76ers

2020 NBA free agency: 6 point guards Sixers could target

2020 NBA free agency: 6 point guards Sixers could target

Before Shake Milton took over the role, the Sixers struggled to find consistently good minutes from their backup point guard.

Brett Brown used veterans Trey Burke and Raul Neto with varying levels of success. Burke is no longer with the team and Neto has been relegated to the back of the bench.

With that in mind, the Sixers may look to add a veteran point guard to serve as an insurance policy and push the 23-year-old Milton.

Here are six players who could do that:

Reggie Jackson 

Jackson was buried in Detroit with a bloated contract before the Pistons bought him out. The Clippers swooped in to sign him and the 30-year-old has provided a decent scoring option off the bench. Jackson is a decent three-point shooter (35.8 percent over the last five seasons) and has ability to be a three-level scorer. 

The biggest issues will be Jackson’s injury history and what he wants from his next team. He played all 82 games in 2018-19 but missed 67 games the previous two seasons combined. He missed 43 games this season with a back injury. With Milton already in the mix, Jackson may look for a team that will guarantee him a bigger role, and perhaps a bigger contract.

Jeff Teague

Like Jackson, Teague had a high cap number on a bad team. Unlike Jackson, Teague was shipped to a team that was also bad in the Hawks. He’s served as Trae Young’s backup since. Teague is much more of a facilitator and playmaker than a scorer, though he also is a decent shooter (35.6 percent career from three).

Teague will be 32 when next season starts and he’s not the same player he was during his first stint with Atlanta. It’ll be similar to Jackson’s situation in that it will depend on what Teague wants.

D.J. Augustin

Augustin has always been a hard-nosed floor general who takes care of the ball. He’s an above-average three-point shooter, knocking down just under 38 percent of his threes for his career. He’s been a steady influence on a Magic team that hasn’t had a stable backcourt.

While Augustin is a high-effort player that’s built solidly, he still stands at just 5-foot-11. A lack of size on the defensive end seemed to be what hurt Burke and Neto the most this season. If Augustin is looking to join a contender, he could push Milton for minutes.

Brad Wanamaker

Perhaps it’s time to bring the Philly boy home. The Roman Catholic alum had a solid career at Pitt but wound up going undrafted in 2011. Until the Celtics signed him in 2018, Wanamaker gained a ton of professional experience overseas. His role increased in his second season in Boston, as he’s averaged 19.3 minutes a game this season. He’s a tough player that’s shot the ball very well at the NBA level (38 percent from three, 91.7 percent from the line).

Wanamaker will be a restricted free agent. It’ll be interesting to see how the Celtics handle his situation. They’ll have a lot of money tied up with Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward (player option). Jaylen Brown’s extension will kick in and Jayson Tatum’s extension is right around the corner. If they rescind Wanamaker’s rights, the Sixers could swoop in.

Shabazz Napier 

Napier ticks a couple boxes as far being a shot creator and playmaker. He’s been up and down in his career as far as three-point shooting (34.6 percent career mark). He’s bounced around the past couple seasons. In 2019-20, he struggled in Minnesota and was dealt to Denver in that ridiculous four-team trade ahead of the deadline. He was then traded to the Wizards, where he had a solid 15-game stint.

Napier is going to give you something similar to what Burke provided. He can offer an offensive spark at times, but his size will be an issue on the defensive end. If you’re looking for more of an insurance policy for Milton as opposed to competition, Napier could be a decent addition.

Yogi Ferrell

Like Napier, Ferrell has bounced around a bit after a strong college career. He’s had a down year in his second season in Sacramento. Before this season, Ferrell was a 37.4 percent shooter from three. He’s hit only 27.5 percent this season. He does have a knack for scoring and takes care of the ball.

Ferrell is also undersized and would fit into the category of insurance policy more than competing for the backup role. Coming off a down year, you could likely get him for the veteran minimum.

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Kobe Bryant's 7 best NBA moments in Philly

Kobe Bryant's 7 best NBA moments in Philly

We are paying tribute to a legend. 

NBC Sports Philadelphia will re-broadcast three of Kobe Bryant's landmark games Monday night — the 2008 Olympic gold medal game at 6 p.m., followed by Bryant's final game in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. and the 2012 Olympic gold medal game at 10:30 p.m. 

Bryant honed his Hall of Fame talents at Lower Merion High School and sharpened his skills and competitiveness in the Sonny Hill League and on playgrounds across the Delaware Valley. 

Bryant had his share of highs and lows as a professional in his hometown. 

He played 17 regular-season games in Philadelphia, finishing with a 7-10 record and a 22.8 scoring average. More importantly, he had a perfect 3-0 record in postseason games in Philadelphia, with all three wins coming in the Lakers' 4-1 series victory over the 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals. Bryant averaged 25.7 points in those three games and captured the second of his five career NBA championships. 

