Sixers cut Williams, Lawal

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Gani Lawal. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

There was a thought that the 76ers would waive Rodney Williams or Gani Lawal before the cut-down deadline.

It turns out the Sixers released both players before Saturday’s 5 p.m. league-mandated roster cut.  With one player under the 15-man limit, it appears the franchise is poised to make another roster addition.

There was a thought that the 76ers would waive Rodney Williams or Gani Lawal before the cut-down deadline.

It turns out the Sixers released both players before the Saturday’s 5 p.m. league-mandated roster cut.  With one player under the 15-man limit, it appears the franchise is poised to make another roster addition.

Williams is an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Minnesota. He missed the first five preseason games with a strained right hamstring.  The swingman scored a total of two points and finished with three blocks, three rebounds, a steal and an assist in the Sixers’ final two preseason games.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pounder high-flyer averaged eight points and 1.2 rebounds in July for the Sixers' Orlando Pro Summer League team. Williams averaged 10.1 points and five rebounds as a power forward at Minnesota last season.

Lawal averaged 1 point, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks and 4.8 minutes in six preseason games. 

The Georgia Tech product was the Phoenix Suns second-round pick in 2010. The 6-9, 234-pound power forward was slated to start against the New York Knicks on Jan. 7, 2011, even though he had played only two minutes for the team.

But he suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear the day before that game. After being waived, he spent the next two seasons playing overseas.

He averaged 13.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks last season for Virtus Roma of the Italian League.

Lawal signed a lucrative contract in August to play for VEF Riga in the Latvian League.

His relationship with the European team was shaky from the start. It was reported that he chose not to travel to a Euroleague qualifier and that the team didn't like his attitude. Lawal and VEF Riga parted ways on Oct. 3 to sign with the Sixers.

 -  Keith Pompey

Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers.

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