#1 uins — he is 0-3-1 with a 3.00 GAA an von douhua2233 14.09.2018 09:52

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown had an A-list comparison for 1-B first-round pick Zhaire Smith: Disgruntled San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard.

”I think that when you look at just where I believe Zhaire can be Will Hernandez Jersey , there are some common denominators that Kawhi had when we first brought him to San Antonio,” Brown said.

High praise for the Texas Tech guard.

But why settle for a rookie who may never develop into a franchise player when the Sixers can try and aquire the real deal?

The 76ers are open for business this summer and an organization that has long preached patience is now in the market for marquee talent to team with blossoming stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

”We are star hunting or star developing,” Brown said Friday. ”You’re not going to win a championship any other way.”

Brown hit on the ”star hunter” phrase at Thursday’s draft and again when he introduced Smith, acquired from Phoenix in a swap of first-rounders, and Wichita State guard Landry Shamet at the team’s New Jersey headquarters.

Brown had called Smith the team’s 1-B choice in the draft after they traded their 1-A pick, Villanova forward Mikal Bridges, to the Suns in a trade that also saw the Sixers net an unprotected first-rounder in 2021.

Sure, the Sixers could keep that pick until `21 when draft rules are expected to change in time for high school graduates to again be eligible. But the real perk of the pick is the ability to dangle it as trade bait as the Sixers hunt in the rarefied air of NBA stars.

”It’s a tiny number of players,” Brown said. ”As we figure out who we deem to be stars, we understand that’s going to be a challenge. We also understand we don’t have to solve all this now.”

Meaning, the 2019 free-agent crop sure looks good, too.

Brown is calling the shots in the front office as the Sixers look for a new general manager in the wake of Bryan Colangelo’s resignation. Brown made the final decisions on draft night and – though he said he has no desire to balance dual roles – he’ll be the face of the franchise with plenty to offer in talent; success (52 wins; playoff series win); a first-class training facility; and at least $26 million in salary cap space.

The Sixers are also dealing with a wild card in Markelle Fultz Phil McConkey Jersey , the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft whose rookie season was slowed by shoulder and mental issues that resulted in a broken shot and no playing time in Philadelphia’s last seven playoff games.

Fultz has been working with noted skills coach Drew Hanlen on rebuilding his mechanics. Fultz will likely skip summer league as he works on his jumper and tries to join Embiid and Simmons to form a trio of homegrown talent capable of making the Sixers contenders in the East. There’s always a chance Fultz could be packaged with a pick to try and pry Leonard from the Spurs.

Brown was an assistant with the Spurs and has a solid relationship with Leonard. Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and two-time NBA defensive player of the year, has requested a trade from San Antonio after missing most of last season with a right quadriceps injury. Spurs GM R.C. Buford said there was a fractured relationship between Leonard and the only franchise he has played for.

Leonard is due just over $20 million next season, and can become a free agent in the summer of 2019. He is eligible to sign a $220 million extension with San Antonio.

If the Sixers strike this summer, they’d have to be confident Leonard would be willing to re-sign with them instead of walking away with nothing to show for the gamble.

The Sixers have their own free agents to deal with, and they’d love to have 3-point ace JJ Redick return, perhaps on another one-year deal. Wayne Ellington and Tyreke Evans, both Philly-area natives, are unrestricted free agents that would fit in a happy homecoming. And, of course, Paul George and LeBron James are on just about every team’s wish list this summer.

The Cavs can offer James a five-year, $209 million deal this summer. It’s possible James could choose to sign a one-year deal again with a player option and go through the free-agency dance again next summer.

The Sixers will get to make a pitch after letting others do it for them.

At Barclays Center Marcus Williams Jersey , the NBA draft site, a plane flying above the arena carried three banners. One had LeBron James’ No. 23 with a crown and the Liberty Bell; another urges him to ”Strive for GOATNESS”; and the last reads (hash)PHILLYWANTSLEBRON.

Power Home Remodeling, a Philadelphia-based company, has become a James recruiter, originally setting up three billboards in Cleveland urging him to come to the city. The company also flew Thursday’s billboards in Brooklyn.

”We’ll be aggressive and attractive in the free-agent marketplace,” Brown said.

But will it be enough?




BOSTON — Having played eight of their last nine, including the last four on the road, the battered and bruised Boston Bruins return to TD Garden with a chance to take over the top spot in the Eastern Conference when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

It is the first of two games between the two President’s Trophy contenders in the closing days of the regular season and the Lightning lead the Bruins by one point with Boston having a game in hand.

The Bruins, 2-0 against the Lightning this season, have gotten Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug back from injury but added young defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to their list in Tuesday night’s 5-4 shootout loss in Winnipeg.

“A long trip at the end of the season, not easy, especially getting some injuries. Our focus is on Tampa now and it’s going to be another tough matchup Malik McDowell Jersey ,” Bruins forward David Pastrnak said after Tuesday’s game. “I don’t think we should overthink that. We just need to play our game. We’ve been playing pretty good lately. Just keep playing that way and we’ll see what happens.”

The Bruins are 10-2-3 in their last 15 games, the first 13 of those games without Bergeron. They continue to compete without Zdeno Chara, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk, picking up six of a possible eight points on the four-game trip.

The Lightning have lost two in a row and gone 3-4-0 over their last seven but that came after winning nine of their previous 10.

They have scored two goals in their last two games and suffered a 4-1 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night, with Steven Stamkos missing his first game of the season, out with a lower-body injury.

Stamkos skated with the team before the Lightning flew to Boston Wednesday and will be a game-time decision for this important game.

“We’ll see how it feels the rest of today and tomorrow,” Stamkos said. “It was just something that was nagging a little bit, so thought we’d give it a couple days to see if it would settle down. It definitely felt better than it did the last time I was on the ice.”

Stamkos, who has a career-high 59 assists this season, would benefit from time off before the playoffs, saying, “It’s probably one of those things where if you just took two weeks doing nothing Eric Rowe Jersey , it’d probably be good. But you don’t really want to do that right now heading into the stretch run here where we’re fighting for a division.

“It’s obviously nothing major, but it’s something that has just been nagging. I don’t want it to be nagging. We’ll just play it day by day now. It’s gotten better the last couple days with just getting treatment and doing some things away from the ice. We’ll see how it feels today and tomorrow morning.”

The Bruins signed Chara, their 41-year-old captain, to a one-year extension with a $5 million base another $1.25 million kicking in if he plays just 10 games and a max of $6.75 if the team wins the Stanley Cup.

“It all starts with him being a dominant player,” said GM Don Sweeney. “He doesn’t shy away from any match-ups or any situations.”

The Bruins are 6-1-0 in their last seven games against Tampa Bay.

Tuukka Rask has outdueled Andrei Vasilevskiy in the two games, one a shutout, this season and is 15-6-1 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .908 save percentage lifetime against the Lightning. Vasilevskiy would be looking for his first career victory against the Bruins — he is 0-3-1 with a 3.00 GAA and .908 percentage against Boston.

Tampa Bay backup Louis Domingue, who played and lost to his old team Monday, is likely to play against the Rangers in New York on Friday night on the second half of a back to back. Domingue, who had won three straight in March before Monday, lost his only career starts against the Bruins — when he was with the Coyotes.

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