Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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'Junkyard dog' Tony Wroten may see major minutes this season

Head coach Brett Brown likes what he sees out of 'junkyard dog' Tony Wroten, and that could lead to significant playing time.

'Junkyard dog' Tony Wroten may see major minutes this season

Sixers guard Tony Wroten.
Sixers guard Tony Wroten.

Michael Carter-Williams will likely be in the starting point guard spot for the Sixers on opening night.

While the backcourt has become crowded and there are certainly other options, the organization used a lottery pick to acquire Carter-Williams' services and it is in their best interest to help him develop and see what he has to offer to the franchise going forward.

However with that being said, Tony Wroten, another long, athletic guard may see some major minutes as well this season.

Coach Brett Brown has heaped praise on the hard-working guard throughout training camp, crediting his tenacity on the defensive end, as well as his ability to play in multiple spots along the wing offensively.

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"I think that he passes so well," Brown explained to media members after a concluded training camp session.

"He's like a Tyreke Evans-type player. He could play some two, some one. You instinctively say he can play one because I think he sees the court so well," Brown continued before crediting Wroten's tirelessness on the defensive end.

"I love his ability to pick up. I think he can pick up full-court and harass other point guards."

Wroten has demonstrated this defensive drive throughout camp, routinely pressuring Michael Carter-Williams as soon as he crosses half-court, serving as a pseudo-shadow and making life generally difficult for the 2013 lottery pick.

"I'm very competitive and I try to bring a lot of energy," Wroten stated following an intra-squad scrimmage where he was the consensus star.

It is this energy and competitive edge that may earn Wroten some major minutes in Brett Brown's rotation, even if he is not given starter status. When asked if if it would be better to bring Wroten off of the bench as some added energy, or to start him, Brown replied:

"You know, I'm not really sure right now. What I do know is that it's my job to develop Michael Carter-Williams, and it is also my job to reward competitive players (i.e. Wroten). I will do that, I'll find the balance of all that."

Brown seems well-aware that the franchise will be looking for development from their latest lottery selection, and he sees that as another area where Wroten will be very valuable.

"Tony Wroten is the best development coach that Michael Carter-Williams will have this year," Brown stated excitedly. "Wroten's energy and enthusiasm make it real. It develops Michael in relation to the lay of the land of the NBA."

The new coach has wasted little time working on this dynamic, as he has pitted the two players against each other in scrimmages and development drills, aiming for improvement on both ends.

"Those two will help each other, it's a really healthy [situation]."

While Wroten is of course striving for starter status, he currently has an excellent opportunity in front of him. His energy and defensive tenacity should keep him out on the court consistently, and his role in the development of Michael Carter-Williams only adds to his overall value to the team. Considering that Brown views Wroten as a wing who can play multiple positions, it is also likely that the two could see some time together on court this season.

"From an on the court standpoint, Tony [Wroten] has that junkyard dog in him," Brown stated, continuing to allude to Tony's toughness.

That junkyard dog should have plenty of opportunity to show his fight this season.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain Assistant Sports Producer
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