Allen grateful for 2-year deal with Sixers

Sixers' Lavoy Allen dunks the basketball as teammate Elton Brand and Chicago Bulls' Ronnie Brewer watch during the first quarter on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Sixers' Lavoy Allen dunks the basketball as teammate Elton Brand and Chicago Bulls' Ronnie Brewer watch during the first quarter on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 13, 2012

ORLANDO — With all the excitement he could gather — which never is much — Lavoy Allen talked in the hallways of the Amway Center Wednesday about his new, 2-year contract with the Sixers, which a source confirmed is for close to $6 million.

"I wasn't really sure how much I was going to get, I'm just grateful that they offered for me to come back and be a 76er for the next 2 years," said the always humble Allen. "I'm just going to continue to work hard, continue to be focused, listen to the coaches and work with them, and I'm just going to be very competitive."

Allen played in 41 games this past season, 15 of them starts, averaging 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes of play. He shot 47.3 percent from the floor and 78.6 percent from the foul line. It was during the Sixers' playoff run where he was stellar. While scoring 10 or more points only four times during the regular season, Allen scored more than 10 in four of his 12 playoff games. He averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds during the postseason and was the key defensive player for the team against Kevin Garnett in the Celtics' seven-game series win. It helped land him his current contract and also gave him quite a confidence boost.

"[It taught me] not being afraid, not being scared of the competition no matter who they are," he said. "I went out there and just played my game, and I was very comfortable, all of the sudden. Hopefully, that carries over into next season. The experience you get, especially playing against the Boston Celtics — great players, great organization — that definitely boosted my confidence."

Late Wednesday night, the Sixers announced the acquisition of Dorrell Wright from the Golden State Warriors in a three-team trade. Along with Wright, the Sixers obtained center Darryl Watkins from New Orleans. The Sixers sent the rights to Edin Bavacic, the 56th pick in the 2006 draft by Toronto acquired in a draft day trade that year, to New Orleans, and the Hornets sent Jarrett Jack to Golden State.

"We're very happy to get a player like Dorell Wright," said Sixers president Rod Thorn said in a statement. "We think his outside shooting and all-around game will be a great addition to our team and we look forward to having him in Philadelphia."

Over the past two seasons with Golden State, Wright started 143 of a possible 148 games, averaging 13.8 points.

Watkins appeared in five games for the Hornets this past season, but has largely played overseas since coming out of Syracuse in 2007. Watkins competed in summer leagues, training camps and preseason games for several teams, including the LA Clippers, San Antonio, Houston, Cleveland, Dallas, Indiana and New Orleans. He also spent time in the D-League and has played internationally in China, Lebanon and Greece.

Moves that the Sixers did not announce as official yet were using the amnesty clause on Elton Brand and signing guard Nick Young. A team spokesman said Wednesday that coach Doug Collins and president Rod Thorn would talk about that Thursday or Friday.

Allen, who flew back to Philadelphia Tuesday morning to get a physical, then came back to Orlando that night, was in the starting lineup for the Sixers in their summer league game against Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon. It is the start of what Allen promises will be a summer of hard work to prepare him for whatever the next two seasons bring. The team gave him an outline of what he needs to concentrate on to be a better NBA player.

"Just to be in better shape, work on my post game," he said. "I think coming into the season [last year] being in shape was an issue. Coming from France [where he played during the lockout], I wasn't in the best shape. But working with Jesse [Wright, the strength and conditioning coach] really helped me out, getting some extra work in before and after practice. It reshaped my body and made me be able to play at that level."

Game details

The Sixers' roster for Wednesday's game against Brooklyn was severely depleted because of injury as Maurice Harkless (hip), Nikola Vucevic (Achilles'), Arnett Moultrie (ankle) and Jacob Pullen (ankle) were all out. Still, the team picked up its first win, 79-71.

Justin Holiday led the team with 18 points, including making all four of his three-point attempts. Xavier Silas added 12, and Solomon Jones 10. Lavoy Allen collected six points, six assists and four rebounds in his first action.

On the defensive end, Holiday made a very nice block on a drive by MarShon Brooks (18 points) late in the game to help seal the win.

"We can do a number of things with him out on the floor," summer league coach Aaron McKie said of Holiday. "Defensively, MarShon Brooks is a handful, so we let those other guys run around with him to try and get a taste of what it's like to try and guard an elite scorer in the NBA. Then we figured if we kept the game close, we'd put Justin on him late.

“You can take the offensive part out of it, 'cause that has to get polished. But defensively he talks, he rotates, he understands defensive schemes and he's very vocal out there, which I love."

Asked whether Holiday is a future NBA player, McKie didn't hesitate. "Oh, yeah. Definitely."

Penn's Zack Rosen came off the bench to provide some spark with six points and six assists in 17 minutes.

Summer league notes

Sixers associate head coach Michael Curry interviewed for the vacant Orlando Magic head coaching job Wednesday, according to a source ... Speaking of the Magic, rumors were circulating that Orlando might be close to offering Roman Catholic and Villanova product Maalik Wayns a contract. Wayns, who left the Main Line after his junior season, has been very impressive for the Magic in the summer league. He is scheduled to play for the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League next week?…?Temple's Dionte Christmas had another fine outing for the Celtics Wednesday, going for 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals in a win over Indiana?…?Christmas' teammate, Jared Sullinger, has been very solid in his three games. After falling in this year's draft to Boston at No. 21, Sullinger has averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in three games. Many say he's lost close to 15 pounds since the end of the college season?…?Magic forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis took in much of the day's action?…?Gonzaga's Adam Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, is a deep reserve for the Nets.

Contact Bob Cooney at cooneyb@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. For more Sixers coverage and opinion, read his blog at www.philly.com/Sixerville.

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