We all know the Philadelphia 76ers suffer from a serious case of bench problems. Just last season fans saw a bench that looked depleted at times, especially when starters suffered from injuries.
It’s difficult to see such a sluggish second unit, especially after the reserves the team had in 2018. Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova provided a spark game in and game out.
Is it crazy to think the team could use another three-point specialist besides J.J. Redick? That’s exactly what Philly had in 2018, and it was phenomenal to watch.
Yes, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were not the players they were this season. However, Belinelli and Ilyasova played valuable minutes off the bench. Belinelli was a stud off the bench, he constantly took care of business whenever Redick had a bad shooting night.
We can’t forget about the impact Ilyasova provided, scoring buckets and hitting jump shots anytime Simmons was lacking.
It seems like the front office neglected that part of the roster for more star power and some wasted draft picks. If Philly really wants to make up for their 2018 offseason moves, it will have to come in the form of fixing the bench problems.
Fans definitely took notice to the “no bench” strategy:
Which free agents can fix Philly’s bench problems?
Reality is starting to set in, Tobias Harris will be an unrestricted free agent. The only question is: will he sign with the Sixers?
That remains to be seen, especially after it was reported back in November that Jimmy Butler is willing to sign a long-term extension with the team.
This will definitely hurt our chances of re-signing Harris. Not many players with star potential like taking a back seat on the court, especially if they are getting paid less than other starters on the team.
Of course, Butler should be the first priority for the team, and if Harris leaves, there’s a lot of players who could step in and fill his role. There’s enough free agency firepower to cure the bench problems too.
Bojan Bogdonavic and Brook Lopez look like just the pieces we need to create a formidable second unit. The only problem with Lopez is he will be looking for an expensive contract after having one of his best seasons in his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.
That shouldn’t stop Philly from pursuing what could possibly be a backup to Embiid. Although he’s getting old, he could add a spark in both shooting and defense. It was sad to see the barrage of big men the team tried implementing in the playoffs.
Greg Monroe is only a fraction of his former self, and Jonah Bolden is obviously too inexperienced to handle the load off the bench.
Bogdonavic had a great season for the Indiana Pacers. Key in on the word season. When Victor Oladipo went down before the playoffs, Bogdonavic could not handle the responsibilities of a star on the court.
If Philly can get him for cheap, he might fix the bench problems left behind from Ilyasova and Belinelli.
With the 24th pick in the 2019 NBA draft…
It sounds crazy but is there anyway Philly can trade this pick? Yes, it’s not a lottery pick by any means, not even close enough to get some immediate talent.
Whoever is selected as the 24th pick is most likely going to need a lot of time to develop. Philly doesn’t have this time to spare, at all. Regardless of another second-round loss, we are ready to win now. Even the Bucks couldn’t go 7 games with the Toronto Raptors.
This has set the stage for a two-way battle for the east, unless ‘The Greek Freak’ can somehow get his jumper going in Milwaukee.
One thing is clear, especially if the team wants to fix the bench problems: trade up or trade down. There is a lot of talent in the NBA that could instantly remedy Philly’s second unit woes.
It all depends on the front office and their willingness to part with what will be a pretty pointless draft pick.
Maybe the team will even undo their wrongs from last year and trade for Mikal Bridges. That’s just a fantasy right now, however, another offseason mistake could cost us another playoff run.
Let’s just hope Elton Brand can improve the ‘brand’ and strike gold this offseason.
Also, we can’t forget the total non-season 16th overall pick Zhaire Smith had this past year: