When is the NBA Draft 2021?
The 2021 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets. NBA CA2021 NBA Draft: Key prospects to know in the mid- to late-lottery range
Sixers draft prospect Austin Reaves is determined to prove he can compete at the NBA level — as an athlete and 3-point shooter
19 July, 2021 - 03:11pm
The combo guard, who is scheduled to work out for the 76ers on Wednesday, isn’t surprised by folks questioning his game. Nor should anyone who followed Reaves’ career since his days at Cedar Ridge High School in Newark, Ark.
Despite scoring 72 points in a game and leading the Timberwolves to three state titles, Reaves only had Division I scholarship offers from Wichita State, South Dakota State and Arkansas State.
While he eventually played two seasons at Wichita State, his dream was to play in a Power 5 conference. So despite only starting in 11 games, Reaves transferred to Oklahoma after his sophomore season.
As a Sooner, he proved to be more versatile than his catch-and-shoot role for the Shockers. As a redshirt junior, Reaves recorded a season-high 41 points in a 78–76 victory over TCU en route to being named to the All-Big 12 Newcomer Team.
Now, Reaves, 23, is trying to quash concerns about his athleticism and long-range shooting in predraft workouts.
Following solid workouts, he’s regarded as a second-round sleeper in the July 29 NBA draft. The Sixers have the 28th and 50th picks in the draft, which will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Everything has been positive so far,” Reaves said of the feedback he’s received at predraft workouts. “They like the way I compete. They like the way I play, and I’d say most of them have said my athleticism and the way that I move is better than they thought it was before coming here.
“So a lot of good feedback on the things I have been doing during these workouts.”
It’s similar to the reactions he received at Wichita State and Oklahoma once arriving on campus.
“I got it basically my whole life,” Reaves said. “People just underestimating me, [thinking] I’m not as good of an athlete that I am.”
The 6-foot-6, 197-pounder was in Atlanta on Monday, working out for the Hawks. Last week, he had workouts with the New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors, and New York Knicks. FollowingWednesday’s Sixers workout, Reaves will visit the Brooklyn Nets on Friday and Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.
Reaves has already worked out for the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. In all, he will have worked out for 18 NBA teams at least once during the predraft process.
Reaves averaged career highs of 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 86.5% shooting from the foul line last season at Oklahoma. He led the NCAA Division I in the percentage of jump shots taken off the dribble with 83%.
The big-time offensive talent is blessed with the knack for scoring. He also has an uncanny ability to get defenders off-balance while getting to his spots, and he has solid court vision.
However, Reaves’ outside shooting has regressed.
He shot 50.9% on three-pointers (28-of-55) as a freshman at Wichita State. The following season his numbers dropped to 42.5% (54-of-127). After a sitting out a transfer season in 2018-19, Reaves made just 25.9% on his three-pointers (42-of-162) as a redshirt junior at Oklahoma. He shot 30.5% (32-of-105) this past season.
“At Wichita State, probably 95% of my shots were catch-and-shoot good looks,” he said. “Then going to Oklahoma, I shot more off-the-dribble, late-in-the-shot-clock threes. Like I said, late in the shot clock. So tougher shots. I didn’t get as many opportunities to catch-and-shoot the way defenses were playing me.
“But that’s not a good excuse. I got to knock down the shots I’m taking. But that’s what I would say would be the main factor in that.”
In addition to displaying long-range shooting touch and athleticism, Reaves hopes to show leadership qualities during his workouts and team interviews.
For him, the workouts are more about being a good person, a good teammate and a vocal leader. Yet, Reaves is confident he can contribute right away in a reserve role for the Sixers or another NBA team.
“Just buying into a role,” he said. “[The Sixers] have a really good team as it is right now, but just being someone that’s going in to compete every single day. Someone that can play the one and the two, play on and off the ball just to give others a little break from on the ball or just make catch-and-shoot shots to release pressure from Ben Simmons to Joel Embiid. ...
“Just doing whatever it takes help the team be successful.”
19 July, 2021 - 06:02am
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19 July, 2021 - 05:00am
One gets the impression that Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey will do his best to get Joel Embiid a legitimate sidekick.
Ben Simmons will continue to be the subject of trade rumors, and all sorts of names and scenarios have been and will be thrown around.
Whether the Sixers acquire a superstar or not, one thing the Atlanta series showed was they could use a serious bench upgrade.
This is not a superstar free-agent class — unless an injured Kawhi Leonard and 36-year-old point guard Chris Paul opt out of their deals and don’t re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns, respectively. The Sixers would likely have to acquire Leonard, Paul or someone such as Toronto free agent Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade.
Still, there are some bench players who could be free agents who could really help the Sixers regardless of what changes they make to the starting lineup.
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Even some current reserves could be awfully pricey for the Sixers, but here are a few who could give them a major spark off the bench. But there should be considerable competition for these players. Signing two of them would be a plus for the Sixers.
1. Bobby Portis, Milwaukee, 6-foot-10, PF-C, 26 years old, player option: Portis earned $3.62 million this year and has a player option for $3.8 million that he will almost certainly deny. He started only seven of 66 regular-season games and averaged 11.4 points and shot 47.1% from three-point range.
In three games off the bench against the Sixers, he averaged 14 points and shot 60% from beyond the arc. There should be a huge market for him, and he would be an instant-offense player off the bench. Whether the Sixers could even afford him would be a legitimate question.
