76ers waive former Villanova star Maalik Wayns

Maalik Wayns, just released by the Sixers, is blocked by the Thunder's Hasheem Thabeet on Friday. SUE OGROCKI / AP
Maalik Wayns, just released by the Sixers, is blocked by the Thunder's Hasheem Thabeet on Friday. SUE OGROCKI / AP
Posted: January 08, 2013

The 76ers released former Roman Catholic and Villanova star Maalik Wayns on Sunday.

The team also recalled rookie forward Arnett Moultrie from its NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The Sixers roster stands at 13 players.

Wayns was signed as a free agent this summer after impressing the Sixers during the Orlando summer league, and his release was somewhat of a surprise. He was scheduled to be paid $473,604 this season and $762,195 next season. However, the full payout was contingent on his being on the roster.

A 6-foot-1 guard, Wayns appeared in 20 games for the Sixers, averaging 2.5 points and 1.0 assists. He made one start.

Wayns impressed the Sixers during the preseason, when he averaged 10.3 points.

Early in the season, Wayns looked as if he might be a part of the Sixers' rotation, as coach Doug Collins often turned to him rather than veteran Royal Ivey to spell starting point guard Jrue Holiday. But Wayns did not appear in seven of the team's last eight games as his role was reduced.

The 6-foot-10 Moultrie was the 27th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Miami Heat. He was traded to the Sixers on draft night for the draft rights to Justin Hamilton (the 45th overall pick) and a protected future first-round pick.

In seven games during his assignment with the Skyforce, Moultrie averaged 9.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 26.3 minutes per game. He has appeared in 11 games for the Sixers this season.

Life without Bynum. It has been more than two weeks since the Sixers announced that center Andrew Bynum was on a six-step recovery program designed to return him to the court.

The Sixers have not said exactly what that plan is, or where Bynum is in the process. However, now that they are home after an eight-game road trip, there have been some hints that an update on Bynum is near.

The Sixers (15-20) have grown accustomed to playing without Bynum, who has chronic problems with his knees. They have fallen five games below .500 for the first time since they were 21-26 on Jan. 30, 2011, but they won't use Bynum's absence as a crutch. The Sixers have lost 14 of their last 19 games.

"Obviously we wish we had him," Evan Turner said. "Obviously it will get a lot better once he comes back - or if he comes back. The way I see it is I have never played with him, so I don't know what it's like to play with a guy like him. He's a guy who is potentially a Hall of Famer who plays the right way."

Holiday is having the best season of his career, averaging career highs in points (18.4) and assists (8.9). With Bynum on the floor, it's conceivable that Holiday's assist numbers might be considerably higher.

But Holiday, like Turner, is more focused on his teammates who dress every game, not Bynum.

"This is our team, and whoever plays that night, that's who we have," Holiday said. "Even if we are undermanned, undersized or whatever, we still believe in each other. You have to have faith in your teammates that we can pull it together. I think everyone feels that way."

Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com, or follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.

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