Sixers: Three Reserve Power Forward Options to Bolster the Bench

NBA: MAY 05 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 3 – Celtics at 76ers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Forward Ersan Ilyasova (23) looks on during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers have played some of their best basketball that we’ve seen in the last decade or so. When all of the Sixers’ starters play, they showcase a 9-0 record. Their bench has been led by walking bucket Shake Milton and rookie Tyrese Maxey.

However, the Sixers have been struggling to find someone to be a consistent impact player behind Tobias Harris. Mike Scott is still on the roster but has struggled to stay healthy for the majority of the season. Scott has shown flashes of success in his limited action so far this year, but again– the best ability is availability. I love Mike Scott as much as the next guy, but if he can’t stay on the court the Sixers need another option at PF. Could the Sixers look at one of these three power forward options to bolster that backup power forward position?

Former Sixers PF- Ersan Ilyasova

Ersan Ilyasova is surprisingly still sitting on the free agent market. As fellow Philly Sports Network Sixers’ writer Zach Ciavolella mentioned in his piece on a potential reunion, Ersan has always looked like he meant to be in Philly. The former Sixer is a sharpshooter from beyond the arc. He even averaged a career-high 14.8 points per game during the 2016-17 season.

Ilyasova would not make the team an instant finals contender, but he would likely be a more consistent, and cheaper, option than Mike Scott. Scott could be used as a trade piece with his $5 million contract, and Ersan would bring even more shooting depth to this bench. His defense may not be completely there, but aren’t we tired of this team being full of defensive specialists?

If Scott can’t stay healthy, dishing him to make room for Ersan would be a great option.

Omari Spellman

Spellman is another cheap free agent option for the Sixers. Again, if Mike Scott struggles to stay healthy, Spellman would make a lot of sense.

The former Villanova Wildcat has been a journeyman so far in his NBA career. Spellman was drafted with the 30th pick in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks in 2018. He instantly made an impact for them, appearing in 46 games and averaging six points. The following year, he appeared in 49 games for the Warriors, where he averaged nearly eight points in 18 min of work per night.

Not only is Spellman a local to the Philly area, but he brings an intensity to him. Along with that, he could be a cheap contract on the Sixers’ payroll. Mike Scott is clearly better than Spellman, but he could be worth a look if it comes down to it.

Nemanja Bjelica

The Bjelica situation in Sacramento is strange. The Kings reduced Bjelica’s role as part of general manager Monte McNair’s plan to rebuild around De’Aaron Fox. Coach Luke Walton has said he plans to bring Bjelica back into the rotation, but prior to Friday’s game against the New York Knicks, Walton said Bjelica would be held out for the sixth consecutive game.

Let’s also not forget to mention the whole Bjelica-Sixers’ saga from the 2018 offseason. He verbally committed to sign, then said he wanted to play in Europe, then signed with the Kings. Sure, it was annoying, but this is a business. If he cited “professional” concerns, then we can all probably predict why he second-guessed his decision…

In the 10 games Bjelica has appeared in, he’s only scored about six points a game. This, of course, is among the lowest of his young career so far. After being drafted by Minnesota in 2015, he signed a contract through 2018 with them. Soon enough, he signed a contract with Sacramento. He’s set to earn $7.15 million this season, and will be an unrestricted free agent after this year.

His value has gone down since his benching. Since the Kings have made it clear they do not have him in his plans, they have lost some leverage in terms of a trade. The Sixers would have to give up Mike Scott and a pick, or maybe Tony Bradley, to make this happen. His contract is fully guaranteed, but the Sixers have the assets to make it happen.

Or maybe, there could be a blockbuster deal with fellow King Buddy Hield involved. *insert eye emojis*

Photo Credit: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire