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Thomas impresses versus Sevens, signs with Sixers

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: April 7, 2014

This weekend, Adonis Thomas (6’6”, 232) was in Newark, Delaware, leading the Springfield Armor in back-to-back victories in a Friday-Saturday series against the 87ers. Monday morning, he was in Philadelphia, participating in his first practice as a member of their parent team, the 76ers. 

Thomas, signed by the Sixers Monday morning, is the 44th Gatorade D-League call-up of the 2013-14 NBA season. As a rookie with the Armor, whose season ended on Saturday, the Memphis native averaged 16.6 points (45.9 FG%, 46.6 3P%) and 4.3 rebounds. In Springfield’s Friday and Saturday meetings with the Sevens, Thomas put together two of his best games as a pro, notching 20 points and 10 rebounds in the teams’ first meeting and 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting in Saturday’s season finale.

“I played very well in those two games… and I think that’s what really sparked it,” said Thomas of being offered a 10-day contract by the Sixers.

Thomas, who was a McDonald’s All-American and Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, spent two years at the University of Memphis before declaring for last year’s draft. After going undrafted, he signed with the Atlanta Hawks, but failed to make their regular season roster. He accepted an offer from the Springfield Armor of the NBADL two weeks later.

The 21-year-old forward appeared in 34 games for the Armor in 2013-14 and had a brief stint with the Magic in March, appearing in four games for Orlando and totaling seven points, three rebounds, and a pair of assists in 24 minutes of floor time.

With the Sixers, he hopes to get an opportunity to play quality minutes.

“They’re going to throw me in there [right away], so it’s going to be my job to just play the way I’ve been playing all year, continue to be aggressive, play with confidence, and not play nervous,” said Thomas. “It’s all about making plays and staying confident.

His transition will be made a bit easier because of relationships he’s cultivated with several members of the team throughout his prep and collegiate career – Thaddeus Young is a fellow Memphian and is someone Thomas has played with in the past, he and Tony Wroten competed together as members of Team USA, and he and Michael Carter-Williams went head to head in the McDonald’s All American Game in 2011. 

“There are a lot of guys I know on this team and I’m familiar with everybody,” he said. “I feel like I fit right in.”

His first game with Philadelphia will come on Wednesday when the Sixers travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors at 7pm.