Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Phillies have a TV deal

According to NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet, the network and the Phillies have completed the details for their television contract extension, which will keep the team on the air with them for at least the next two decades. The numbers weren't immediately available, although estimates are that the deal will be worth well more than $1 billion to the organization.

"We're pleased to confirm that NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet have signed a new long-term deal with the Philadelphia Phillies that will expand Comcast SportsNet's role as the Phillies' primary TV partner," Comcast SportsNet said in a release. "Although the terms of the comprehensive deal are confidential, details surrounding the 2014 schedule of games will be provided in the coming months."

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Friday, August 10, 2012

It's official -- Bynum is a Sixer

At 2 pm, the NBA put the stamp of approval on the mega-trade that makes All-Star center Andrew Bynum and veteran guard Jason Richardson 76ers.

For the Sixers the trade involves sending Andre Iguodala to Denver, and Maurice Harkless, Nik Vucevic and a conditional first-round draft pick to Orlando.

The Lakers get NBA defensive player of the year Dwight Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark from Orlando. The Magic gets a first-round pick each from Denver and LA, as well as Arron Afflalo & Al Harrington from Denver, and forward Josh McRoberts and small forward Christian Eyenga from L.A.

Location:Philadelphia, United States

Thursday, August 9, 2012

UPDATE: Bynum on his way to Philly in massive deal

By DENNIS DEITCH, @DennisDeitch
The 76ers have been trying to pry one of the Lakers' big men away from L.A. for some time. Finally, that quest is on the verge of happening.
And they got the guy in the prime of his career.
Andrew Bynum, the massive man-child who pivoted his way to All-Star status last season with the Lakers, not only is several player physicals away from being a Sixer, a source said he will come complete with a massive long-term contract that will make sure the organization isn't at risk of seeing him walk away after one season.
According to multiple media reports and confirmed by someone close to the progressive proceedings of the last 24 hours, a massive four-team deal involving three time zones and four All-Star players will land the Sixers Bynum and Magic veteran Jason Richardson, while giving up Olympian Andre Iguodala, rookie Maurice Harkless, second-year center Nik Vucevic and at least one future first-round draft selection.
The trade's details were still being hammered out Thursday night, but reports said it will make disgruntled Orlando center Dwight Howard a Laker. Iguodala goes to the Nuggets, while Denver's Al Harrington and Arron Afflalo, the Sixers' Harkless and Vucevic, and at least three first-round picks head to Orlando.
It was a deal that involved parties that long had been involved in separate discussions, and gradually morphed into a front-office orgy.
Much of these discussions had gone underground in recent weeks due to the fact that both Iguodala (United States) and Lakers big man Pau Gasol (Spain) were participating in the London Olympics, making any deals involving either contingent on their safe and healthy escape from the Summer Games.
The rapidly developing news started with a report early in the afternoon from Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Gasol had been discussed as a piece going to Orlando for weeks, but the expanded deal allowed the Magic to get much more in the way of young talent from the Sixers and draft picks from each of the other three teams. So Gasol will remain in L.A.
Even though Iguodala has two more games to play for their respective Olympic Games, the fact that four front offices and eight players (and their agents) were involved - with both Howard and Bynum needing to agree to contract extensions to make the deals sing - made it almost impossible to keep muffled.
The Sixers are getting Bynum, who at 24 makes him an unprecedentedly young talent at center - Wilt Chamberlain (28), Moses Malone (27) and Dikembe Mutumbo (34) all were deeper into their Hall of Fame careers by the time they wore Sixer uniforms.
That isn't to say Bynum has a ticket to Springfield, Mass., waiting for him. But he is a wildly gifted and massive (7-0, 285) big man, despite giving the Lakers occasional headaches from both maturity and health standpoints. He had his best season as a professional in 2011-12, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds in 60 games, and missed just six games after missing 77 games over the previous three seasons with knee problems. The Lakers exercised an option year at $16.5 million for him in 2012-13, and he was scheduled to be a free agent next summer. However, the Plainsboro, N.J., native apparently was amenable to signing a five-year extension worth in excess of $85 million to make the deal happen.
The deal brings an end to Iguodala's eight seasons in Philly, as his trade value reached a peak this summer thanks to a gutsy playoff performance that included his first postseason series win, and fortified by a valuable performance with the U.S. Olympic team.
Until this point the Sixers' offseason could have been kindly characterized as odd, harshly described as miserable.
But there's this funny thing about the NBA's offseason: Despite what many people assume, it doesn't end in July.
After the Sixers unsuccessfully searched for a draft-day deal for Iguodala in late June, there were some in the media who believed the All-Star swingman and U.S. Olympian was going to start the 2012-13 NBA season in Philadelphia. The Sixers essentially filled up the number of roster spots they had by drafting Harkless and Arnett Moultrie, signing Kwame Brown, Nick Young and Royal Ivey, and trading for Dorell Wright.
However, that left them loaded with swingmen on the roster in Iguodala, Evan Turner, Harkless and Wright, while the center position remained loaded with weak and unproven players.
But there were quiet assurances from those in the know that Iguodala's trade talks only went dormant in July so interested teams could make sure he didn't come out of the Olympics with a debilitating injury. Two summers ago Iguodala played heavy minutes for the U.S. National Team and the wear and tear showed during the 2010-11 season. While he has played impressively in London, he has played fewer minutes and the physical burden has been much lighter.
With this deal, the team becomes centered around Bynum, with point guard Jrue Holiday and Turner expected to flourish with an impact big man on the low post. It also allows Spencer Hawes to more comfortably play his perimeter game and gives the Sixers a pair of 7-footers to go along with one of the best rebounding guards in Turner.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sixers Trying To Swap Cards, Exchange Chips At NBA's Ruthless Card Table

