CAMDEN, N.J. — Back on Feb. 11, 2014, Landry Shamet, the Sixers’ pick with the No. 26 selection in the draft, sent out a tweet that, in retrospect is … interesting.
The Sixers had just lost, 123-80, to the Warriors. So chances are Shamet was joking.
However, Shamet clearly trusts the process. Check out this retweet, from Sep. 2017, as he was recovering from a broken right foot.
And notice the passion with which Shamet, normally not the most expressive person, defended the Sixers’ polarizing rebuilding mode under Sam Hinkie.
“You gotta respect the rebuild,” Shamet said after his introductory press conference Friday, “and have confidence to go out and say, ‘We’re rebuilding, and we know that.’ Take punches that [the media] was probably throwing at them at the time, to accept that over an 82-game season, you gotta give credit there where it’s due. And obviously, it’s a great time to be here.”
As if you needed more evidence, Shamet got a “Trust the Process” bracelet before the draft. An image of the bracelet is below, via Shamet's Instagram story. He had a feeling he was headed to the Sixers.
“You know sometimes you get that feeling in your chest, you just know?” Shamet said. “That was my hunch. I told a couple people, I was like, ‘I don’t know man, I just feel really good about Philly.’”
OK, so Shamet is a process believer. But can he help on the court? He’ll have to compete for minutes, but Brett Brown feels he has a good chance.
“There were a vast variety of offensive skills that suggested he can just play basketball,” Brown said. “He’s a combo guard. He certainly can shoot. You started looking at the creative playmaking and his handle and his vision finding people, you just felt like that can translate to a modern-day player.”
There’s no doubt Shamet, who made 44.2 percent of his three-point attempts last season, is an outstanding shooter. And he was an excellent facilitator as well at Wichita State, leading the American Athletic Conference in assists per game (5.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5).
The questions about Shamet’s lack of elite athleticism and smaller stature, however, are why he was widely projected as a second-round pick. It’s also fair to wonder what exactly Shamet’s role will be with the Sixers, given he’s not the long, three-and-D sort of wing that many thought the team would want to acquire.
Even if he doesn’t fit that traditional mold, Shamet thinks his consistent defensive effort and versatility will help him earn minutes.
“I was recruited as a two, which people forget about, so I honestly feel confident playing either guard spot,” Shamet said. “And even being a point guard, I don’t have to have the ball in my hands. I understand Ben [Simmons] is a guy that’s good at creating space, having the ball, playmaking. Getting to play with him, he’s going to make my life a lot easier finding me and being a willing passer, making plays. That’s exciting for sure. But I have confidence I can play off the ball, I honestly feel that’s a strength of mine.”
As far as attitude, Shamet feels Philadelphia is a fit. He trusts the process, and he thinks he can be part of the next stage, one that doesn’t regularly involve 40-plus point losses.
“Wichita State is very blue collar, so I understand working hard,” Shamet said. “I understand the fan base here in Philly. I’m just excited about that and I feel I fit here.”
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