The Sixers on Tuesday aimed to address one of their most glaring flaws during last postseason.
Power forward Georges Niang and the team agreed to a two-year, $6.7 million contract, sources confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Ben Dowsett first reported the deal.
Niang will sign as part of the Sixers' non-taxpayer mid-level exception, a source said, as PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck first reported.
The non-taxpayer mid-level exception is worth approximately $9.5 million for the 2021-22 season. By using the full value of that exception, the Sixers would be hard capped this year at the luxury tax apron of approximately $143 million. However, Neubeck reports a hard cap would not be triggered unless the Sixers spent more than the value of the taxpayer mid-level ($5.9 million) or signed four years worth of mid-level exception contracts.
Niang, 28, is a stretch four who’s shot 41.3 percent from three-point range over the past three seasons with the Jazz. He played every game during the 2020-21 campaign, averaging 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per contest.
After news of the agreement broke, Niang tweeted his excitement at heading to the Sixers:
With Mike Scott not viewed as a playoff contributor last year by head coach Doc Rivers, the Sixers had no true backup power forward behind Tobias Harris. That often left perimeter players such as Matisse Thybulle and George Hill assigned to defend fours.
Scott is one of the Sixers’ unrestricted free agents. The Sixers have agreed to re-sign Furkan Korkmaz to a three-year, $15 million deal, while Dwight Howard will leave Philadelphia to rejoin the Lakers. Danny Green is the team’s highest-profile free agent.
Though Niang is an underwhelming athlete, the Utah organization was pleased with his defensive improvement, which helped him secure a consistent playoff role for the 52-20 Jazz.
"I think the biggest thing for me is just keeping guys in front, doing a good job of forcing guys to areas where they don't shoot the ball as well, and getting more in-depth into scouting reports," Niang told reporters in April, per KSL.com’s Ryan Miller. "Pushing guys to areas where they're not as comfortable shooting the ball and using my size — my length and my size — to make them shoot difficult shots. And it's paid off for me so far this year, so I'm just gonna keep chugging away and doing that."
A college star at Iowa State who forged an NBA path in part through G League success, Niang will now move from the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed last season to the East’s top seed.