When the Sixers took Landry Shamet out of Wichita State in the first round, the pick wasn’t met with much fanfare.
Some projected the 21-year-old guard as a second-round pick because he wasn’t an elite athlete and sports a thin frame.
The one thing everyone knew about Shamet is that he can flat out shoot. He hit 44 percent on over five attempts a game from three during his college career.
His shot was on full display during the Sixers’ 120-114 win over the Mavericks in Shanghai. Shamet finished with 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting (3 of 7 from three). Since going 0 for 3 in the preseason opener against Melbourne, Shamet has hit five of his last 11 treys.
Suddenly, Shamet has shown enough to warrant serious consideration for Brett Brown’s rotation.
And it’s not just because of his shooting. Sure, he’s an ideal fit for Brown’s pace and space style of play, but he’s excelled moving off the ball — a great sign considering he played a lot of point guard — and has held his own defensively.
JJ Redick, who went off in the game Friday (see observations), has served as a mentor for Shamet. While the shooting abilities of both players is an easy parallel to make, it’s the little things the rookie is picking up from the 13-year vet.
“He’s one of the best shooters, when you look back on it, in NBA history,” Shamet said of Redick back on Sept. 24. “I just try to take little bits and pieces of how he gets open, because he’s not the biggest guy, especially in the NBA. He’s really good with his feet, with his hands, knowing how to create space. So even when I’m guarding him, I’m picking things up on what he does to me and how he gets open.”
An example he displayed Friday is how he can attack closeouts. Early in the fourth quarter, a Dallas defender aggressively chased Shamet off the three-point line after the rookie had already hit three from downtown. Shamet not only timed his dribble perfectly but makes a really nice up-and-under move to finish against a defender at the rim.
With Wilson Chandler and Jerryd Bayless sidelined, Brown has been looking for a wing player to step up and force his way into the rotation.
“That is kind of what’s most on my mind,” Brown said on Monday. “When Wilson went down, it’s ‘now what?’ And Jerryd was amongst that possible ‘now what?’ group. You would have seen tonight that I went with Landry, and he was in that mix, that legitimate rotation …
“I really don’t know what Landry is, and I’m learning more about Furkan (Korkmaz) as he comes back from a very successful European tournament, so the sort of method to the madness as I sub the group is driven out of that.
“Ultimately, prior to that Celtics game, you’re going to have to stamp off on somebody and roll that.”
Shamet is looking increasingly like that somebody.