Sixers still lacking at the point


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LAS VEGAS — The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly reached an agreement with point guard Scottie Wilbekin on a contract. Four days ago, they signed point guard Pierre Jackson.

Neither has any NBA experience. In fact, the Sixers are the only team this summer that hasn’t signed a free agent that has played in NBA before. They haven’t even signed any of their own free agents. And with all due respect to the 6-foot-2 Wilbekin and the 5-foot-10 Jackson, there’s still a big hole at point guard in Philly.

Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie isn’t desperate and, in year three of his tenure, is obviously still taking the long view. Philly went into free agency with the most cap space and is now only challenged by the Portland Trail Blazers (who lost four starters) in that department. The Sixers used some of their cap space to steal Draft picks from the Sacramento Kings, but the three players they got in that deal – Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas and Jason Thompson – won’t move the needle much on either end of the floor.

They don’t play point guard either. And though the position is important across the league, it’s particularly critical in Philadelphia, for a number of reasons…

  1. The Sixers like to play at a fast pace. They led the league in possessions per 48 minutes two seasons ago and ranked seventh last season. A good point guard pushes the pace while minimizing mistakes.
  2. The Sixers just traded their starting point guard, the reigning Rookie of the Year at the time, five months ago. Michael Carter-Williams had offensive issues and the trade wasn’t necessarily a bad one, but Carter-Williams did help their defense and it would be nice if Philly had a decent replacement.
  3. The Sixers’ two healthy building blocks are big men who can’t dribble the ball up the floor themselves. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor will develop faster if they have a a competent, pass-first point guard to get them the ball where and when they need it.

At this point, that point guard isn’t on the Sixers’ roster. Tony Wroten is a talented player who can get to the basket, but is looking to score more than run the offense. Isaiah Canaan gave the offense a little bit of a boost when he arrived at the trade deadline last season, but had a lower assist rate than Wroten. Ish Smith, who started at point for the Sixers in the last month of the season, is one of those free agents they haven’t re-signed.

If the Draft had gone differently and D’Angelo Russell was available when the Sixers picked at No. 3, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But the Lakers took Russell, the Sixers took Okafor, and they still need a point guard.

The free agent market is pretty thin at this point, not that there were many great point guard options out there on July 1. Eighteen days later, the two best available point guards are restricted free agents Norris Cole and Matthew Dellavedova. They both have their strengths, but neither of those guys is ideal in regard to what the Sixers need.

Philly could absorb another contract into cap space, and there are a couple of teams with extra point guards. But Ty Lawson has off-the-court issues and Mario Chalmers has been better off the ball than on it.

One out-of-the-box option: Marcelo Huertas, a 32-year-old Brazilian point guard whose strength is running the pick-and-roll and who is reportedly looking to make the move to the NBA. While the idea of playing for a team that’s not ready to win more than 25 games may not appeal to Huertas, the Sixers can offer him both more money and more playing time than every other team out there. A short-term deal would make sense for both parties.

And Huertas would give the Sixers an upgrade at the position where they need one most.

17 Comments

  1. JAMES BROWN says:

    Can We finally say that the SIXERS are a badly run organization.GM COACH these Guys are not good at their jobs.They make bad decision on a regular basis.Then the Media calls it REBUILDING.No talent in the GM n Coach = NO talent on the floor.It starts at the TOP

  2. Don don says:

    I know allen iverson is know point gaurd mentally but he can do anything a great point gaurd could do especially at this stage Iin his life, and yes he wants a come back, As we know anythings an upgrade, plus ramon felton is on the market, and to top it off baron is trying to make a come back…….. you just need someone to hand the ball

  3. BryceHilfigure3 says:

    Typical sixers. Seth Curry’s was the best player in the D-league. And averaged over 25 in the summer league. And made the summer league 1st team. But they didnt even make a push to get him. It’s not like we have any other options at this point. Really we need to bring back Andre miller to finish out his career in Philadelphia.

  4. Pab March says:

    I’ve seen Huertas playing before, great player, great skills. Maybe it is good shoot.

  5. Jake says:

    Will Bynum, Andre Miller, Jason Terry

    Any of these current free agents are better than nothing

    They will have a lottery pick again next year. Sign one or two of those guys to a 1 year deal.

  6. Poppa says:

    #TheySleep PJack is 5′ 9 and averaged 30 a game in the d-league, has the athleticism to get up and down the floor and jump with anybody, not saying he’s the guard we need but i think he’ll show alot of positives this year, hoping he has some kind of nate robinson effect for the sixers….#TheySleep

  7. Harriethehawk says:

    The Philadelphia 76ers continue to be the laughing stock of the NBA. Nobody takes them serious. When other NBA teams have to play them, I know to themselves they say “okay, easy win”.

  8. jay says:

    So the writer discredits the young promising guards in Jackson and willy because they have no nba experience but then states they need to get this old Brazilian pg with no nba experience and no upside? Makes perfect sense

  9. NBAFan says:

    They could just hold a daycare center at the sixers front office and have the kids run the organization instead.. I’m sure the results would be somewhat more impressive!

  10. justsayin says:

    They should get Ty Lawson while his stock is low. Then again they may tank another season instead, what with the Embiid setback.

  11. G Nice says:

    Sam Hinke is screwing up this team and there is no way his strategy will payoff and this is coming from a die hard Sixers fan (me) who take the ridicule everyday because of my devotion to my team but why can’t somebody somewhere say something to get ensure this guys dismissal. We never should have traded MCW and we now need a Point guard. Why wasn’t one taken in the second round. What are we doing.

    • Tadarien white says:

      Carter Williams was a good player. He was nba ready. But he lacks the upside the Sixers want. Plus he can’t shoot at all l.

  12. curtjester1 says:

    Typical of the Sixers to just throw stuff together thinking they have addressed their needs. Hinkie is cheap and not NBA-astute so will just ride the season out and figure draft picks in another season will save the day. One of these years they will roll the dice and it will happen, a dynamic team. It will be more on luck than anything else. It just won’t be this year.

  13. Luis Vargas says:

    You’ll be surprised to find out how good p jackson is.

    • Chink2% says:

      sixers need to bring back ish smith, he play exceptionally setting up guys running on the wings last year. give him a full year and lets see what he can improve upon.