The Philadelphia 76ers are in a good spot in the standings, but there are obvious holes found within the current roster. To address these problems, the team should look no further than their G-League Affiliate: The Delaware Blue Coats.
When you look at the Sixers’ current bench, you notice that it isn’t all that great. Landry Shamet is the only (currently healthy) piece that is a long-term factor in the bench unit. In an Eastern Conference that is filled with elite teams with depth, this is less than ideal.
The Sixers could make trades throughout the next few months, but that would probably require some form of draft assets. The team would definitely need to pay a price to make the team better.
In the past, the Philadelphia 76ers have thrived on developing players. During the “process years,” the team managed to successfully develop quality NBA players like TJ McConnell and (now Timberwolves forward) Robert Covington.
As of late, it seems like the team has drifted away from that approach, which is somewhat alarming. We saw the team give up on Jerami Grant and Richaun Holmes; two players who are, at minimum, quality role players. The team elected to go forward with the likes of Ersan Ilyasova and Amir Johnson, which hasn’t really worked out for either side.
Elton Brand and the Philadelphia 76ers definitely should take a detailed look at their G-League team. January is approaching, and it is the first month in which teams can hand out ten-day contracts. The Blue Coats are filled with talent, and the team should consider filling their empty roster spot with one of their players.
A lot of people aren’t familiar with the G-League, let alone the Blue Coats. So which players should you get to know? Let’s take a look below:
A list of possible targets on the Delaware Blue Coats
Haywood Highsmith (PF/SF, 6’7″)
Out of this entire list, Highsmith has the best chance of becoming a future Philadelphia 76er. Highsmith does a lot of things that people look for in today’s NBA. He’s a good shooter for his size and is currently hitting 39% of his threes on a high volume of attempts (at almost five a game). Highsmith can also switch onto many players and effectively guard them. The NBA today is all about being versatile, and Haywood Highsmith definitely fits that mold. He’s already had a workout with the Sixers, so there’s a very good chance that the team will give him a go.
Norvel Pelle (C, 6’10”)
A lot of Sixer fans will recognize this name, as he played with the summer league team a few months ago. Pelle could offer the Sixers a lot if he was given a chance. Amir Johnson has had a rough year to say the least. He’s struggled with getting older and having fresh feet. Pelle is the complete opposite of Johnson. He plays at a high level of energy and is a good defender around the rim. The Sixers may shy away from Pelle due to the fact he’s not a threat from the three-point line, but he could be a candidate for one of the two two-way contract spots for the Sixers.
Cameron Oliver (PF, 6’8)
This is another name that should be familiar to most fans, as he was featured (along with Pelle) on the Sixers’ summer team. Oliver would be a bit of a project, but he’s a player that has a lot of abilities. If put together and developed, he could be a quality NBA player. Oliver has an elite level of athleticism, and is a good defender. He’s primarily a power forward, which is arguably the Sixers’ least deep position. He’s a very intriguing prospect and has received NBA interest from around the league (the Blazers signed him during training camp). Oliver’s biggest weakness is his three-point shot, but that could easily improve with time.
Overall, the Sixers should definitely take a look at these three players and more. Taking a chance on these players is a perfect low-risk/high-reward situation. Expect rumors to heat up as we approach January of the new year.