"You've got to know when to hold 'em/ know when to fold 'em/ know when to walk away/know when to run..." — The Gambler
It might seem odd to lead a column about the 76ers with the chorus to that Kenny Rogers classic. This is, after all, the franchise whose idea of "getting crazy" during the past couple of years involved trading pine-strapped Marreese Speights for cap room, then using that cap room to take Sam Young out of Memphis and use him as a bench ornament for two months.
Since arriving on the scene two years ago to take over the team presidency and give Ed Stefanski a gentle shove out the door, Rod Thorn has gotten lots of deep-tissue massages, but has done little to the Sixers' roster than offer a soft, one-handed caress to its shoulder.
To stick with the poker theme, Thorn has been doing little more than tossing his cards into the muck and posting the blinds for two years.
Late in the regular season there were mumbles when the media crowds dispersed that the front office was going to get a facelift this summer, and it wasn't going to be any of that softcore Botox business.
It had become clear early in Josh Harris' tenure as Sixers majority owner that he had come to believe in Doug Collins. And if Collins -- who, remember, was hired by Stefanski a couple of weeks before Thorn's arrival -- didn't think Thorn had the vigor to do some wheeling and dealing to get the Sixers out of this cycle of mediocrity their lack of an elite player had created, Harris was willing to listen.
Timing, however, is everything. And when the Philadelphia Daily News reported Tuesday that the Sixers were ready to start interviewing candidates to succeed Thorn -- AND that Thorn not only would be part of the interviewing process, but also would stay on board in a weird transitional role for as long as the next 12 months -- it is tough to wonder: Why now? Why not quietly get Thorn and Collins to play nice for the next month and find the draft-day deals they want to consider?
Why couldn't they come to an agreement that neither Spencer Hawes nor Lou Williams -- who will opt out of the final year of his contract in the coming days -- really fits into their plans? Why, if Collins has this confidant's relationship with Harris, not let him point to the free agents he wants them to pursue, and decide whether Elton Brand's $18 million number for 2012-13 should get the amnesty treatment?
Instead, this is what the Sixers have on their plate for the next three weeks: Several awkward interviews for a replacement who, well, won't really replace Thorn right away; a draft being conducted by Courtney Witte, who may or may not be a casualty of the shakeup; aspirations of moving up in the draft and getting trades involved in what will be a significant roster shakeup; and the start of free agency, which with a relatively shallow pool of talent is going to require quick and aggressive decision making.
If that sounds like chaos ... yeah, it does. Which is why as anxious as everyone might be to get Danny Ferry, Rick Sund, Troy Weaver and other candidates sorted through, there are instances where folding and waiting for the blinds to pass makes sense.
Privately, the Collins camp had questions about how much intestinal fortitude Thorn had at this stage of his career to think big and act on it. When you look at the transactions that took place, it's tough to argue against that critique.
It can be argued that the Sixers haven't been in a position to do much more than that. Andre Iguodala was playing with exhausted, chronically sore legs in 2010-11, seriously devaluing him on the market. Brand, while an inspiring comeback story two seasons ago, wasn't of interest to any team at his cap figure.
A change had to be made in the front office. However, when you realize how sensitive a time this next month will be to the franchise's future, promoting upheaval in the middle of it could leave the Sixers swerving like a distracted driver at a time when they need a great deal of focus.
To contact Dennis Deitch, email Follow him on Twitter @DennisDeitch

