The Sixers made minimal changes to the roster from last season. The addition of Georges Niang however has proven to be a bright spot for the team.
Georges Niang has been worth every penny the Sixers are paying him on his two-year, 6.7 million dollar contract. The Minivan has been the best version of himself for the Sixers, being the consistent stretch four that both Morey and the fans had hoped for.
After three straight years of declining play from Mike Scott, the 76ers finally went out this offseason and secured the best stretch power forward for an absolute bargain of a contract. Niang finally started coming into his own for the Utah Jazz this past season. He averaged 6.9 points per game on 43.7/42.5/95.7% shooting. After that career year, the 76ers scooped him up, betting on the consistent improvement that he has shown throughout his first few years in the league.
This has worked better than Daryl Morey and the 76ers could have ever asked for, as Niang has been exactly what the Sixers needed. He has been the consistent floor stretcher the team has needed. Across his first four games, Niang has put up 10.3 points per game, 1.3 rebounds per game, and 1.3 assists per game. He has shot 55.6% from the field, 55.6% from three, and 100% from the free-throw line this season.
His consistency from everywhere has been one of the biggest bright spots this season. Even during his one-off game this season against the Brooklyn Nets, where he shot 1 for 5 from three, the threat he possessed was still enough to continuously affect the defense. His ability to at any time start knocking down threes from that power forward position is something every defense has to take note of.
In the other three games he has played, Niang has been nothing short of on fire. He gets to the three-point line when needed but still has shown the ability to finish inside the arc fairly regularly as he has had field goal percentages of 80.0%, 50.0%, and 71.4%. In his games against the Pelicans, the Thunder, and the Knicks, Niang has shot 9/13 or an insane 69.2% from three in the three games outside of the off night against Brooklyn.
Even in the game against the Knicks, Niang was a quiet, bright spot for the Sixers in a sluggish game. He finished with 13 points on 5/7 shooting and 3/5 from three while contributing 3 rebounds, a steal, and an assist in a season-high 22 minutes.
Niang has been one of the biggest and quietest upgrades that the Sixers made this offseason. His continued improvement each year and the way he has happily taken over his role has been such a great thing that it feels like we aren’t celebrating enough. Georges Niang was an immediate upgrade over Mike Scott and was the solution to one of the biggest to-dos of the offseason: Get a consistent stretch four.
Having Niang on the roster also allows for Drummond to truly shine in the bench unit. When Joel Embiid and Niang share on the court, it provides enough spacing for Embiid to either feast in the post or another option for Embiid to kick out to on double teams.
Niang has been one of the most exciting and quiet pickups that the Sixers could have done, and he will continue to provide value to this entire team. In Minivan, we trust.