76ers

Jerryd Bayless has wrist surgery, out rest of season

Jerryd Bayless has wrist surgery, out rest of season

Jerryd Bayless’ first season with the Sixers is over before it really got off to a start.

Bayless underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist on Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. His wrist will be immobilized for the next 12 weeks. He suffered the injury during training camp and played only three games this season.

The Sixers signed Bayless this summer to a three-year, $27 million deal. They intended for him to be the starting point guard and provide a veteran presence in his ninth season. 

“While it’s unfortunate Jerryd will miss the remainder of the season, we feel confident that today’s procedure will resolve his wrist injury and related discomfort,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said. “Jerryd is to be credited with his committed and professional approach in making every effort to avoid this outcome.”

Bayless averaged 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in three games. 

His surgery concludes a three-month long question of his playing availability. Back in October, Bayless and the Sixers opted to use non-surgical treatments. This included platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment in late November. 

“They take your own blood and they spin it,” Bayless said at the time. “They take all the good cells and they shoot it back into your wrist.” 

Bayless fell multiple times in his second game, which caused what the Sixers described as “significant impact” to his wrist. He and the Sixers determined he would have surgery after meeting with numerous wrist and hand specialists. 

The Sixers inked Bayless to complement Ben Simmons, who originally was going to play point-forward. Their plans were altered when both Simmons (foot) and Bayless were injured during training camp. As Simmons works toward his return, Sixers head coach Brett Brown decided to make him the starting point guard. Bayless could have shifted to the two spot. Of course that lineup will have to wait for now.

Sergio Rodriguez has been filling the starting point guard void in Bayless’ absence. He stepped into that role in his first season back in the NBA since 2009-10, after playing in his native Spain. T.J. McConnell has been coming off the bench as the backup. 

So what’s next? The Sixers plan for Simmons to become their starting point guard when he returns. In the meantime, expect Rodriguez and McConnell to continue with their current assignments. If the Sixers find themselves needing a quick fix of depth at that position, they could turn to Cat Barber (16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists) from their D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. If they end up looking for further help once Simmons is back, they could explore their options through a trade. 

Bayless, who has played for seven teams, holds career averages of 8.6 points and 2.9 assists.

Kevin Knox, Zhaire Smith to have 2nd workout for Sixers

Kevin Knox, Zhaire Smith to have 2nd workout for Sixers

The Sixers are taking another look at two prospects two days before the NBA draft, in which they hold pick No. 10.

Kentucky forward Kevin Knox will be back at the training complex again Tuesday for an individual workout. Last week, he participated in a group setting.

Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith also will return for a second group workout.

Both stood out their first time in Camden, New Jersey.

“He walked into the gym, it’s not hard to see the intrigue with his size and mobility, his frame,” senior director of basketball operations Vince Rozman said of the 6-foot-9 Knox last week. “He’s 18, so there’s a lot to develop from.”

Knox, who averaged 15.6 points (34.1 percent from three), 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists as a freshman, was confident following his first performance for the Sixers.

“They’re really interested in me,” Knox said. “They love my game, they love the way I can shoot the ball. That’s something they really like to do is shoot a lot of threes. My versatility, being able to take guys off the dribble is something that would complement really well with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.”

The 6-foot-5 Smith posted 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists his freshman season. He was focused on demonstrating shooting, decision-making and playmaking during his first workout.

“He’s got great length,” vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley said last week. “He’s a terrific, terrific athlete. He didn’t shoot the ball as well throughout the year, but he came in here today and shot it pretty well.”

The Sixers additionally hold picks No. 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60. Tuesday’s group workout also will include La Salle guard-forward B.J. Johnson, USC guard De’Anthony Melton, Fairfield guard Tyler Nelson, Kansas guard Malik Newman and Wichita State guard Landry Shamet.

More on Sixers, NBA draft

• Knox thinks he would fit with Sixers

• NBA draft profile: Kentucky's Knox

NBA draft profile: Texas Tech's Smith

NBA draft profile: UCLA PG Aaron Holiday

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NBA draft profile: UCLA PG Aaron Holiday

Aaron Holiday

Position: Guard

Height: 6-0

Weight: 187

School: UCLA

Sixers fans should recognize the name. Aaron Holiday is the brother of former Sixers first-round pick Jrue Holiday and Bulls wing Justin Holiday. Aaron is the youngest — and smallest — of the three. 

A three-year player at UCLA, Holiday developed into one of the most prodigious scorers and shooters in Bruins history. He was the first UCLA player to lead the Pac 12 in scoring (20.3 points per game) since some guy named Reggie Miller. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Pac 12 first team.

For his college career, Holiday averaged 14.3 points and 4.7 assists per contest in 101 games (65 starts). He also hit 180 treys, shooting 42 percent from three.

Strengths
Holiday’s most obvious and translatable NBA attribute is his jump shot. He shot over 40 percent in all three of his seasons at UCLA and is capable off the dribble, off screens and in catch-and-shoot opportunities. He also has NBA range and is not afraid to pull up from any spot on the floor.

For his size, he’s a good, creative finisher and features a pretty nice floater. He understands how to attack defenses, especially in the pick and roll. He’s excellent at changing his pace and lulling defenders to sleep. He’s a good and willing passer. Defensively he has excellent instincts. He’s aggressive and does well at getting his hands in passing lanes.

Weaknesses
Size is a huge issue for Holiday. The other big issue is, he’s just an OK athlete that lacks quickness and explosion while driving to the basket. Defense is always going to be an issue as he’ll struggle to guard some of the bigger and more explosive point guards in the league. He also struggled with turnovers.

NBA comparison
Aaron Brooks, most recently of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both players make up for their size with excellent perimeter shooting. Brooks was more explosive coming out of Oregon, but also has a good change of pace to confuse opponents. Holiday has better feel and vision. Brooks has struggled defensively at the NBA level and Holiday will likely encounter the same issues.

How he'd fit with Sixers
It’s tough to project Holiday to the Sixers. His shooting would play well here and playing with a 6-foot-10 point guard would certainly help his cause, but where would he fit? He won’t be a starter right away and the Sixers already feature T.J. McConnell off the bench. McConnell provides energy and top-notch defense that Holiday cannot.

Draft projection
The modern NBA is all about the three so teams will be interested in Holiday as a backup point guard and shooter off the bench. He could go anywhere from the late teens to the mid-20s.

More on the Sixers and the NBA draft