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Centers, anyone? Sixers on the search

The Sixers started the season with more than they originally thought they had a center. Spencer Hawes, by and large a disappointment last season, came out of the gate like a cannon, averaging a double-double through the first eight games. Rookie Nic Vucevic, meanwhile, showed far more polish than anyone could rightfully hope to see from a guy taken 16th overall in a draft not considered terribly deep.

Monday night against the Wizards that depth was long gone. Hawes missed his fifth straight game with Achilles' heel and back problems, while Vucevic was held out after a hyperextension of his leg Saturday night against Miami left him with a tender quad that needs a rest.

The Sixers are doing the "day-to-day" thing with both players. However, it's more likely you'll see Vucevic back on the court this week. According to coach Doug Collins, Vucevic's panicked reaction to the injury Saturday night was a product of the 22-year-old never having experienced a significant injury of any kind in his life. While Vucevic reported that the leg was sore Sunday after the flight back to Philly, at shootaround Monday the USC product thought the leg felt far better.

Hawes is a different story. He has been noticeably out of sight during shootarounds, and Collins said in Miami that the veteran is unable to run using the ball of his foot because of the tendon soreness.

The most ominous sign of Hawes' status is that the Sixers are flying veteran journeyman Francisco Elson to town this week for a workout. Elson, who came to the Sixers with Jodie Meeks in a trade with the Bucks two years ago, played in 62 games last season with Utah, averaging just less than 10 minutes per game.

The problem with bringing in a new face this season is the lack of practice time to groom the newcomer. The Sixers don't have consecutive days off until the All-Star break next month, so they would have to use shootarounds and an occasional non-contact workout to familiarize any newbie with their system and playbook.

So, if Elson or someone else is signed/acquired, take that as a sign that Hawes might be out for a while.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Turner good to go; Hawes probably not

After missing Monday's win over Milwaukee, Evan Turner (bruised thigh) was spry at shootaround and will play against the Nuggets tonight. Center Spencer Hawes (back, Achilles' heel), however, is extremely doubtful and might need a couple of days to get his body in sync. The Sixers say he's a game-time decision, but I would be surprised if they try to let his body heal enough so he can go Saturday in Miami.

As for what the Sixers need to do tonight against the Nuggets ... I think this is a game where Elton Brand needs to rise to the occasion. The only team to really shut down Denver's high-octane offense this season was New Orleans, and in that game Carl Landry was a big factor. Brand is the closet thing the 76ers have to Landry, and he's needed to match up physically in the blocks with Nene, Al Harrington and Chris Andersen.