Iranian forward Kazemi rejoins Sixers for summer league

Arsalan Kazemi , the first Iranian player to be drafted by an NBA team, said his shooting has improved. MATT SLOCUM / AP
Arsalan Kazemi , the first Iranian player to be drafted by an NBA team, said his shooting has improved. MATT SLOCUM / AP
Posted: July 09, 2014

ORLANDO - Arsalan Kazemi is back with the 76ers, at least for a few days.

The 6-foot-7 power forward joined their Orlando Pro Summer League team Sunday night and participated in Monday morning's light practice.

Kazemi became the first Iranian player to be drafted by an NBA team when the Washington Wizards selected him with the 54th pick last summer. He was traded to the Sixers on draft night.

But after Kazemi played summer league ball last year, the Sixers sent him to Iran for a season to develop his game. The Sixers still have his rights.

Kazemi is known as a relentless hustler, but he lacked perimeter skills and is undersized for a power forward.

"I still want to join this team during the year," Kazemi said, adding that the Sixers can "see what I've added to my game this year."

The 24-year-old averaged 12.5 points and 11 rebounds last season for Petrochimi Bandar Imam of the Iran Super League.

"I can guard the perimeter," Kazemi said. "But I still need to work on the perimeter. I think I worked on my shot a little bit, so hopefully I will show that during the games."

The former Oregon star will not play in the NBA Summer League next week in Las Vegas.

Kazemi was training with the Iranian national team before he flew to Orlando. He will rejoin the national team for the FIBA Asia Cup, which runs from Friday through July 19 in China.

Noel back in action

Nerlens Noel will play Tuesday in a summer league game against the Houston Rockets. The 6-11 center sat out Sunday's 84-73 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Sixers say they don't want to overwork Noel, who played an organized game Saturday for the first time in 17 months after knee surgery. He scored 19 points in an 83-77 loss to the Magic.

"I'm just glad that I got back on the court," Noel said. "Now I know there are not many limitations."

The 20-year-old is focused on improving his shot and adding muscle to his 223-pound frame by the start of the regular season.

Headed for Las Vegas

Former Big Five standouts Tyreek Duren and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson will join the 76ers when they begin play in the Las Vegas Summer League. The games run from Saturday through July 21.

Jefferson, a forward out of Temple, played last season for AB Contern in Luxembourg. Duren is an undrafted rookie free agent out of La Salle.

"It's great to be here," Duren said. "Growing up, I looked up to a lot of the Sixers guys, such players as A.I. and all of them. It's kind of unbelievable, just to be here."

On playing professionally in Luxembourg, Hollis-Jefferson said: "It was different. I'm appreciative of them giving me a job over there . . . Long-term goal is just to try to make the team, stay around."

Center Nerlens Noel and second-round draft picks K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant, who are playing in the Orlando Pro Summer League, will join the team in Vegas.

The following players are taking part in a minicamp through Thursday:

No.                  Pos.    Ht.    Wt.      College

0   Brandon Davies   F      6-10   240      Brigham Young

7   Adonis Thomas   G-F      6-7      235      Memphis

9   Garrick Sherman   C      6-11   255      Notre Dame

17   Scottie Wilbekin   G      6-2      176      Florida

18   Devon Saddler      G      6-2      210      Delaware

25   Elijah Millsap      G-F      6-6      215      Ala.-Birmingham

26   Tyreek Duren      G      6-0      190      La Salle

27   Tim Frazier      G      6-1      170      Penn State

30   Drew Gordon      C      6-9      245      New Mexico

36   Elijah Johnson      G      6-0      190      Kansas

44   Jamelle Hagins   F      6-9      230      Delaware

50   Sean Kilpatrick      G      6-4      210      Cincinnati

51   R. Hollis-Jefferson F      6-6      215      Temple

52   Jordan McRae      F      6-6      185      Tennessee

Saturday    Utah         Thomas & Mack Center   4:30 p.m.

Monday    Cleveland      COX Pavilion            2 p.m.

Tuesday    Phoenix      COX Pavilion            2 p.m.

Each team in the league will play a minimum of five games and could play as many as seven.


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