Potential bench signings for the 76ers
The NBA transaction window has opened up and teams have begun to sign players with Tyler Zeller going to the Nets and JR Smith looking at likely being signed by the Lakers. With the possibility of players being injured or sick the 76ers are likely to take advantage of the expanded roster and bring someone in with experience. Some of the guys I will mention have been floated around as possibilities. But alongside that, I also brought up some other players not discussed as much that could fit in well.
The first candidate is one who has gotten a lot of traction recently is former Suns’ guard Jamal Crawford. Having last played in 2018-2019 Crawford averaged 8 points and 3.5 assists in 19 minutes per game. At 40 years old Crawford provides a piece that has been around the league and the playoffs for a while and is knowledgeable enough to take on a role. While I wouldn’t want him being a playoff rotation piece if everyone is healthy if you’re in need of an emergency guard he is a great option to have. Also with his experience, he can be of use to help with the younger players and potentially be a player-coach of the sorts. Definitely not a bad option as a 16th man.
Jamal Crawford sharing his wisdom with Rookies Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges. Excellent leader for this young Suns team. pic.twitter.com/JFMic2IlJg
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 18, 2018
A process legend returns. The Sixers need shooting and Hollis can provide just that. You can never have enough wings that can shoot 3’s and Hollis can be that guy for you if Furkan or Glenn Robinson were to go down with an injury. Hollis was recently with the Sacramento King’s G-League affiliate this season and has been playing so he is definitely in basketball shape.
— NBA (@NBA) July 3, 2019
Also, Hollis has been around the Brett Brown Sixers for several years so he is comfortable with the system and will be able to fit in right away. Again, like Jamal, I wouldn’t want him in the playoff rotation as it stands currently but he’s an interesting option as to someone who can fill in if needed to.
I’m sure the fans who wanted a frosty won’t be happy about this. Thomas is probably the most talented Point Guard on the market. These past few years have been an interesting path since his days in Boston. Being the headliner in a trade to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving to bouncing around several teams, Thomas hasn’t been the same since his hip injury several years ago. Most recently with the Washington Wizards where he averaged 12 points and 4 assists in 23 minutes, he has what it takes to be a solid role player still. The question with IT is if he can fit off the Sixers bench due to his need to be in control of the ball. From a pure talent standpoint, he is not a bad option at all, probably one of the best. But the main question is if Burks or Shake were to be injured, could Isaiah learn the offense well enough to become the backup point guard? Also, Thomas is a major liability defensively but with the rest of the team’s talent on that side of the ball, it could be hidden. So depending on whether the Sixers are looking for talent or fit, if talent is the case Thomas could be a likely possibility.
Iman has been floating around in this role for the past few years and hasn’t been that bad at it, to be honest. Being a depth piece for the Kings, Rockets, and Nets, Shumpert has played his role well and very likely could do it again this summer. The guard is a solid 2-way player and can hold his own on both sides of the ball without issue. If Philly is looking for a guy with a mixture of both talent and experience that doesn’t need the ball to be a solid player on the floor then Shumpert might be one of your best options. There hasn’t seemed to be much interest and while he isn’t a sexy option he gets the job done when needed. Shumpert can also provide locker room experience to the younger guards from his years in the playoffs himself.
One option I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about is bringing somebody up from in house. Haywood has been with the Delaware Blue Coats all season and has been very productive down there growing as a player. Being apart of the team last season, Haywood has some NBA experience and is very used to the system ran in Philly and could handle it if the situation ever arose. I see an internal promotion as the most likely possibility of what the Sixers will do as they will know what they are getting, keep the locker room chemistry the same, and will get someone who already knows the system they run without having to learn it all.
Haywood Highsmith (@hay_iAMHigh) turned 22 yesterday, a day after tying his season-high with 20 PTS (8/13 FG, 4/8 3pt) against Greensboro. Catch Haywood and the Coats in action tonight at 7 PM/ET! @nbagleague | #JoinTheRevolution pic.twitter.com/xO3l0MSKYL
— Delaware Blue Coats (@blue_coats) December 10, 2018
With all that said, I would expect something fairly soon as to who the Sixers bring on and I would highly doubt that they decide to not bring any players. With everything COVID and injury-related, it can’t hurt to have an extra player for emergencies who is ready to step into the role if needed.