The Sixers are again turning to a Delaware Blue Coats success story.
The team is signing Braxton Key to a 10-day contract via hardship exception, a team source confirmed Tuesday night to NBC Sports Philadelphia. PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck first reported the news.
With Tyrese Maxey added Monday night to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Sixers signed wing Charlie Brown Jr., a former Blue Coat and Philadelphia native, to a 10-day deal.
Maxey, Matisse Thybulle and Jaden Springer were still listed as out because of health and safety protocols on the Sixers’ Tuesday night injury report ahead of a meeting Wednesday with the Magic. Paul Reed is now also out because of COVID-19 protocols.
Shake Milton (back contusion) is sidelined against Orlando, too. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a win Monday over the Rockets.
Key is a 6-foot-8 player who’s done most things well at the G League level besides shoot. In 15 G League games during his second professional season, he's averaged 13.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks. He’s made 30.2 percent of his three-point tries and 65.4 percent of his foul shots.
Sixers assistant coach Brian Adams named Key as a standout on the Sixers' summer league team in August, saying the 24-year-old "has just been consistent through the whole time."
Like Reed, Key has shown the ability to play as a small-ball center and effectively guard multiple positions. He’ll be an option both in the frontcourt and on the wing. Though he’s not as athletic or speedy as Reed, Key tends to play with greater control, which could perhaps be a plus if the Sixers end up giving him rotation minutes during this NBA stint. He played two college seasons at Alabama before concluding his college career with two years at Virginia, one reason why he has a solid defensive foundation.
Another positive with Key is that, though the sample size is minute, he’s risen to the occasion before with Delaware. In the G League semifinals last year, he came off the bench to score 21 points and make 5 of 6 threes. And in this season’s G League Winter Showcase final, he posted 28 points and 11 rebounds.
The 20-16 Sixers are on a four-game winning streak and have an upcoming stretch of games during Key and Brown’s 10-day deals that doesn’t look especially daunting. Up next are the seven-win Magic, Spurs and Rockets.