The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off a pretty successful season, making a second consecutive trip to the NBA playoffs under head coach Doug Collins. The Sixers had a strong run in the postseason defeating the Chicago Bulls in the first round before losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in seven games.
The offseason is here. The Sixers have made some strides over the last few seasons, but they need to make some additional improvements in order to get to the next level. That could be a better position in the conference standings, which could help them get to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Sixers will be working out a number of NBA prospects in the coming weeks. The NBA draft will take place on June 28. The team will take a good look at the list of free agents. Of course, they have their own free agents who require some attention such as Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and Jodie Meeks. Guard Lou Williams has an early termination option in his contract and could opt out if he chooses to exercise that right.
There are some interesting names on the NBA free agent list. The Sixers could definitely use some help in the frontcourt. Three names that stick out right away are restricted free agents JaVale McGee (Denver Nuggets), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers) and Jason Thompson (Sacramento Kings).
McGee, a 7-foot, 252-pounder, was a first round pick of the Washington Wizards four years ago. The Wizards traded him to the Denver Nuggets in March. McGee helped the Nuggets land a spot in the playoffs. In fact, he played extremely well against the Los Angeles Lakers in the postseason. The Nuggets took the Lakers to seven games, losing in the final game. McGee averaged 8.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks a game. He was a big factor around the basket. He ran the floor and caught a number of alley-oop passes from playmaker Andre Miller.
Hibbert, a 7-foot-2, 260-pounder, was a real force around the basket. He had a big year for the Pacers. He made the all-star team this season and carried the Pacers to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat where they lost in six games. He averaged 11.7 points and 11.2 rebounds a game in the playoffs. He can score from the outside. He can rebound, defend and score around the basketball.
Thompson, a former Rider College and South Jersey basketball star, can play in the post. The 6-foot-11, 250-pounder, averaged 9.1 points and 6.9 rebounds a game.
For restricted free agents, teams can match any offer that’s made from other teams.
Kris Humphries is an unrestricted free agent from the Brooklyn Nets. Humphries would be a great addition to the Sixers. He can run the floor, score inside, rebound and play good defense. The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder, averaged 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds a game.
In the backcourt, the Sixers may want to grab a point guard to help the run offense. They could sign a good playmaker that would help their young tandem of Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday like Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks) and Raymond Felton (Portland Trail Blazers).
Lin is a restricted free agent. He exploded onto the NBA scene with his spectacular play this season. Lin came out of nowhere to make a name for himself on the NBA’s biggest stage. He was quite a fan favorite in New York City. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds a game. He missed the playoffs with knee surgery. He could have been a big help to the Knicks in the postseason.
Felton, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, is an unrestricted free agent. He averaged 11.4 points and 6.5 assists a game. Felton would be a solid lead guard.
These are just a few names on the free agent list that should get a lot of attention in the coming months.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A kid for Kimye: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are expecting their first child.
The rapper announced at a concert Sunday night that his girlfriend is pregnant. Kardashian was in the crowd at Revel Resort's Ovation Hall with her mother, Kris Jenner, and West's mentor and best friend, Jay-Z. West told the crowd of more than 5,000 in song form: "Now you having my baby."
The crowd roared. And so did people on the Internet.
The news instantly went viral on Twitter and Facebook, with thousands posting and commenting on the expecting couple.
Most of the Kardashian clan also tweeted about the news, including Kim's sisters. Kourtney Kardashian wrote: "Another angel to welcome to our family. Overwhelmed with excitement!"
West, 35, also told concertgoers to congratulate his "baby mom" and that this was the "most amazing thing."
Representatives for West and Kardashian, 32, didn't immediately respond to emails about the pregnancy.
The rapper and reality TV star went public in March.
Kardashian married NBA player Kris Humphries in August 2011 and their divorce is not finalized.
West's Sunday-night show was his third consecutive performance at Revel. He took the stage for nearly two hours, performing hits like "Good Life," ''Jesus Walks" and "Clique" in an all-white ensemble with two bandmates. -- (AP)
LOS ANGELES — Kim Kardashian says she never meant to hurt anyone by ending her marriage after just 72 days.
The 31-year-old reality star posted a message to her fans on her Web site Tuesday, one day after filing for divorce from Kris Humphries, whom she married in a lavish ceremony that aired as a two-hour TV special on E!
Kardashian says that while she "married for love" and "would not have spent so much time on something just for a TV show," she admits that she "got caught up with the hoopla and the filming of the TV show."
"When I probably should have ended my relationship, I didn't know how to and I didn't want to disappoint a lot of people," she writes.
Kardashian says she takes "full responsibility for my actions and decisions," adding "it just didn't turn out to be the fairy tale I had so badly hoped for."
"I want a family and babies and a real life so badly that maybe I rushed into something too soon," she says.
Kardashian and Humphries dated for nine months before marrying in August.
She goes on to say that reports that she made millions of dollars off the wedding "are simply not true and it makes me so sad to have to even clarify this." Twitter and Facebook were filled with anti-Kardashian sentiments on Tuesday, including some photos that were reposted thousands of times.
One photo showed the happy wedding couple gazing adoringly at each other above large type that read, "If you think gay marriage cheapens the institution, two words... Kim Kardashian."
In her post, Kardashian says she plans to "donate the money for all the gifts to the Dream Foundation."
The couple's $172,000 wedding registry included such items as a $1,650 coffee pot and two $1,250 sterling silver vegetable spoons.
Kardashian does not mention Humphries in the 370-word message. -- (AP)