The Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Charleston, SC, where they will be hosting this year’s training camp at the Citadel, which is a Military College of South Carolina. Doc Rivers and the Sixers are using this opportunity to build chemistry and a strong team bond.
With training camp comes competitive position and rotation battles as players are fighting for minutes in the rotation or roster spot. The Philadelphia 76ers currently have 17 (Plus two 2-way players) players on the roster and need to trim the roster to 15 (Plus two 2-way players) for the regular season. Take a look at three camp battles to watch:
Can Shake Milton Carve Out Minutes?
The starting backcourt is set with James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, but there are some questions about how many guards the Sixers will use in the rotation. The Philadelphia 76ers traded for De’Anthony Melton, who will surely play an integral role for this team this season and going forward. With talks of the Sixers staggering Harden and Maxey and Melton firmly entrenched in the rotation, will guards like Shake Milton be able to crack the rotation?
Milton will have to battle hard in camp to show the coaches that he needs to be the fourth guard in the rotation. Milton actually started last season battling for the starting point guard role, with Ben Simmons demanding to be traded. Halfway through the preseason, he injured his ankle, which set him back. His season was plagued with injury, and was in and out of the lineup.
When called upon, he did perform well and played well off the ball with James Harden. Milton will have to play really well in training camp to give the Philadelphia 76ers’ coaches a second thought on using just a three-guard rotation.
Battle of the Backup Big Men
After Paul Reed, affectionately known as BBall Paul, played well for the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs, many expected him to come into the season as the backup center. However, Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers looked to add more depth to the position with a player they both were familiar with. The Sixers added Montrezl Harrell, who played for Rivers on the Clippers and Morey on the Rockets.
Both players have their own unique style of play that could help the Sixers when Joel Embiid isn’t on the court. Harrell’s offensive game is more polished and fits well with James Harden’s pick-and-roll style of play. Reed brings defensive versatility, energy, and hustle while still improving on his offensive capabilities.
Head Coach Doc Rivers is known for having a preference for veterans, so that could give a leg up to Harrell in the training camp rotation. Paul Reed spent the summer working to improve his game, and if he is as hard of a worker as it has been reported, don’t count him out winning the training camp battle… as a center.
Rivers also stated that he perceived Reed as a not just a center, but also a power forward, officially opening the door for more minutes as he could pay both the four and the five in the Sixers’ system.
Who Will Win When it comes to the Wings?
The Philadelphia 76ers went into this offseason wanting to add some toughness and two-way players on the wing. They added P.J. Tucker and Daniel House to the mix, with Tucker projected to be a starter and House being a key contributor off the bench.
If you add Tobias Harris to that list, there are three wings already eating up minutes. Who will step into camp to be in the rotation? Matisse Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, Furkan Korkmaz, Charlie Brown Jr, and Trevelin Queen.
It has been reported that Thybulle has really worked on his offensive game over the summer, which could help him fortify a spot in the Philadelphia 76ers’ rotation. Thybulle started 50 games for the Philadelphia 76ers last season but wasn’t available for three games in the Raptors series and was borderline unplayable offensively against the Miami Heat. All eyes will be on Thybulle and if he can stand out above the rest.
Isaiah Joe and Furkan Korkmaz seem to have been fighting for the same spot in the rotation during the regular season for the last two seasons. Whenever Korkmaz fell out of favor in the rotation and Joe was given a chance, he didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.
Which player will stand out in camp to secure a rotation spot and, more importantly, a roster spot? It seems like an uphill battle for Brown Jr. and Queen to crack the rotation, but they will need to work hard to be considered for a roster spot.
As camp progresses into the preseason, the Philadelphia 76ers’ coaching staff has a lot of tough decisions to make. It will be interesting who stands out and makes a case for their spot in the rotation.