When the Sixers used the No. 26 pick in this year’s draft on Landry Shamet, it didn’t seem likely that the rookie from Wichita State would be an integral part of the team's rotation.
Yet through a combination of injuries to his teammates and Shamet’s impressive, mature play, he’s become a regular on the second unit.
Now, even with Wilson Chandler returning to the lineup after injuring his hamstring in the first preseason game, it seems impossible to remove Shamet from the rotation.
While the textbook move for Brett Brown might be to give the rookie’s minutes to Chandler, Shamet continues to prove his value.
Saturday, he scored 11 points in the Sixers' 109-99 win over the Pistons, shooting 4 for 7, knocking down a pair of three-pointers, converting a layup in the third quarter after a sharp backdoor cut, and sparking the Sixers’ offense off the bench. Shamet is averaging 11.25 points on 51.6 percent shooting over the past four games.
“He’s just quietly jumping into this league,” Brown said. “There is a consistency that he has shown. Sometimes he’ll miss a play call and I’ll bark at him, and he lets me coach him. And he’s prideful. I feel like in the capacity that we’re using him as a mini-JJ [Redick] — I’m running stuff for a rookie and putting him in situations, and he’s responded and he’s delivered. I’m extremely happy with Landry Shamet.”
For the time being, Brown can mostly hold off on having to decide whose playing time Chandler will take. The Sixers are taking a cautious approach with Chandler; he was limited to 10 first-half minutes Saturday, and Brown expects that minutes restriction to be in place for the next few games.
Shamet’s focus is on making the most of whatever playing time he gets. He credited his teammates for helping make his adjustment to the NBA as smooth as possible.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of opportunities that have been presented to me early,” Shamet said. “Really, I just have good teammates like T.J. McConnell, and they’re teaching me a lot and having confidence in me.”
Redick is one of those teammates who has taken it upon themselves to help Shamet figure out the nuances of NBA basketball.
As he has since Day 1 of training camp, Shamet keeps working with Redick after every practice, studying the way he goes about his business and asking him questions about moving off the ball, the ups and downs of life as a shooter in the NBA, and more.
And that learning isn’t just happening in the practice facility in Camden. Redick mentioned after practice Friday he requested to sit next to Shamet on the Sixers’ flights. The two are getting to know each other well.
“He picks things up pretty quick,” Redick said. “He’s observant. He’s a worker. He wants to be good, and he has no problem working to be good. He’s a really bright guy. He’s got a really good future in this league.”
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.