Cleveland would be somewhat surprising. If he did choose Philly, it would have everything to do with a young core that would give him a good chance to compete for championships.