Sixers sign Tolliver for rest of season


Earlier this season, Anthony Tolliver was serving as an assistant coach for his oldest son’s basketball team, giving instruction to eight-year-olds.

After a brief audition, it looks like he'll be a Sixer for the rest of the season.

The team plans on signing the veteran power forward for the remainder of the season barring unforeseen circumstances, a source told NBC Sports Philadelphia on Friday. The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the news.

NBA teams can sign a player to a maximum of two 10-day contracts. Tolliver signed his second 10-day deal on April 22.

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers liked how Tolliver stepped into his rotation on April 16 despite knowing very little of the Sixers’ schemes. He’s also noted that younger Sixers have gravitated toward the 35-year-old, describing a scene in which a small crowd gathered around Tolliver’s locker to hear tidbits of veteran wisdom.

It appears unlikely the Sixers would use Tolliver in the playoffs unless injuries necessitate it. Rivers prefers the idea of a second unit with four perimeter players around Dwight Howard, meaning a theoretical competition between Mike Scott and Tolliver for playoff minutes hasn’t materialized. 

In addition to that April 16 appearance vs. the Clippers, Tolliver has received rotation minutes in the Sixers’ loss last Saturday to the Bucks and win Monday over Oklahoma City. He actually spent time guarding reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the defeat to Milwaukee. Across 62 total minutes, Tolliver has eight points on 1-for-10 shooting, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks. 

On his 11th NBA team, Tolliver understands that much of his value at this stage comes off the court. 

“If I don’t play, I’m in a different position now where it’s more about the team winning and pursuing a championship, pursuing the ultimate goal,” he said after signing his first 10-day contract. “For me, I’ve been able to set my family up financially, so it’s not as much about trying to get to the money or trying to get to the next contract. It’s just about winning and having fun and being in a good position. 

“That’s why, when this opportunity came up, I really feel like it was a really good fit from that standpoint. Obviously it’s a team that’s already competing without me. … This team doesn’t need me. It’s just one of those things where if I can bring value in any way I can, that’s what I’m here for. That’s my goal, is just to bring value and bring something that another player that they could’ve signed can’t. That includes leadership and … just different perspectives that certain guys haven’t had.”

The Sixers on Sunday officially signed Tolliver for the rest of the season.

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