Former Temple star Eric takes a shot at making Sixers

Michael Eric.
Michael Eric.
Posted: July 11, 2013

ORLANDO - Nine months after being cut by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Micheal Eric is getting another chance to show that he belongs in the NBA.

The 6-foot-11 center's game has evolved since he last played at Temple in 2012. In the Orlando Pro Summer League, Eric has established himself as the energy guy on the 76ers.

He isn't concerned about scoring.

"That will come," said Eric, who averaged five points and five rebounds in the first two games. "It's hard for a player to understand those kinds of things. But when you are playing [on the professional level], you start seeing where you can find your niche. And that's when I started evolving, pretty much."

Eric was one of the final players cut by the Cavaliers last preseason. He went on to play for the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League.

"I listened to them," he said of the Charge's coaches. "I listened to whatever they told me. They told me to run the floor and rebound, give yourself energy, block shots, and give yourself second chances on defensive rebounds.

"All those little things gave me a lot of points in the D-League. I got a lot of rebounds and blocked shots."

Eric averaged 8.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks with the Charge. His averaged 17 points in three playoff games.

However, those statistics came against D-League competition - not the likes of NBA all-stars. Eric, 25, knows he must continue to battle just to be invited to Sixers training camp. If that happens, he'll have to fight harder to make the team.

"I have to do the little things, have consistent energy and work," said Eric, who was born in Nigeria. "Nothing is easy in life. So I have to work."

Making it official

The Sixers' trades can officially be consummated on Wednesday when the NBA's moratorium on signings and trades is lifted.

The team traded all-star point guard Jrue Holiday and acquired the rights to center Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick, in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans during the NBA draft on June 27.

The Sixers also received the Pelicans' 2014 first-round pick (protected from picks 1 through 5) for Holiday and a second-round pick (42d overall) in the 2013 draft.

On Friday, the Sixers acquired Royce White and the rights to Turkish star Furkan Aldemir in a trade with the Houston Rockets. The Sixers essentially gave up nothing in return.

They are likely to use White's $1.7 million deal as an expiring contract next season. There is a team option for 2014-15.

Thunder up next

The Sixers (0-2) resume summer-league action at 1 p.m. Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0). Point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the Sixers' first-round pick, is averaging 19.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds. Khalif Wyatt, an undrafted guard out of Temple, is averaging 17 points per game.


Contact Keith Pompey at kpompey@phillynews.com Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers.

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