Four Players to Watch from the Summer League Sixers in Las Vegas
The Sixers Summer league kicks off tomorrow night, just where their playoff season ended, against Boston, this time in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League.
The Sixers summer roster, filled with rookie draft picks, undrafted rookies and young vets trying to catch the eye of an NBA front office will tip-off tomorrow night.
While there is no Ben Simmons, or Markelle Fultz level of player to watch this season, there are a few players who could help the 2018-2019 team improve.
Here are a couple of players’ to keep an eye on:
Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech, Guard/Forward
Smith was acquired in a draft night trade by the Sixers along with a 2021 unprotected first-round pick from Miami that sent Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns. Smith, is a defensive-minded wing, who averaged 11.3 points, five rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals in his lone season at Texas Tech.
The Sixers focus this offseason seems to be on upgrading their perimeter defense, an area they struggled with in the playoffs against Boston. The Sixers let veterans Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova walk this offseason, and replaced them with more athletic wing players, who can defend.
Landry Shamet, Wichita State, Guard
Shamet was selected by the Sixers with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Sixers are hoping he can add some ball-handling to their offense, while shooting the three-point shot. He averaged 14.9 points and 5.2 assists, but the number the Sixers would like to see is his 43.7% from three-point range. He is a perfect pick-and-roll player that is needed in today's game, and one of the best shooters in the draft.
It will be interesting to see how the Sixers use him, but a good showing in the Summer League could help them find a role for him this season.
Jonah Bolden, UCLA, Forward
Bolden, a 2017 second-round pick, is a skilled 6-foot-10 big-man, that today's game craves, a shot blocker and 3-point shot maker. Bolden spent the 2017-2018 season playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv, and has been given clearance to come play for the Sixers in the Summer League.
Having Bolden allows the Sixers to move on from Ilyasova, giving them a more athletic three-point shooter, and defender.
He averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 boards, 1.2 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.8 treys in 21.1 minutes for Tel Aviv last season.
Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey, Guard
A 2016 first-round pick, Korkmaz could be the Sixers answer for losing Marco Belinelli, a skilled three-point shooter. The Sixers would like to see Korkmaz show the three-point shot that made him the 26th pick in the draft. The Sixers were starting to give Korkmaz a little look last season, before he suffered a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot playing in Delaware.
He is a guy who is a bit more than just a three-point shooter, he can put the ball on the floor, and could give the Sixers a younger, more athletic option coming off-the-bench.