The next step in Eddie Stefanski's blueprint for the 2008-09 76ers is already in play.
That happened when the Sixers' president/general manager met Tuesday in Las Vegas with Rob Pelinka, the agent for Sixers restricted free agent Andre Iguodala.
Reached via cell phone, Stefanski would not say whether he had tendered an offer for Iguodala, who yesterday was formally named to the 10-man Select Team that will train, practice and scrimmage with the U.S. Olympic team before it leaves for Beijing.
"This was a first meeting," Stefanski said, declining to offer any other details.
He described Iguodala's inclusion on the Select Team roster as "terrific, great, an honor for him."
He has said repeatedly that his intention is to re-sign Iguodala and restricted free-agent guard Lou Williams. He was also consistent in keeping both players informed as he pursued an impact free agent from elsewhere in the NBA, which ultimately turned out to be Elton Brand.
Brand, leaving the Los Angeles Clippers as an unrestricted free agent, signed a 5-year contract worth $79.8 million. Iguodala rejected an in-season offer of a 5-year extension worth slightly more than $57 million.
Stefanski said the order of offseason business has been "very normal." As he continues negotiating with Pelinka, it is likely that he will also meet with Merle Scott, the agent for Williams, in the next couple of days. Scott, who has had telephone conversations with Stefanski, was en route to Las Vegas yesterday afternoon.
In the same vein, Stefanski has kept coach Maurice Cheeks updated on all developments. Stefanski said he has spoken with Cheeks' agent concerning the possibility of a contract extension on top of the 1 year that was added to Cheeks' deal during the season.
"We've had so many situations," Stefanski said. "We're proceeding normally."
One situation that emerged yesterday involved the dismissal of Sixers center Samuel Dalembert from the Canadian National Team.
"I can't comment on that because I haven't talked to Sam," Stefanski said. "I don't know anything."
The Sixers were supportive of Dalembert's efforts to gain Canadian citizenship and to play for his adopted country in an attempt to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, but they are likely just as happy to know that their center - who appeared in all 82 regular-season games last season - will now have some time to rest before training camp.
In a complicated bit of league-permitted bookkeeping, the Sixers made sure they had sufficient room to sign
by renouncing their rights to unrestricted free agent
and restricted free agents
. They are also paying the salary of
and about two-thirds of the salary of
, traded to Minnesota in another move to create cap space . . . The Select Team roster includes
, Oklahoma City;
, Chicago; and
, Detroit . . .
had 24 points each as the Sixers beat Washington, 86-72, in a Las Vegas summer league game last night. Former Drexel star
had two rebounds in 8 minutes for the Wizards. *