Who is Sixers Summer League Mystery Man Daishen Nix?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 07: Shirts line the seats of the Wells Fargo Center for fans before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 07, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Sixers have had a fairly successful summer league so far as they now have a 2-1 record in which the young core has shined brightly.

Impressive performances by Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, and several other members of the Sixers’ youth have driven the team to the two victories, with the Sixers proving to have a fairly stacked Summer League roster. While the real Sixers’ roster is fairly set in stone, there are some fun guys that are buried deeper in the summer squad. One guy who was signed to help to round out this roster is Daishen Nix.

Who He is

After growing up in Alaska, Daishen Nix was a five-star recruit and consensus top 20 recruit coming out of high school. Nix elected to pass on his college offers, joining the G-League Ignite team along with Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Isaiah Todd. Taking this trailblazing path to the draft may not have worked out as well for Nix, as he did not follow in with his teammates’ footsteps by getting drafted.

In the 15 games that the Ignite played, Nix started in just 2 largely due to former NBA player Jarrett Jack being on the team. In the 26.5 minutes per game that he did get, Nix averaged 8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He is a do-it-all type of point guard who has a mature feel for the game.

The biggest thing that jumps out when looking at his game is his ability as a passer, as Nix possess a rare vision and feel for the game. He deserves a ton of credit for helping the G League Ignite team to run effectively and, as a result, boosted the draft stock of his teammates- Jalen Green (2nd), Jonathan Kuminga (7th), and Isaiah Todd (31). Nix constantly put these guys in a position to succeed as proved a maestro in the pick-and-roll, moved the defensive with his eyes, and constantly awarded others in transition.

The lack of draft buzz surrounding the Alaska native is mainly attributed to his lack of shooting. In his one season with the Ignite, Nix shot just 38.4% from the field and 17.6% from beyond the arc. As impressive as he is as a passer, this lack of shooting does create issues in his game, and there are some mechanical issues in his stroke, especially when shooting off the dribble. It is also worth noting that Nix has lost around 25 pounds in his time leading up to the draft, which will help with his mobility moving forward.

What He Brings to the Summer League Roster

In his first two games of the summer league, Nix was not given much of a chance. He played 14 minutes in the victory over the Mavericks and tallied 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals during this time. In-game two, Nix saw even less time as he was in for just 3 minutes and 25 seconds, where he recorded 1 rebound and shot 0-1 from the field.

With Tyrese Maxey leaving Summer League early, more minutes were there for Nix in game three. In his 15 minutes of play, Nix put up 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 2 steals. He also tallied 2 turnovers which Head Coach Brian Adams discussed following the game. When asked about Nic following the game, Adams put it, “He’s got a real good feel for passing, and he’s got good size at the point guard position. For us, it’s about him taking care of the ball a little more, being a little more aggressive, and we got to continue to build him on the defensive end.” Nix also shot 1 of 3 from beyond the three-point arc in the Celtics game, so there are signs of some positive strides in this area of his game.

When the summer league roster was first assembled, I expected the 19-year-old to be given a chance as the second point guard on the team. This has not proven to be the case as Rayjon Tucker has served the role as a primary ball-handler a great deal, and Isaiah Joe has also shown this ability. With each of these guys already under contract, it makes sense to prioritize their minutes over Nix. But Daishen Nix possesses a passing ability and feel for the game far more advanced than either of these guys, and this would be cool to be put on full display.

News recently broke of Tyrese Maxey leaving summer league in order to work a camp for youth in his hometown; there are now seemingly more minutes available at the point guard position. Frank Mason has also climbed back into competition for minutes and was given the start in Maxey’s absence in tonight’s game.

Should The Sixers Give Nix a Shot?

Realistically it seems very unlikely that Daishen Nix will stick with the Sixers. Aaron Henry and Rayjon Tucker each occupy the two-way contracts, and all 15 full-time roster spots are currently being used. While it is likely Anthony Tolliver will be cut to open up a roster spot at some point, Daishen Nix does not seem quite like the guy Morey is saving this spot for.

Even if it is not with the Sixers, there is something about Daishen Nix that makes me believe he deserves an NBA opportunity. It likely won’t be an easy path, but Nix will be a guy to watch for fighting to stick around the league. The mature feel for the game is tough to teach, and the drop in 25 points is nothing to scoff at. The Summer League is just as much of a tryout for the other 29 teams as it is for the Sixers, so keep an eye out if another team offers him an opportunity moving forward.