Earlier in the week, I wrote about how the Sixers should considering bringing back Henry Sims after his successful stint with the squad this season. Sims, who is not under contract for next season, has developed nicely since deadline day, and he has demonstrated some value and versatility.
Like they did with a plethora of other players this season, the Sixers brought Sims in on sort of a talent try-out, to see if there was any pro potential in the player. In Sims situation, there is, and his on-court contributions present an excellent case for him to be brought back. He could really add some dependable depth to the franchise’s frontcourt.
While Sims should be brought back, at this point his future with the franchise is uncertain, as is the future of several players who contributed on-court to this struggle of a season for the Sixers. With the season crawling to a conclusion, it seems like a logical time to look at the lineup and speculate about which players should be brought back for a second stint with the Sixers.
Obviously, rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, who has yet to play a single second for the Sixers, will be back with the team, as will Thaddeus Young unless he is moved elsewhere in the offseason. Arnett Moultrie is under contract for next season, so we may again see him sitting on the Sixers’ sideline. Jason Richardson and Byron Mullens both have player options for next season, so there is the possibility that they will also both be back, unless they are shipped or snipped from the team. (Why did the Sixers ever acquire Mullens in the first place? Anyone…Anyone?).
Anyway, let’s take a look down the lineup and see who might be worth bringing back, and who the Sixers should send on their way.
Tony Wroten: The Sixers’ picked up Wroten’s third year option at the start of the season, and all indications are that he will be back with the Sixers next season. He has provided the team with some solid scoring off of the bench, and he has demonstrated that he is one of the best in the league at getting the ball to the basket. Wroten is top 10 in the entire NBA in total player points on drives to the basket, and he is in the top 15 in total drives and drives per game, despite playing off the pine.
Wroten has been inconsistent in other areas however. His shot is shaky to say the least, and he needs to improve his play-making, especially as a backup guard. His assist-to-turnover ratio is almost 1-to-1, and despite attempting almost three three’s a game, he is only shooting 22% from beyond the arc.
He may not be best-suited as a back-up point guard, but rather as a scorer/slasher, who can come in off of the bench, bring some energy, get to the line, and provide some instant offense. At 21, Wroten is still extremely young and has a lot of developing to do. The ability he has shown, especially on the offensive end, warrants the Sixers bringing him back. He could really develop into a nice second-unit scorer.
James Anderson: James Anderson is not an NBA starter, and he is not best suited for 30 minutes of action an evening as he was getting most of the season under Brett Brown. With that being said, the Sixers should consider bringing Anderson back for a bench role. Shooters never go out of style in the NBA, and while Anderson doesn’t provide much else, he can certainly shoot.
With a successful, productive college career at Oklahoma State, and a stint with the Spurs under his belt, Anderson has a solid IQ for the game, and provides floor spacing for the franchise. He is probably better equipped offensively than a lot of bench guys across the league’s landscape, and could provide the Sixers with some solid, serviceable minutes as a second-unit shooter.
Brandon Davies: Thanks, but no thanks. While Davies’ effort can’t be questioned, he didn’t bring anything to Sam Hinkie’s dinner table that a plethora of other players couldn’t duplicate or improve upon.
Davies averaged 2 points, and 2 rebounds in 11 minutes of action for the Sixers this season, and while it is nice to have some big bodies coming off of the bench, it is safe to assume that the team could find a replacement to provide that production. Davies can’t stretch the floor, is only an average rebounder, and doesn’t offer much on the offensive end. In the league’s changing landscape, with stretch-forwards becoming increasingly important, it is tough to bank on a big with such a slim skill set. If I were the Sixers I would thank Davies for his effort and attitude this season, and wish him the best for the future.
Hollis Thompson: Bring him back. Thompson has improved throughout the course of the season, and like James Anderson, he could be very valuable in bringing some shooting off of the bench. Historically, at least more recently, the Sixers have lacked shooters, and struggled because of it. If the Sixers are able to get a stud like Wiggins or Parker in the draft, or even able to add one through free agency, then they will need shooters to surround the star. Teams like Miami and San Antonio have had a lot of success by surrounding their central stars with shooters, as it keeps defenses honest and doesn’t allow them to stack up defenders against a star player.
Thompson’s per game statistics aren’t eye-popping, but he has been solid all season. He has great size for a perimeter player, and his defense has improved drastically. He reminds me a bit of a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard, just without the devastating defense. With continued development, Thompson could really ripen into a reliable rotation player on a contending team; like the one the Sixers are trying to build themselves in to.
Casper Ware: Haha.
Elliot Williams: You have to like a lucky lefty, but Elliot Williams just didn’t do it for me this season. As with Brandon Davies, Williams just didn’t bring anything to the team that couldn’t be provided by other players. He ate up some solid minutes, and could knock down the occasional shot, but overall his impact was insignificant. He put up 6 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist in 17 minutes of action per game, and while watching the team, you would sometimes forget that he was even out on the court. Again, his effort throughout this struggle of a season should be applauded, but in the end, he doesn’t appear to be a long-term fit for the franchise.