How Many NBA Players do the Sixers Have?
How many NBA players do the Sixers have on their roster?
In a recent article by CBS sports NBA insider Ken Berger, he mentions an executive from another team thinks that of the 16 players on the Sixers current roster, five of them don’t belong in the NBA.
While that could be the case for many teams at the bottom of the standings, lets try and find out who the five players are.
My best guess is Phil Pressey, who is currently on the Sixers roster as a special "hardship provision", Christian Wood, JaKarr Sampson, T.J. McConnell and Richaun Holmes are the five guys he is referring too.
While the remaining guys are not perennial NBA all-stars, they do have guys who could carve out roles in the NBA.
Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel both have long-term NBA careers ahead of them, the question is can they do it together? That remains to be seen, so far it seems like a square per, round hole.
Tony Wroten is a legit NBA talent and should return to the Sixers rotation in about a week-to-10 days. He averaged 16.9 points per game last season, but at times can play out-of-control. At 6-6 he is an interesting athlete, trying to play the point guard position, maybe the Sixers allow him to play the two-guard with a guy like Kendall Marshall, who averaged 8.8 assist with the Lakers in 2013 or T.J. McConnell, who is dishing out 6.8 dimes per game- two true point guards.
Robert Covington looks like a guy who can play in this league, is he a NBA starter? Probably not on a NBA title contender, but he can play, and would get minutes off-the-bench for a playoff team. We got a glimpse of that in Tuesday's win over the Lakers when Covington hit 8-of-16 shots and five 3-pointers for 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Since the Sixers inserted Covington into the starting lineup, Covington has compiled averages of 12.8 points, 6.6 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.2 blocks, 2.0 three-pointers and a ridiculous 4.8 steals per game.
Isaiah Canaan is another guy who is not an NBA starter, but could provide offense off-the-bench for a team, he is not a NBA point guard, and his size hurts him as a off-guard, but his offense ability can't be denied, averaging 15.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and a nice 3.4 3-pointers over his last five games.
Jerami Grant is another player who is getting extended minutes but is probably better served as a role player off-the-bench. Since entering the starting lineup, Grant is averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.5 blocks over his last three games.
Injuries have plagued Nik Stauskas, but when he has played he has been disappointing, shooting just 32.9 percent from the floor, including 28.3 percent from distance. That needs to change if he wants to be a contributor to a good NBA team - right now he doesn't have that look.
While collectively, the Sixers are not a very good team, once you add some pieces to this mix and allow these players to settle into lesser roles, the argument that the Sixers aren't developing players seems foolish.
You're asking kids that really should be on the back-end of the bench to play major starting minutes - and they are starting to respond.
Is it translating into wins on-the-floor? No.
But in the long run these players could become the veteran players the Sixers are lacking right now, playing in roles that better fit their skill sets, around better, more talented players that the Sixers hope to add via draft, trade, or free agency.
So after the new year the Sixers should have a different look, with a lineup of Marshall and Wroten in the backcourt with Covington, Grant and Okafor playing the frontcourt. With Noel and Stauskas, being their top players off-the-bench.
Will this give them more wins? Not likely.
But it will be a team that NBA teams will have to work hard to win against night in and night out - all while earning valuable NBA experience.
(Listen to CSNPhilly Sixers insider Dei Lynam)