Here's a look back at some of Bryant's most memorable moments in Philly. 

First NBA game in Philadelphia — Nov. 26, 1996
Bryant played his first professional game in his hometown as an 18-year old reserve, scoring 12 points in 21 minutes in a 100-88 Lakers win. He shot 4 of 10 from the field, 2 of 5 from three-point range and made both of his free throw attempts.  

Bryant's rookie counterpart Allen Iverson finished with 16 points on 6 of 27 shooting and 10 assists. Former Temple star Eddie Jones and Shaquille O'Neal each had a game-high 23 points for the Lakers. 

Bryant came off the bench in 65 of the 71 games he played as a rookie, averaging 7.6 points in 15.5 minutes per game. 

NBA Finals — June 2001
The Lakers and Sixers arrived in Philadelphia for Games 3, 4, 5 of the 2001 NBA Finals with the series even at one game apiece. The 22-year old Bryant famously proclaimed that he was coming to Philly to "cut their hearts out."

The Lakers went on to win the next three games in Philadelphia to secure their second straight NBA championship. 

Game 3 was the closest of the three games — the Lakers won 96-91 behind Bryant's 32 points. He had 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a 14-point win in Game 4 before closing out the series with 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in a 12-point win in Game 5. 

2002 All-Star Game MVP — Feb. 10, 2002
Bryant's "cut their hearts out" comment was still fresh in the minds of Sixers fans eight months later when the 2002 All-Star game was played in Philadelphia. Bryant was booed throughout the night, but he fed off the negative energy to score a game-high 31 points and win the first of his four career All-Star Game MVP awards. 

He was subsequently booed during the All-Star MVP presentation and admitted that his feelings were hurt by the frosty reception from his hometown crowd.  

Bryant averaged 25.2 points during that 2001-2002 season and led the Lakers to a third straight NBA championship. 

44-point outburst — Dec. 20, 2002 
Bryant's best game in Philadelphia came 10 months after that 2002 All-Star Game, when he posted 44 points and 10 assists in a 107-104 loss to the Sixers. He shot 16 of 35 from the field, 2 of 5 from three-point range and made all 10 of his free throw attempts. 

Iverson led the Sixers to victory with 32 points, nine steals and five assists. Keith Van Horn had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. 

The 2003 Lakers came up short in their quest for a fourth straight NBA title, losing to the Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals.

Snapping the streak — Dec. 21, 2007
Bryant and the Lakers got their first regular-season win in Philadelphia in nearly eight years, beating the Sixers 106-101 to snap a six-game losing streak at the formerly named Wachovia Center.

Bryant had 19 points in the win, but Andrew Bynum stole the show with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Andre Miller led the Sixers with 21 points and eight assists. 

The 2007-2008 season marked the first of three straight trips to the NBA Finals for Bryant and the Lakers. They would lose the 2008 Finals to the Celtics before beating the Magic in 2009 and winning a rematch with Boston in 2010. 

Last great performance in Philadelphia — Dec. 16, 2012
This was Bryant's last vintage performance in his hometown. The 34-year old Bryant had 34 points and six assists in a 111-98 win over the Sixers. Nick Young led the Sixers with 30 points, while Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes each scored 16 points. 

Bryant's 2012-2013 campaign ended with a torn Achilles tendon late in the 80th game of the regular season. The Kobe-less Lakers were swept by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. 

This turned out to be Bryant's last great season. He averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds to earn First Team All-NBA honors in his 17th NBA season. 

Final game in Philadelphia — Dec. 1, 2015
Bryant's last game in Philadelphia came nearly 14 years after he was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game. That proved to be plenty of time for old wounds to heal. He was showered with applause and tributes in his Philly farewell, and for a while it looked like he would deliver one final great performance in his hometown. 

Bryant opened the game by hitting 3 of his first 4 three-point attempts, whipping the Wells Fargo Center into a frenzy. But at 37 years old, Bryant eventually ran out of gas and finished 7 of 26 from the field in a 103-91 loss to a Sixers team that entered the game with an 0-18 record. 

Bryant scored 20 points and finished his 20th and final NBA season with a 17.6 scoring average.

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Sixers Talk podcast: Will Sixers have a chip on their shoulder if playoffs happen?

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Sixers Talk podcast: Will Sixers have a chip on their shoulder if playoffs happen?

On this edition, Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick discuss:

(2:12) — Questioning Joel Embiid's fitness is like beating a dead horse; will the Sixers have a chip on their shoulder?
(13:22) — Charles Barkley calls Moses Malone trade a disaster to his career.
(20:20) — Would the season being cancelled be worse than watching our most hated rival winning the Finals?

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