The Sixers’ motto for the 2018-19 season: Run it Back?
With a few personnel changes, the overall look of the Sixers remains the same from their playoff exit against the Celtics back in May. The starting five is back, which was a very strong unit. Amir Johnson, T.J. McConnell, and Richaun Holmes are also coming back.
The only free agent casualties have been Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, who have since been replaced with Wilson Chandler and now Nemanja Bjelica. If you ask me, both of them are upgrades.
There are still some questions for the team outside of the obvious one of a new general manager. How will Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet be slotted into the rotation? Will Jerryd Bayless’ contract be bought out? Could at least one of Justin Anderson, Richaun Holmes, or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot be cut or traded? I think Anderson can give you some valuable small minutes, while Holmes can do the same but could probably be safer to move in a trade. TLC has potential, but I think he might be the one the Sixers say goodbye to.
The Summer League season begins tonight as the Sixers take on the Celtics in Las Vegas at 7:30 PM on ESPN. Here’s the schedule thus far for the team:
- Tonight vs. Boston (7:30 PM, ESPN)
- Saturday vs. LA Lakers (11:30 PM, ESPN)
- Monday vs. Washington (5:30 PM, NBA TV)
If you’re up at 11:30 and watching Summer League action on a Saturday night, I salute you. I probably will at some bar.
Anyway, here’s the Summer Sixers’ roster, which includes Jonah Bolden, who aims to be on the Sixers actual roster this season:
Your 2017-18 Summer Sixers pic.twitter.com/2LH8NdmtbN
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) July 5, 2018
One final note: Jessica Camerato is out at NBC Sports Philadelphia as the turnover continues for the station.
The Phillies start a three-game series in Pittsburgh tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Nick Pivetta is on the mound.
But with the team 10 games above .500 for the first time in seven years and looking like a club that might make the playoffs, do fans really care? If they don’t, what’s missing?
Maybe Manny Machado is the missing piece for the city to be on the Phillies wagon again. If that happens, don’t expect Zach Eflin to be part of a trade.
After an awful start and being criticized of some of his decisions, Gabe Kapler’s looking like a potential Manager of the Year candidate:
As a first-year manager, Kapler doesn’t have much history upon which to draw. But he’s clearly using his experiences from the last three months to inform his decisions. And of all the reasons that the Phillies, at 47-37, are 10 games over .500 for the first time since September 2011 — a string of ace-caliber starts from Aaron Nola, a knack for grinding at-bats, the maturation of the majors’ youngest roster — Kapler’s influence and leadership loom as large as any.
“If we just look at this past weekend’s games against the Nationals, we don’t win those games without our bullpen coming through, we don’t win those games without some big hits in some key at-bats, we don’t win [Sunday’s] game without Andrew Knapp’s home run,” general manager Matt Klentak said. “But I also don’t think we win those games without Gabe Kapler as our manager. He was a real difference-maker in those games.”
The Flyers made their second move in free agency by signing right-handed defenseman Christian Folin to a one-year deal. He’ll probably be the team’s sixth or seventh defenseman.
Forward Taylor Leier and goalie Alex Lyon filed for salary arbitration. The team and the players can still make a deal before arbitration hearings between July 20 and August 4, where an independent arbitrator would settle on a salary for both parties.
Could we see Morgan Frost with the Flyers next season?
With the Flyers opting against signing a third-line center, at least for now, Frost’s odds of making the opening night roster in 2018-19 have significantly increased if only because there is now a clear path for the 2017 first-round draft pick.
“I think my opinion is different than other people,” Frost said last Thursday at development camp in Voorhees, New Jersey. “I want to make the team. If I work my hardest, it’s realistic.”
That was before free agency opened and before Hextall conceded that the market dictated the Flyers’ best course of action for a third-line center comes internally. It’s certainly realistic now.
Once Hextall sifted through the “we’ll see” on Frost, the Flyers’ GM put the ball in the 19-year-old’s court. Hextall said Frost has to get “a lot stronger” and has “work to do,” which Frost knows. Frost came into development camp considerably stronger than he was last season at 184 pounds, a 12-pound increase from where he was at this point last summer. Frost finished the 2017-18 season at 175 pounds and said he hopes to play above 180 pounds in 2018-19.
Shouldn’t be a surprise, but Nick Foles’ book is already a New York Times best seller.
Which Jalen Mills will we see next year?
In the FIFA World Cup, the quarterfinals get underway today with France-Uruguay at 10 AM and Belgium-Brazil at 2 PM on FS1. Tomorrow’s games are England-Sweden at 10 AM and Russia-Croatia at 2 PM on Fox.
We have a new episode of Crossing Broad FC to get your ready for this weekend’s quarterfinal action.
In other sports news, Grayson Allen is back doing Grayson Allen things:
Grayson Allen got into a scuffle with Trae Young in Summer League. pic.twitter.com/VWuoLisnRN
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 6, 2018
If you snitch on another player in the NFL, you’ll get rewarded with a reduced penalty the next time you get suspended.
UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has been pulled from the UFC 226 card.
In the news, a Septa bus crashed into a Northeast Philadelphia home, killing one person.
Looks like we’re now in a trade war with China!
Chris Brown has been arrested for felony assault.