76ers sign pair of guards to fill depleted roster
Over 65 NBA players have entered into health and safety protocols over the last week, including three 76ers. Rather than suspending the season, the league has elected to allow teams to exceed the 15-man roster limit in order to field enough active players.
The hardship exemption is enacted if a team has four or more players that are either out with COVID or injured, and the deals are 10-day contracts. This rule allows teams to sign a hardship deal for each player who tests positive for COVID-19.
For the 76ers, they currently have three players listed out for health and safety protocols, along with two others out due to injury. They are set to take on Boston Monday, and will be without Andre Drummond, Georges Niang, Shake Milton who are all out with COVID. Furkan Korkmaz (Non-COVID Illness), and Jaden Springer (Concussion) are also listed on the injury report and are out for tonight’s game.
On top of that, Joel Embiid, Danny Green, and Tyrese Maxey listed as game-time decisions. To counteract their depleted roster, Philadelphia cut Grant Roller and signed Myles Powell to a two-way contract. Veteran guard Tyler Johnson was also inked to a 10-day hardship deal.
Myles Powell was brought on to fill in Riller’s two-way spot. Powell played his college ball at Seton Hall, and most recently played for the West Chester Knicks in the G-League. He only played 14 total games in the G-League, but his scoring ability translated seamlessly. In his time with West Chester, Powell averaged 17.6 points per game and shot nearly 42% from deep. He has yet to get any time on an NBA floor, but he has a chance to make a name for himself during this upcoming stretch.
The Sixers will also activate Tyler Johnson Monday, and while they just signed him this morning, his NBA experience could help level things out for Philadelphia. Johnson most recently played in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets last season, where he averaged just 5.4 points per game.
Philadelphia will be Johnson’s fourth NBA team during his eight-year career, and without a point guard available, Johnson makes sense for the Sixers. It is highly unlikely he will stick around, but Johnson can help fill a void on this depleted roster.
After getting Sunday’s game postponed, the Sixers will face off against the Celtics. Due to protocol, both rosters look like shells of themselves. Boston has at least five players out with COVID, and a handful of other players such as Jayson Tatum and Dennis Schroder listed as game-time decisions.
A rivalry game without essentially any of the recognizable faces for either side will definitely be ugly, but the NBA insists that the show must go on.
Mandatory Credit: Jim McIsaac