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Ex-Sixer Brandon Davies: Team never talked of tanking

NEW YORK - Brandon Davies wore black-and-white Brooklyn Nets workout attire at his introductory news conference at the Barclays Center.

76ers forward Brandon Davies. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
76ers forward Brandon Davies. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)Read more

NEW YORK - Brandon Davies wore black-and-white Brooklyn Nets workout attire at his introductory news conference at the Barclays Center.

Yet it was obvious he was still closely connected to the 76ers. He even made a point of speaking up for his former teammates when asked about no longer being on a tanking team.

One day after being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, the power forward kept referring to the Sixers as "we," hours before facing his former team Friday night.

"One thing I can tell you in the locker room, we were set on winning," he said when asked how refreshing it is to play for a veteran, non-tanking squad. "We were just going away. I think the games we played in showed that. We lost some close games against some really good teams.

"There wasn't one game we went into that locker room thinking we are not going to win."

Davies did acknowledge he's excited to be, along with another former Sixer, Darius Morris, one of the newest members of the Nets. But he added the Sixers are "a great group of guys" and it's hard to let go of the friendships he built.

The Sixers sent the well-liked reserve power forward to Brooklyn in exchange for forward Andrei Kirilenko, point guard Jorge Gutierrez, a 2020 second-round pick, and cash considerations. They also received the right to swap 2018 second-round draft picks with the Nets.

The Sixers waived Gutierrez on Friday and called up Ronald Roberts from the Delaware 87ers, their NBA Development League team.

Roberts averaged team highs of 17.5 and 11.8 rebounds for the Sevens. The former St. Joseph's standout also shot 67.4 percent from the field.  The 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward was a member of the Sixers' Orlando Pro Summer League team. He also was one of the final players cut from their preseason roster.

Roberts arrived in New York about 4 p.m. and was available to play on Friday's game.

Meanwhile, the Nets signed Morris on Thursday after a roster spot was made available once Gutierrez was traded to the Sixers. The Sixers had waived him on Nov. 20, 2013, four days after he scored a career-high 20 points in a loss at the New Orleans Pelicans.

He had stints with the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies that season and moved back to Philly after being waived by the Portland Trail Blazers this preseason. Morris had been working out at Temple before getting the call from the Nets.

"They just told me it was a business. It wasn't necessarily my play," he said of the Sixers' explanation for releasing him. "At the time, we had a winning record. Kind of piggyback off of Brandon, when I was there, we never tried to lose games. We tried to win.

"But they never told me why they released me. I still think coach [Brett] Brown is a great coach. And Sam [Hinkie] is a great manager."