It’s no secret the Sixers need bench help.
The question is which position they should be targeting. If your first response isn’t a 3-and-D wing, then you haven't been watching this team very closely.
With all due respect to Landry Shamet, a rookie who has been thrust into a position nobody thought he’d be in, imagine his minutes going to a proven swingman.
You look at a player like Reggie Bullock from the Pistons. He’s on an extremely affordable and expiring contract. He’s been an above-average three-point shooter (41 percent during his four years in Detroit). He’s also a decent and versatile defender.
The Pistons are clinging to the hope they can land the East’s eighth seed, so he may not become available. And that’s not to say the Sixers should go all in on Bullock — though it would make a ton of sense to place a phone call — but a player like him would certainly help. For the record, there is no indication the Sixers have shown interest in Bullock.
The second position to look at has been up for debate.
A backup five? A true stretch four? While those spots could also use an upgrade, the Sixers’ second-biggest need is a backup point guard.
This is the point of the story where all of the T.J. McConnell lovers will start prepping their hate tweets. But the reality is that McConnell is not a backup point guard for a team with its sights set on winning the Eastern Conference.
There is no doubt McConnell has earned his place on this team and in this league. He’s a dogged competitor that’s given this team a huge spark at times. He’s also been almost automatic in the mid-range.
But his unwillingness to shoot threes is crippling the offense — especially when playing alongside Ben Simmons. His lack of athleticism has also hurt them on the defensive end. It’s never been more evident than in Saturday’s loss to the Thunder.
Unlike on the wing, there are no clear upgrades at the position. Elfrid Payton, who’s on an expiring deal, would be intriguing if the Pelicans fall out of it. It’s more likely they hold onto him to stay competitive and keep Anthony Davis happy.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Sixers needing another big, but that seems pretty low on their list of needs. Joel Embiid is playing 33.5 minutes a game. So basically you need a backup center to play roughly 14.5 minutes a night. That number will go down even more in the playoffs.
Plus, Jonah Bolden has given the bench a real spark. His athleticism, quick feet, rim protection and overall activity have given the team a big boost. His presence has allowed Mike Muscala to play more four and Wilson Chandler to play more three.
Would adding a player like Noah Vonleh help? Sure. Vonleh is a solid backup big that has added the three to his game. If he can be added for little to nothing, then it couldn’t hurt. It just seems like the other positions are of more concern.
One thing is for sure: Expect Elton Brand to make at least one move to bolster this roster.
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