2. Carmelo Anthony, Portland, 6-7, combo forward, 37, unrestricted free agent: Many critics said Anthony would never accept a bench role. This past season, he started just three of 69 games and averaged 13.4 points, shooting 40.9% from three-point range, the second-best percentage of his career.
The Sixers are in a win-now mode, and he would bring experience and scoring, plenty of it. This season, he made the veterans-minimum $2.56 million. He is another player who made a good impression against the Sixers, averaging 23 points in the Trail Blazers’ two games.
3. Lou Williams, Atlanta, 6-1, combo guard, 34, unrestricted free agent: Williams earned $8 million this past season. He was sent to Atlanta from the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline. Between the two teams, he averaged 11.3 points and shot 39.9% from three-point range.
Williams is still adept at creating his own shot. He’ll never win awards for defense, but he can score in bunches. Remember in Atlanta’s 109-106 Game 5 win in Philadelphia when he scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter?
He might not be as explosive as he used to be, but Williams can still light it up off the bench for a team that needs scoring.
4. Trevor Ariza, Miami, 6-8, wing, 36, unrestricted free agent: Unlike the other three, Ariza provides solid defense, but he isn’t the scorer they are. He averaged 9.4 points this season after being acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 17. Not a great shooter, he hit 35% from three-point range and is a 35.2% career shooter.
He likely won’t come close to making the $12.8 million of last season. Even though he started 27 of 30 games for the Heat, Ariza would be better suited in a reserve role for the Sixers.
5. Dwight Howard, Sixers, 6-10, center, 35, unrestricted free agent: Yes, this is one of the Sixers’ free agents they should consider re-signing. Like Anthony, Howard earned the veteran’s minimum of $2.56 million and proved to be durable, appearing in 69 of 72 games.
He had a penchant for committing too many offensive fouls, but was a beast on the boards. He was second in the NBA in rebounds per 100 possessions (23.0) in the regular season.
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Ben Simmons should take a lesson from former Sixer Jrue Holiday, who is one win away from earning an NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks. While Simmons showed great reluctance to shoot during the playoffs because he was struggling at the foul line, Holiday didn’t let his offensive struggles impact his aggressive outlook.
In the first four NBA Finals games, Holiday shot 33% from the field against the Phoenix Suns, including a 4-for-20 performance during Milwaukee’s 109-103 win in Game 4.
Like Simmons, Holiday is an excellent defender, but he doesn’t just hang his hat on that part of the game. Holiday has remained aggressive on offense, and it paid off when he scored 27 points, shooting 12-for-20, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, in the Bucks’ 123-119 victory Saturday that gave them a three-games-to-two lead.
Holiday said afterward that his teammates and coaches tell him to keep being aggressive and he wasn’t about to get down on himself from the previous rough shooting night or even struggles from beyond the arc in three of the first four games in the series.
“I went 4-for-20 the game before, and we still won,” Holiday said in his postgame news conference. “I know I can do other things to affect the game, but when my shot is going and I am trying to make plays for others, it is definitely an added bonus.”
Game 6: Tuesday, Phoenix at Milwaukee, 9 p.m., ABC
Game 7: Thursday, Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 p.m., ABC*
July 19: Deadline for early-entry players to withdraw from the NBA draft (5 p.m.).
July 29: NBA draft.
Aug. 2: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents (6 p.m.).
Aug. 6: Teams can begin signing free agents (12:01 p.m.).
Aug. 8-17: MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Question: Any chance we get D. Lillard? — James Lange from Facebook
Answer: Thanks for the question, Jim. I would say there is a decent chance if Lillard eventually demands a trade. He said Friday during an interview that he has not made a decision yet on his future, but he made it clear that he wants to play on a championship contender. It’s hard to fathom Portland being a contender in the near future.
If Portland decides to trade Lillard, I think the biggest competition for the Sixers would come from Golden State, which can offer James Wiseman, two lottery picks, and Andrew Wiggins for starters. As I stated before, if Portland considers trading him to the Sixers, the Trail Blazers should ask for Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, and two first-round picks.
The whole key is whether Portland would buy into Simmons’ being able to bounce back from his poor playoff showing. If Portland doesn’t believe in Simmons, there is no chance, in my opinion, that a trade could be done.
19 July, 2021 - 02:30am
As the Philadelphia 76ers continue their draft preparation ahead of the 2021 NBA draft on July 29, we look back on past drafts as we lead up to this one from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Sixers had just wrapped up a pretty tough 10-72 season in 2016 and their misery earned them the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. At last, their misfortune had finally brought them their chance at a franchise cornerstone.
The consensus No. 1 pick in 2016 was LSU freshman phenom Ben Simmons who had a terrific season with the Tigers. He could do it all: score easily, rebound and record assists. The selection was a no-brainer for Philadelphia.
Simmons missed the 2016-17 season due to a foot injury, but he returned in the 2017-18 season to average 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award. He then averaged 18.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists in his first playoff series against the Miami Heat.
Since then, Simmons has been named an All-NBA third-team member in 2020, an All-Star three times, and an All-Defensive first-team selection twice. The biggest criticism of his game is he still has not made the necessary improvements on the offensive end of the floor, and it has cost the Sixers in the playoffs.
While Philadelphia is taking trade calls on Simmons, they will not just take anything for him. They want real value for the 24-year old star, and if they can get a guy like Damian Lillard, for example, it would be a huge addition for Philadelphia.
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