Finally, Lou Williams can get back at it.
It, of course, being the full-out workouts - pickup games included - from which Williams removed himself while playing it safe during his contract negotiation.
Yesterday, the Sixers officially announced the signing of Williams, their 6-foot-2, 21-year-old backup guard who's blossomed into an integral piece of the franchise.
Per team policy, the 76ers wouldn't disclose details, but a source said the contract is for five years and believed to be worth about $25 million.
Securing Williams appears to be the penultimate move of a busy summer for 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski, who alluded to "one more piece" the franchise needs to secure before embarking on what many believe will be a successful 2008-09 season.
That last piece is restricted free agent Andre Iguodala, last season's leading scorer. Stefanski has repeatedly said the two parties are in negotiations. Yesterday, he reiterated that stance.
"It takes time - things don't happen overnight, as I've mentioned over and over," Stefanski said. "Our intention is to sign Andre Iguodala back."
Last year, Iguodala rejected the Sixers' five-year, $57 million extension offer in favor of testing this summer's market. It has been reported that Iguodala is seeking a six-year, $75 million deal.
Iguodala also could play this season for the Sixers' qualifying offer of $3.8 million and roll the dice again next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
In the four weeks of free agency, the 76ers have signed power forward Elton Brand and guards Royal Ivey and Kareem Rush.
Stefanski said he likes the balance of the roster, mixing young players like Williams, Thaddeus Young, Jason Smith and Marreese Speights, with veterans like Brand and point guard Andre Miller.
"I was excited," Williams said about the Sixers' off-season moves. "I was one of those people who felt I would be back here."
Williams, who has been working out with Brand, said he was immediately flying back to Atlanta, his hometown, where he is playing in a Pro-Am summer league.
"It's hard not playing during this stretch," said Williams, who couldn't risk injury before signing. "Pickup is a huge part of my game. I'm excited to get back to it."
Williams is entering his fourth season with the Sixers. He was the 45th overall pick of the 2005 draft, coming straight out of South Gwinnett High School in Atlanta. Last season, he averaged 11.5 points per game during the regular season and 12 during the Sixers' six-game playoff loss to Detroit.
Sonny Hill to be honored. On Sept. 4, the Basketball Hall of Fame will present Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill with the Mannie Jackson Basketball Spirit Award for his contributions to the sport.
Hill, who founded the Sonny Hill League, now in its 40th year, is a recipient along with former NBA star David Robinson.
"I've taken great joy to touch people, to make a difference in the game of basketball," said Hill, who added that he could not be more honored by the recognition.