GALLOWAY, N.J. - One might assume that Carl Landry is just a throw-in salary dump in the trade that brought Nik Stauskas to the 76ers from the Sacramento Kings.
But as Landry sees it, his job is to help turn a youthful and impressionable Sixers squad into a unit that can bring back a championship atmosphere to Philly.
"I've played almost 40 playoffs game, probably played more playoff and regular-season games than the whole team combined," Landry said. "So growing up alongside Dikembe Mutombo and Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis [as a Houston Rocket], I was a sponge."
The 6-foot-9, 248-pound power forward spent most of his time asking teammates questions, dissecting their play and learning from them.
The ninth-year veteran, who is on his sixth NBA team, hopes his new teammates do the same with him.
"I'm not going to lead them in the wrong direction," Landry said. "I'm going to continue to be a professional. That's what got me to this point today.
"Hopefully with that, I can help this ball club out as long as myself along the way."
But his teammates will have to wait a bit to learn from him on the court. Landry had surgery on June 2 to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. He removed his cast three weeks ago. However, the original timeline to return was four to five months.
As of Monday, Landry said he didn't know his return date.
"But I can tell you that I am getting a lot better every day, and it won't be a long-term thing," he said.
Said Sixers coach Brett Brown: "I think in another five weeks to six weeks, we should start seeing him on the floor, I'm told. But it's not close."
But Landry has a physical side of him that has Brown looking forward to pairing him alongside rookie center Jahlil Okafor.
Early in his career, Landry was an offensive rebounding machine and regarded as one of top reserve scoring power forwards.
He averaged 10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds in 23 minutes of action in 477 games with 81 starts during his career. In 70 games last season with the Kings, Landry averaged 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds while shooting 51.5 percent from the field in 17 minutes 70 games with the Kings.
The trade enabled him to reunite with general manager Sam Hinkie, formerly the assistant general manager of the Rockets.
Back in 2007, Landry was the 31st overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics and traded on draft night to the Rockets. The two former Rockets chatted Tuesday night.
"We talked a lot about this situation and how it's different the way people might perceive it [as nothing more than a salary dump], and the importance of his voice and how that might matter," Hinkie said. "That doesn't take away from his game. I think he will be able to play fine."