Temple's Wyatt among four cut by the Sixers

Posted: October 25, 2013

ROSTER TRIMMINGS by a team getting ready for a regular season that could include three times as many losses as wins usually wouldn't raise many eyebrows, but the cuts the 76ers made yesterday sort of did just that.

Gone is Temple product Khalif Wyatt, who went undrafted but impressed the Sixers' staff in the Orlando Pro Summer League and throughout training camp with his commitment to weight loss and giving himself the best chance to latch on to the team. In the end, though, it wasn't enough.

The team also released Royce White, the 16th overall pick of the Houston Rockets last season who was acquired this offseason; guard Vander Blue; and forward/center Mac Koshwal.

"He can score, and I don't think that was ever a question," an NBA scout said of Wyatt. "Obviously, I think he has issues at the defensive end of the floor, and that is something that takes effort, and he'll be physically challenged, because of the position he plays. He is a little slow of foot, which can be masked if you're a big man. But he is playing against the best and fastest athletes in the league at his position. He isn't an elite scorer or an elite shooter. He needs the ball in his hands to score, and that's not going to happen for him in the NBA right now.

"Where he used to get fouled in college and get to the foul line with his craftiness, with the athletes in the NBA, those just become bad shots.

"I'm not sure if he'll play in the D-League [NBA Development League] or if that would be good for him. The D-League isn't going to change him athletically. He could play right away overseas and make a lot of money and perhaps return to the NBA someday."

The general feeling, and the hints delivered by coach Brett Brown, was that Wyatt was in a battle for a roster spot with fellow guard Blue. But both players saw limited minutes the past few games, so the writing on the wall began to appear.

White, a 6-9, 265-pounder who can rebound and handle the ball when in shape, also has anxiety disorder that makes it a struggle for him to get on an airplane. He did fly to the final two preseason games - short flights to Charlotte and Columbus, Ohio - but didn't play well in either game. He even got thrown out in Columbus after having words with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack, who was rested that night. Character issues are big to Brown, so the ejection certainly didn't bode well for White.

The roster stands at 16, one over the limit that must be met by Monday. One way to get the roster to the limit would be to buy out Kwame Brown, who has a hamstring injury. That would entail giving him his $3 million and letting him walk. Or the team could keep Brown and the final spot probably would come down to wing men Rodney Williams and Hollis Thompson.

The Sixers say they will have a major announcement Wednesday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center, only hours before the team opens the season against the Miami Heat. At that time, Allen Iverson will announce his retirement from the NBA.

Iverson spent 14 years in the league, the first 10-plus with the Sixers. He returned for a 25-game stint in 2009-10 and played his last game in February 2010.

In one of the most thrilling careers in NBA history, the diminutive Iverson averaged 26.7 points, was an 11-time All-Star and played more than 41 minutes a game. He won the MVP title in 2000-01, when he averaged 31.4 points during the regular season and 32.9 points and 6.1 assists in the playoffs that ended with a Finals loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was the rookie of the year in 1996-97 after being taken No. 1 by the Sixers. He was a two-time All-Star MVP, a three-time All-NBA first-teamer and a four-time scoring champ. His 26.7 career scoring average is sixth-highest all time.

At various points of his career, Iverson led the league in minutes per game (seven times), points per game (four), field-goal attempts (four), free throws made (two), turnovers (two) and steals (two).


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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