By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)The Sixers 2014 Media Day came and went Monday. In addition to the fun fan-engaging activities such as Sixers Selfies, a twitter Q&A station, and an amazing Tony Wroten Sixers hoodie he obtained out in California, players spouted many of the meaningless platitudes covered in the media day bingo sheet the guys at @BrewHoop came up with. However, we did receive one substantial bit of information Monday as the Sixers officially released their 20-man training camp roster.
Notably absent from the list are recent acquisitions Malcolm Lee and Drew Gordon, in addition to the injured Pierre Jackson. Apparently, when Chris Johnson was recently released by the Celtics and Keith Bogans came along with the 2nd-round pick from the Cavaliers, the Sixers felt those assets were upgrades over Lee and Gordon. Jackson’s release temporarily ends the sad saga of a promising young player who ruptured his achilles early in the Orlando Summer League. The Sixers were good enough to give Jackson a partially guaranteed deal so he’ll have some scratch to live off of while he rehabs; we’ll likely see him back with the Sixers next summer.
Now, the Sixers have until October 27th to trim that 20-man roster down to the regular season limit of 15. Almost certain not to be one of those 5 training camp casualties is Jerami Grant, who just signed a 4-year deal with the club. Terms of the contract were announced as fully guaranteed at $885k over the first two years, with the last two years unguaranteed, including a team option on the fourth year. This contract is of the typical variety for a second-round pick, and the hope is that Grant turns into a valuable contributor while still on the dirt-cheap contract. Perhaps by the third season the Sixers will be back to playing meaningful basketball and having rotational players at those minimum deals helps flexibility in pursuing free agents (there will be a day when the Sixers pursue actual free agents again, I promise).
For now, we’ll all have to satisfy ourselves with incremental development from these young players. They all seem to be high-character, fun-loving guys who should be easy to root for in the perpetual underdog role that awaits them. Training camp officially begins today and the preseason tips off in a week’s time. The NBA is nearly back!