Mandatory Photo Credit: Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire
Dakota Mathias is perhaps the biggest question mark on the Sixers roster. Fans should be more eager for the his fit with the team than the talent that he brings. Mathias is a prototypical spot-up shooter who shot 42% from three-point range in his time at Purdue University.
Previously Play Experience
Dakota Mathias is now 25 years old and has spent time playing in Spain as well as showing promise in the G-League last year. Mathias lacks athleticism but is active off the ball which hides this and allows him to get open. He is a fairly good passer and handles the ball well for a guy of his playstyle. Dakota excels in the catch-and-shoot but is also able to create his own shot much better than one would expect.
In his past season playing with the Texas Legends of the G-League, Mathias averaged 18.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3 assists, and shot 40% from beyond the arc on 8.8 attempts per game. His numbers have been extremely efficient in showing his ability to score off the dribble and hand-off in addition to the catch-and-shoot that he was known for. The Texas Legends were more than 10 points better per 100 possessions when Mathias was on the court instead of on the bench. This magnitude of scoring that he carried leaves hope for him being able to sneak his was into the Sixers rotation.
Mathias in Philly
While his 6’4 frame forces him more into the combo-guard category, Mathias shares similarities with the playstyle of Furkan Korkmaz. He’s is a better passer than Furkan and, if the Sixers are in need of a new-look ball-handler, he may be a guy that gets a chance. He also fits the mold of shooters that Daryl More loaded the new-look roster with. Dakota is well capable of getting the hot-hand if the opportunity arises and there is not a major drop-off between him and the current rotational bench pieces.
There is not much long-term potential of Mathias with the Sixers as this will likely be a one-and-done season with the team. This year will be just as much of a tryout for the other 29 NBA teams as it will be for the Sixers this year. There is also not as much short-term potential for Mathias as he faces much more competition for minutes than Paul Reed. It would be a surprise for Mathias to play more than a handful of minutes this year but, with so much uncertainty surrounding the season, do not fully count it out.
Sixers Two-Way Conclusion
Despite the new rules allowing for more playing time for the two-way guys, it seems unlikely that either one of these guys will be lighting up the stat sheets this season. There is a lot to be excited about regarding the potential of Paul Reed and the seamless fit with Dakota Mathias. Given the uncertainty this year, it is a huge positive to have these spots solidified. The Sixers have been successful in using two-way contracts to develop young talent in the past like Marial Shayok and Shake Milton, so it will have to be seen if either of these guys can outplay the low expectations they face.