Frazier Joins Sixers After Call-up From Red Claws
BOSTON –– On Wednesday morning, Tim Frazier woke up in Portland, Maine, the home of his NBA Development League team, the Red Claws. But just a few hours later, he received a call from the Philadelphia 76ers, asking him to join the team on a 10-day deal. An elated Frazier hopped in a car and made the two-hour drive down the Atlantic Coast to meet the team in Boston, Massachusetts ahead of its afternoon road practice session on Thursday.
Frazier comes to the Sixers via a D-League call-up, Philadelphia’s third of the 2014-15 season. In 27 games as a member of the Boston Celtics’ minor league affiliate this season, the 6’1” point guard has averaged 15.9 points (45.1 FG%, 27.5 3P%), 8.9 assists, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per contest. Over his last three games, the pass-first 24-year-old has totaled 40 assists (13. APG).
“[He] was one of the most impressive pre-draft interviews I had,” head coach Brett Brown said of meeting Frazier, a five-year senior with a dual major in supply chain and information systems, last spring. “I was taken aback by his intellect, by his maturity, and then he came in and did so well in our workouts and ended up being with us in Summer League, and he’s a Penn State kid, so it all made us curious.”
Sixers fans may remember Frazier for his play at nearby Penn State from 2009-14 and for the five games in which he represented Philadelphia at the Las Vegas Summer League this past July. As a senior member of the Nittany Lions in 2013-14, the Houston native averaged 14.9 points, 5.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game, and in five outings with the Summer Sixers, he averaged 3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.2 steals in 17.8 minutes.
“I’m blessed for the opportunity to come to an organization and build with these guys,” said Frazier on Thursday. “It’s every kid’s dream to play in the NBA, but I knew I had some work to do [after Summer League].
“I spent five years [in college] playing different roles every year on the team, so I think that will benefit me. I played in college for a while, but obviously college is not the NBA, so I have to come out and play even harder and do the things that I know I can do to help the team win.”
Frazier is the second player the Sixers have added since the 10-day signing period began on January 5. First it was Larry Drew II, who was brought in to provide depth at the point guard position after the team lost Tony Wroten to a knee injury that would eventually require surgery. Drew II signed his first 10-day contract on January 16 and re-upped for another on the 26th of the month.
The league limits teams from signing any single player to more than two 10-day deals per season, so had the Sixers wanted to retain the 24-year-old point guard, they would have had to make him a fully-guaranteed offer for the rest of the year. With only a single free roster spot – the one left vacant as a result of Drew II’s expired 10-day contract, the rookie was caught in an unfortunate numbers game.
“Flexibility,” Brown said when asked why the team didn’t sign Drew II for the remainder of the season. “The trade deadline is coming up, and we need flexibility. We may see [Larry] again. Who knows? What I do know is he was an ‘A’. He did everything and some, and it doesn’t prohibit us from revisiting him [in the future] at all.”
Frazier becomes the eighth player signed to a 10-day contract in General Manager Sam Hinkie and head coach Brett Brown’s tenure in Philadelphia. Last season, the Sixers signed six different players to such deals – Dewayne Dedmon, Darius Johnson-Odom, James Nunnally, Jarvis Varnado, Casper Ware, and Adonis Thomas. The newly signed point guard will be available to suit up for Philadelphia in their Friday meeting with the Celtics in Boston.