It appears Donyell Marshall's first season as a Sixer will also have been his last.
With the summer in its final weeks and the NBA season quickly approaching, the Sixers are putting the final touches on their 2009-10 roster. Both sides - Marshall's agent, Andy Miller, and Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski - confirmed yesterday that the Sixers' re-signing the veteran power forward did not appear to be on the agenda.
"He did a wonderful job for us last year," Stefanski said. "But right now we feel like we are going to go in a different direction. Right now our thought process is to bring a couple of guys into camp to compete for that spot."
Sixers training camp, being held this year at St. Joseph's University, will begin Sept. 29 and run through Oct. 4.
Last season was Marshall's 15th in the NBA. He appeared in 25 games, averaging 3.8 points in 7.6 minutes and shooting 45.5 percent from the three-point line. On multiple occasions, he made game-winning or game-changing three-pointers despite limited opportunities.
Miller also represents former Sixers point guard Andre Miller, who signed with the Portland Trail Blazers after receiving what he felt was a subpar offer from Stefanski. He said Marshall had expressed interest in returning to the team to Stefanski, assistant general manager Tony DiLeo, and new head coach Eddie Jordan.
"But I have not received a phone call from the Sixers saying they are interested in re-signing him," Miller said. "At this point, it would seem overly optimistic to think they are just waiting to fill other positions before addressing Donyell's spot. . . . I thought last season Donyell went above and beyond the call of duty for what he was brought in to do. I thought he rose to the challenge every time he was called."
Big-man backup. Primoz Brezec, a 7-foot-1 center from Slovenia, wanted back in the NBA.
The 76ers, who lost last year's backup center, Theo Ratliff, to the San Antonio Spurs, needed a bargain big man to provide an option behind starter Samuel Dalembert.
Although the contract is not yet signed, it will be soon: The Sixers and Brezec have agreed in principle to a one-year deal for the veteran minimum.
Because Brezec has seven years of NBA experience, that would put his 2009-10 salary at $1,107,572, according to the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
Stefanski declined comment on the impending deal.
Once the contracts of guard Royal Ivey and Brezec are finalized, the Sixers will have 12 players under contract for the season.
Brezec is represented by agent Marc Cornstein, who also represents Dalembert. Cornstein said the deal should become official in the next week but was delayed because Brezec was in Slovenia playing for the national team.
Cornstein also said Jordan's pass-and-cut offensive system would fit Brezec's skill set.
"I just think with the type of offense that Eddie Jordan likes to run that Primoz is a very good fit," Cornstein said. "I think he complements Sammy; they bring very different skill sets."
Cornstein said Brezec has an excellent basketball IQ, can shoot, plays well off pick-and-rolls, and is physical.
Cornstein said Dalembert and Brezec were "friendly" with each other.
Brezec's first year in the NBA was 2001-02, with the Indiana Pacers. He played in the league the next seven seasons. The most prolific of them were with the Charlotte Bobcats from 2004 to '06, when he averaged 13.0 points one season and 12.4 the next. Brezec spent last season playing for Lottomatica Roma of the Italian League.
Royal Ivey update. According to a source close to the situation, the official announcement of the re-signing of Ivey is expected to come Monday.
Ayers aboard. As first reported in the Inquirer, the Sixers officially named Randy Ayers an assistant coach. He had served as head coach during the 2003-04 season.