It is by no means a hot-take to claim that this Sixers roster is not currently built to contend for a title. The mismatched parts have been put on full display as the Sixers are now faced with a 3-0 deficit in the series. Jayson Tatum was held more in check this game but the Celtics, who were labeled as having a thin bench going into the playoffs, outscored the Sixers’ bench 20-9 after outscoring them 41-20 in game 2. Alec Burks was the only Sixers bench player to register a point in Game 3.
Given the revolving door of players who have put on a Sixers uniform in the past few years, it is tough not to wonder players that the team let slip away too soon. While many of the moves made were necessary and the motivation was the pursuit of a 3rd star, it is interesting to look where some of the Process era names are now. The Sixers currently have a desperate need for high-quality bench players, and it is heartbreaking to see those minutes being logged by former Sixers on opposing teams.
RoCo is one of the top names that come to mind when the true gems of the Process are reflected on. Along with Dario Saric, Covington was traded to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler in a deal that was supposed to push the Sixers over the edge. While that clearly didn’t work out in the way it was envisioned for the Sixers, Covington has continued to develop and is extremely well regarded around the league.
Due to injuries, Covington only ended suiting up for 70 games for the T-Wolves over the course of a season and a half. He was then traded to the Rockets, where he had originally begun his NBA career. Covington has become an instrumental part of the small-ball play style that the Rockets play with. At 6’7, RoCo plays most of his minutes at Center and tallied an impressive 11.6 points and 8 rebounds per game this season in 33 minutes of action.
This one hurts a little bit more. After drafting the Frenchman with the 24th pick in the 2016 draft, TLC spent just 2 and a half years with the Sixers. Luwawu-Cabarrot was shipped out (along with Justin Anderson) in a 3-team trade that landed the Sixers… Mike Muscala. The biggest positive of this deal is Muscala sealing the Sixers getting the protected 1st round pick that came with this trade.
TLC eventually made his way to the Nets and appears to have turned a corner in his career. In the bubble, Timothe is averaging 15.7 points while shooting 50% from 3 point range (On a respectable sample size of 29 for 58). He shoots the ball with confidence and has begun to gain trust from the rest of the Nets team. Current Nets Head Coach (and potentially future Sixers HC), Jacque Vaughn, has come to count on TLC to play significant minutes and recently told reporters he can see him “playing with an incredible amount of confidence.” In the opening game of the series against the Raptors, TLC ended with a stat line of 26 points and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Shamet has a near-perfect play style for today’s NBA and has continued to add layers to his game in addition to his career 40% 3-point percentage. He was shipped out in the trade that landed Tobias Harris and Landry has become a key member of the Clippers. Shamet has averaged 9.8 points per game in his time with the Clips and shoots just under 6 3-point attempts per game. He has proven to be very effective as a catch-and-shooter and is a tremendous complementary player.
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Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire