Dario Coming, Wood Gone, Summer Sixers Advance

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)


Philadelphia 108, D-Select Select 71 – Box Score

Prior to the opening round of bracket play in the Las Vegas Summer League, it was announced that the Summer Sixers would be without both Ben Simmons and Christian Wood. Missing arguably their top two performers from the past week, things did not look good for Philadelphia to advance to the next round. So, of course, they went out and did this:

After slumping from the perimeter in both Vegas and Salt Lake City, the Sixers finally caught fire from behind the arc, led by a pair of guys getting a chance to shine in the absence of Simmons and Wood. Louisiana-Lafayette product Shawn Long dropped a game-high 21 points, shooting 8-9 from the field and a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, former Fighting Illini star Brandon Paul, getting a look from quite a few teams this summer, scored 20 points on 8-14 shooting, including a 4-6 effort from downtown. The third sniper, James Webb, added 14 points, hitting 3 of 4 threes, also chipping in with 5 steals.By sheer numbers alone, there’s no chance of these guys being on the Sixers come this fall, but good for them for showing what they’re capable of on the big stage.

As for the guys expected to suit up for Philadelphia this season, first-round pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had his best scoring outing of the summer with 15 points on 6-12 shooting, including 2-6 from three. His shot has been very inconsistent from game-to-game, which was expected based on what we knew from the scouting report, but you can certainly see the upside that had talent evaluators drooling. Richaun Holmes continued his quest to reject any opposing shot coming within the vicinity of the rim, recording 3 blocks in 21 minutes, including this gem:

Lastly, with guys actually hitting shots, T.J. McConnell was able to rack up 9 assists in just 20 minutes.

The Sixers will face Brooklyn in the next round of the tournament Thursday at 6:30pm est.

Wood heading to Charlotte

Later Wednesday night, we found out the reason Wood was not in the lineup with his Summer Sixer brethren.

For Wood, this is terrific news and well-earned coming off a dominant summer league performance. Behind Charlotte’s starting frontcourt of Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller, the Hornets have Spencer Hawes, Roy Hibbert, and Frank Kaminsky off the bench. One or two injuries and Wood could easily find himself in the rotation off the bench for a projected playoff team. Ostensibly, it’s a much better situation for him than the logjam of big men in Philadelphia.

For the Sixers, it’s a shame they couldn’t keep Wood around at the contract of multiple non-guaranteed years at league minimum that Sam Hinkie signed him to last offseason. While they obviously aren’t hurting for young big men, you hate to give up a 20-year-old player showing marked improvement in his game for nothing. I hope those few months of Elton Brand had some great intangible impact for his young teammates last season.

Dario is Coming

Finally, in what looks to be the conclusion of one of the bigger “will he, won’t he” conversations in Philadelphia sports over the last couple years, 2014 lottery pick Dario Saric is expected to sign with the Sixers this Friday.

The reported buyout option is 1 million euros, which is a little over $1.1M.

Per league rules, the Sixers are only able to contribute $650k toward the buyout, meaning Saric has to pay over $500k out of his own pocket just to get out of his current contract with Anadolu Efes and join the Sixers. Combine that with the fact that Dario is missing out on millions upon millions of dollars in future earnings by not waiting the additional year and avoiding the rookie scale on his NBA contract, and it’s fairly obvious that money is not the primary factor in Saric’s decision-making.

With Saric giving up that up to stay true to his word and come over after two years like he said, the people of Philadelphia better embrace him with open arms. I expect they will.

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