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Sixers trim roster to 15 ahead of Monday deadline

Nik Stauskas survives... for now

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2016-17 NBA regular season set to begin on Tuesday, teams were forced to cut their rosters from 20 down to 15 by 5pm EST on Monday. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer and our own Jake Pavorsky, the Sixers have made their necessary moves, dropping five players from their roster. This includes Dionte Christmas, who was signed earlier today to fill an open spot created by Elton Brand’s unexpected retirement last week.

Some may be surprised to see that the Sixers did not make Brandon Paul one of their four players assigned to the Delaware 87ers with an affiliate tag. But as CSN Philly’s Jessica Camerato reported, the 25-year-old Paul appears to be drawing legitimate interest from several NBA teams after putting together a solid preseason in Philadelphia. As a reminder, an affiliate tag does not mean that a player must report to an NBA team’s D-League affiliate. Rather, it means that if a tagged player decides to play in the D-League at any point this season they will be automatically assigned to that affiliate team. Philadelphia used its four tags on James Webb, Shawn Long, Cat Barber, and Dionte Christmas.

The Sixers holding onto Nik Stauskas, who made exactly three field goals in 81 minutes of preseason action and shot 15.8% from the floor in four games, was probably the biggest surprise of the day. However, it should be noted that the former lottery pick’s contract was already fully guaranteed for this coming season. Additionally, the team may still decide to waive him should they need to create a roster spot to facilitate a trade or a waiver signing. With recent first-round picks Tyler Ennis, RJ Hunter, and Archie Goodwin among the players cut today, and with the Sixers holding dibs to the first waiver claim, this could happen sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned...