LAS VEGAS — What’s poppin’?
Happy Monday, folks. Let’s make this a great day and the start of a great week.
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— Keith Pompey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tucker working on becoming a dependable three-and-D player
Rayjon Tucker loves the 76ers organization, and thinks he fits in well. So it was an easy decision to sign his second two-way contract with the team on Tuesday.
“Any opportunity for me to chip away at where I want to be at [is good],” the two-year veteran said. “That’s why I chose to stay.”
Tucker signed his first two-way deal with the Sixers on Jan. 22. The 23-year-old combination guard went on to play in 14 NBA games, averaging 2.4 points and 4.8 minutes. Tucker averaged 19 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 15 games with the Sixers’ NBA G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, this past season.
“There were some other places that offered some different things,” Tucker said of other two-way deals. “But like I said, I feel comfortable here. I know the guys here. I love the organization, the coaches, just everybody around.
“So I just felt this was a good fit for me to work on my game and keep excelling.”
This summer, the 6-foot-3, 209-pounder is working on become a better three-and-D player. While he was a solid defender this past season with the Blue Coats, Tucker made just 30.3% of his three-pointers in the G-League. He shot 28.6% from three with the Sixers.
But Tucker shot 41.1%, averaging six three-pointers per game, at Arkansas-Little Rock during the 2018-19 season.
“So it’s not the fact that I can’t shoot,” he said. “It’s just that fact of me being comfortable out there to shoot the ball. That’s all I’ve been working on this summer is catching and shooting, being down, being ready at all times and being comfortable enough to fire with no hesitation.”
Keith Pompey writes that Jaden Springer is set to make his Sixers debut at the NBA Summer League.
Pompey also writes that Eastern Conference foes have helped themselves more this offseason than the Sixers have.
David Murphy writes that Daryl Morey and the Sixers did what they could to address free-agency needs — and create flexibility for a future Ben Simmons move.
Sixers draft pick Filip Petrušev will likely be stashed in Serbia, Pompey writes, but he remains eager to join his teammates. “But it’s not up to me.”
Murphy writes that, In a quiet Sixers free agency, Furkan Korkmaz and his odds of breaking out deserve a deeper look after his new deal.
Cunningham has mixed results in debut
Cade Cunningham didn’t shoot the ball well.
The Detroit Pistons’ first overall draft pick made up for that with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in his NBA Summer League debut Sunday. The Pistons lost, 76-72, to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The point guard shot 5-for-17 from the field, including 2-for-7 on three-pointers, for 12 points. He missed his final five threes. Cunningham also had a game-high five turnovers.
Today: Sixers vs. Dallas Mavericks in MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas at 4 p.m., NBATV
Thursday: Sixers vs. Atlanta Hawks in Las Vegas at 9 p.m., ESPN
Saturday: Sixers vs. Boston Celtics in Las Vegas at 5 p.m., NBATV
Sunday: Sixers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves in Las Vegas at 7 p.m.
Passing the rock
Send questions by email or on Twitter (@PompeyOnSixers)
Question: How likely is it Daryl [Morey] is stringing this [Ben] Simmons issue along to see what Damian Lillard does? — Meh Reg on Twitter
Answer: Thanks for the question, man. I will have to say very likely and smart of Morey. A trade for Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers or Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards makes the most sense right now. The Sixers shouldn’t pull the trigger on a deal now and possibly miss out on Lillard, assuming he requests a trade.
Now, if a team is willing to overpay for Simmons — including four first-rounders and an All-Star player in a package — I think the Sixers really have to consider it. That’s because of the Lillard uncertainty. But, aside from that, I think it’s wise to see what he does before making a move.