Free Agency has been in full swing since before 12:01am EST. Lost in the chaos of PG re-signing in OKC and the loss of the 76ers bench MVPs Marco Belinelli and Ersan Illyasova, the team’s summer league roster began their mini-camp sessions today (running from July 1-July4).
Although the team’s recently drafted rookies (Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet) will be in the spotlight, two-way guys like Demetrious Jackson, and 2nd-year vets such as Furkan Korkmaz, will be added to summer league rosters in an effort to hone their current skill sets and stand out among a class of NBA players looking for long-term contracts. Unfortunately, Shake Milton suffered a stress fracture during the pre-draft process, and will not be participating in summer league.
Medical update on Shake Milton: pic.twitter.com/BiZoErv2s5— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 1, 2018
In the first session of the summer mini-camp, the media was allowed to catch the last few minutes of practice. The team did a little bit of 5 v 5 and shooting work. Of course, the main topic of interest had to be Zhaire Smith’s (in red here) improving three-point shot:
In non-LeBron news, Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet shooting after the Sixers summer league team’s first practice. pic.twitter.com/4Op1q075TH— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) July 1, 2018
The stroke is still a little mechanical, but you like to see more makes than misses. Especially in an open gym setting. He’s not gonna have a quick release like Landry Shamet anytime soon, but a serviceable three point stroke will allow him to show more flashes in Summer League.
I was able to get a moment with the Smith after the end of the session to ask what his primary focus will be during these sessions and Summer League:
I just wanna continue improving on my ball-handling, shooting, defending, and my overall IQ. The [three point shot] is coming along; it’s just getting more consistent and getting as many reps as I can in the gym. I just wanna make sure I do everything I can to help the team win.
I missed Shamet, unfortunately, but here’s a few thoughts from the 76ers other first rounder:
Brett Brown was not at the practice facility—as he was busy courting King James in LA—but the hope is that we will get some words from the interim GM sometime during the mini-camp. I’ll be back at the facility Wednesday at the conclusion of the sessions.