LAS VEGAS - The NBA Summer League is winding down, and the 76ers will soon go their separate ways.
So far, it appears as if Ben Simmons is as talented as advertized. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, while not a finished product, has so far justified being the 24th overall pick in last month's NBA draft.
T.J. McConnell has shown why the Sixers hold him in such high regard, but Nik Stauskas once again has struggled to display the consistent shooting touch the Sixers thought they were acquiring in a trade with the Sacramento Kings last summer.
The Sixers (2-4) concluded the summer league Friday night with a 74-66 consolation victory over the Miami Heat.
Simmons finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists after missing the previous two games to rest. Center Shawn Long finished with a game-high 18 points to go with 10 rebounds. While the summer league has a tournament format, these games - along with last week's Utah Summer League - were all about player evaluation for the Sixers. So here are some of our own observations:
Ben Simmons. The first overall pick will be the most talented player on the regular-season roster. The 6-foot-10, 243-pound point-forward is a gifted passer and a solid rebounder with great court awareness. His weakness is shooting, and he has to improve on defense and his rate of turnovers.
T.J. McConnell. The second-year player is an underrated point guard. The former Arizona standout knows how to run a team. He has a point guard mentality, is a good passer and defender, and can make shots. Perhaps his best attribute is his toughness. One area on which he has to improve is his three-point shooting.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The 6-6 French guard is athletic and can defend. He is a decent shooter and should improve, thanks to his work ethic. Luwawu-Cabarrot has to adjust to the NBA game, and he's not ready to make an impact this season, but has a solid upside.
Richaun Holmes. The second-year post player is a good shot blocker who plays hard. He is a capable shooter from the outside but must be more consistent. He has the skill set to be a rotation player. The only problem is the Sixers have a logjam at the center and power forward position. He may have to go down to the Sixers' NBA Development League team, the Delaware 87ers, to get regular minutes.
Jerami Grant. The third-year forward is considered more of an athlete than a basketball player. He's a solid defender who can guard the small forward and power forward positions. The 6-8, 210-pounder needs to improve his overall skill level. But he's a good piece to have off the bench due to an ability to play both forward positions.
Nik Stauskas. The 6-6 shooting guard was disappointing last season with the Sixers and has continued that way in the summer league. The Canadian's best chance to remain in the NBA is as a shooter. However, he's been inconsistent with his shot. He also needs to improve his confidence. The former Michigan standout doesn't do enough in the other areas if he's not shooting the ball well to justify giving him major minutes.
Brandon Paul. The 6-4 undrafted rookie guard out of Illinois is a good scorer but a streaky shooter. He is worth keeping an eye on to see how he develops. He will probably play in Europe.
James Webb III. The 6-9 undrafted rookie forward out of Boise State is athletic but doesn't have a true position in the NBA. He will have to develop with the 87ers this season.
Shawn Long. Long is active and a good rebounder. However, the 6-9 undrafted rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette is a below-the-rim player. He can go outside but lacks the athleticism to be a regular in the NBA. Like Webb, he'll probably develop with the 87ers.
Maodo Lo. The undrafted rookie guard out of Columbia is not a true point guard. But he has point guard size at 6-3. The German is a good shooter who has a feel for the game. However, Lo doesn't have a true position in the NBA.
Byron Allen and Alex Caruso. The two undrafted rookie guards played hard but were basically on the team to fill out the roster.
Sixers make a trade
The 76ers acquired center Sasha Kaun and some cash consideration in exchange for the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum in the trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It's unlikely that the Sixers will keep Kaun. The cash consideration is expected to cover more than $1.3 million the Russian is scheduled to make this season. As a result, this deal was nothing more than the Cavaliers purchasing some of the Sixers cap space.
The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Kaun averaged one point, one rebound, and four minutes in 25 appearances this past season for the Cavs.