The Sixers have approached free agency in a very unique way, going big when the rest of the league is going small and focusing heavily on bench depth after such sporadic production one year ago. The process so far has earned glowing praise from fans and analysts around the league, but they’re lacking in one key area; shooters.
Losing J.J Redick stung massively, but now being roughly $11M over the cap, stings more. The Sixers have missed on the likes of Danny Green and Seth Curry and with Ben Simmons almost refusing to shoot and a focus on the interior, you can expect there to be a huge dip in three-point production unless Elton Brand can find some bargains. With that in mind, here are three guards who could immediately inject a shooting boost to the team, without breaking the bank.
SG Brandon Sampson
The former LSU Tiger endured a troubled college career. An ankle injury ruined his junior year, where he started just 9 games after starting 26 as a sophomore. After stunning at the NBA combine in 2018, teams were left hesitant due to his inconsistent shot and lack of defensive prowess.
However, Sampson signed with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he made 39% of his average of 7 three-point shots per game. The Bulls took full advantage of this and were able to squeeze some value at of the young guard last season.
‘BSamp’ played in 14 games for the Bulls in 2018, shooting .379 from beyond the arc and .467% from the field. His two-way contract saw Sampson average 15 minutes per game and start twice last season, averaging 5 points per matchup. Sampson is currently competing on the Warriors’ summer league team. and if he does eventually end up wading through free agency waters again, the Sixers could be in a position to find a cheap and cheerful developmental piece in the 6’5 22-year old.
SG Keenan Evans
Evans is tearing the Summer League apart right now, after pouring in 20 points for the Grizzlies on Wednesday, 16 on Saturday, and a more well-rounded performance on Monday. Interestingly, he’s contracted to the Delaware Bluecoats, the Sixers G-League affiliate.
Evans hit .386 of his 3.2 three-points per game last season, averaging 11 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in roughly 27 minutes per contest.
After spending time on the Pistons roster last season, the former All-Big 12 PG caught on with the Grizzlies summer league team and is showing a clear jump in development.
An alumnus of Texas Tech, Evans averaged 17.6 points per game as a senior, but concerns over his size hurt his draft stock. Perhaps a reunion with former Raider Zhaire Smith would spark some much-needed chemistry off the bench.
SG David Nwaba
Nwaba has become one of the league’s more intriguing young players. He appeared in 51 games for Cleveland last year due to injury setbacks, but when healthy, was one of the more impressive guards on one of the league’s most depleted rosters.
The 6’4 guard has become renowned for his defense (hello Sixers) and intense mindset, bearing the aggressiveness to match up against some of the bigger guards and forwards in the league, where other wing players would have to switch.
He averaged 6.5 points per game last year, shooting .321 from beyond the arc, but he actually shot 36% on corner threes, and 33.8% on catch-and-shoot threes, per NBA.com.
A two-way player who has shown signs of development since joining the league, Nwaba wouldn’t replace J.J Redick immediately, but would fill a void the team had even with the sharpshooter on the floor, while providing a solid building block on the outside.
Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports