5 free agent point guards the Sixers should consider

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LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 20: LA Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe (12) while playing the San Antonio Spurs during an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers on December 20, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by John McCoy/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers’ bench is struggling to start the season. With all the hype built around the creation of this bench this offseason, it is fair to say the Sixers have let down through the first few games of the season.

Whether from lack of production or a lack of minutes, Philadelphia’s bench is in dire need of some bench creation. Through their first three games, the Sixers have only had six assists total from their bench.

It’s pretty clear that the Sixers have a minor hole at the backup point guard position. De’Anthony Melton and Shake Milton are the closest players to a backup point guard for the Sixers. Milton has a career-high in assists of 3.1, while Melton has a career-high of 3.2 assists. Both are better suited as off-ball two-guards, so the Sixers remain in need.

Here are five free-agent point guards that the Philadelphia 76ers should sign.

Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe is a veteran presence that the Philadelphia 76ers could desperately use right now. He has made his way in the league as a defensive presence and a willing passer. Last season he played for the Los Angeles Clippers and started 29 games for them.

He scored only 9.9 points per game on below-average efficiency of 42.1% from the field and 31.3% from deep. However, his veteran leadership and passing ability would fit extremely well in the Sixers’ current bench unit. Bledsoe averaged 4.4 assists per game last season in only 25.2 minutes per game.

In Philadelphia, he could rely more on his passing skills, which would also boost his efficiency.

Darren Collison

Darren Collison is a tricky situation that could be worth a flyer on, even if on a 10-day contract. The last time Darren Collison played meaningful minutes was all the way back in 2018-19, when he played 76 games for the Indiana Pacers.

That season he averaged 11.2 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.1 rebounds on 46.7% from the field and 40.7% from deep. Most recently, Collison played three games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 1.3 points on 28.6% from the field and 0.0% from deep.

It stands to reason that it is possible Collison never got a real shot in L.A. It is also possible that he simply cannot play as he once could after retiring for two years.

Emmanuel Mudiay

Emmanuel Mudiay did not play many meaningful minutes last year, playing in only two games for the Sacramento Kings. Before that, however, Mudiay played sparingly in New York across 54 games.

In New York, Mudiay played well in limited minutes, averaging 7.3 points per game and 2.1 assists per game. He also shot around average from both the line and deep, holding shooting splits of 46.2/34.5/75.9.

Mudiay doesn’t bring the same level of veteran leadership at 26 years old or the same level of passing as others on this list, but he may be worth a 10-day tryout.

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas is someone I have covered many times, and while it is clear that he will never return to his former glory, he has proven again and again that he still has a lot to offer teams.

Thomas caught on late in the season last year with Charlotte, playing 12.9 minutes per game. In those 12.9 minutes, Thomas scored 8.3 points per game and shot a respectable 39.9% from deep. He didn’t have to create as much, averaging 1.4 assists per game, but passing is something he is able to do. He has averaged 4.8 assists per game for his entire career.

Thomas wouldn’t bring the same levels of passing as the guy below him, but he would bring a spark to the bench that they are in need of.

Rajon Rondo

If Isaiah Thomas is the ideal scoring bench piece, Rajon Rondo is the ideal passer for the bench. Rajon Rondo is known for being one of the best passers in the NBA’s history and is even better known for his ability to kick it to a higher level in the playoffs.

Rajon Rondo is the definition of veteran leadership. The former Celtics point guard has won two NBA titles and has played with some of the best players. He knows how to fit into a team that he wants to be a part of.

Rondo spent last season playing for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 4.8 points per game and 4.4 assists per game while only playing 17.9 minutes per game. He really came to life in Cleveland, though, shooting 9.7% from deep and averaging 4.9 assists.

Any of these free-agent guards would be an excellent addition to the bench. Combining a capable ball handler with the additions the Sixers made this offseason should go a long way to helping bench production.

While it’s not yet time to panic for the Sixers after opening the season 0-3, the bench is an issue that Philadelphia needs to solve. Finding someone to create for the bench could play a key role, along with actually giving them minutes to play.

The Sixers’ bench should be one of their biggest assets this season, but it has thus far been their biggest hindrance.

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