Written by Garrett Catalana – @GarrettCatalana
With the Philadelphia 76ers set to start its training camp on September 29, General Manager Sam Hinkie has presumably found his 20th player for camp in former-Milwaukee Buck, Kendall Marshall. The 13th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft suffered a torn ACL last season and is looking to revitalize his career in Philadelphia. The only issue with Marshall’s signing is that Marshall will be the sixth point guard in Sixers training camp. All six point guards who will be at Sixers camp have specific strengths and weaknesses at the point guard spot that could potentially help the Sixers in 2015-2016, and possibly moving forward. Let’s examine the six:
2014-2015 Stats: 30 games (15 starts); 16.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, .403 FG%; .261 3P%; 3.8 TPG, .014 WS/48, 0.1 VORP
Contract: Fully guaranteed $2,179,354 for 2015-2016, Qualifying Offer of $3,201,471 for 2016-2017 (Restricted Free Agent)
Strengths: Elite ability to attack the basket at any time, any place; ability to get to the free throw line (6 times a game), good gambler on defense (2.1% steal rate); ability to play two positions; solid finisher at the rim; good court vision; volume scorer
Weaknesses: Poor perimeter shooter (especially from three [26%]), poor free throw shooter (67%), careless with the basketball, poor one-on-one defender; coming off torn ACL
Biggest Game of 2014-2015: November 7, 2014, home vs. Chicago Bulls: 31 points (11/27), 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 6-8 from free throw line
-Wroten was taking full-advantage of his opportunity starting at point guard when Michael Carter-Williams missed the beginning portion of the season. From the start of the season in October to when he played his final game on January 13th, Wroten was statistically the Sixers best player, granted the Sixers were undermanned without Robert Covington, a healthy Michael Carter-Williams, and a more well-rounded Nerlens Noel. Unfortunately, Wroten tore his ACL and missed the final half of the season. Time will tell if Wroten can fully recover from his injury and have the same explosiveness he had the last two seasons in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see if Wroten can attack the basket with the same ease with Jahlil Okafor manning the low post. It is also unclear if Wroten will be fully healthy for the start of the regular season.
2014-2015 76ers Stats: 22 games (12 starts); 12.6 PPG, 3.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, .377 FG%, .364 3P%, 1.8 TPG, .065 WS/48, 0.0 VORP
Contract: Fully Guaranteed $947,276 for 15/16; Qualifying Offer of $1,215,696 for 16/17 (Restricted Free Agent)
Strengths: Terrific standstill three point shooter, effective pick-and-roll operator, can create his own shot, quick and mobile
Weaknesses: Doesn’t set up teammates well, height, poor defender, unable to penetrate and kick to shooters
Biggest Game of 2014-2015: March 4, 2015, at Oklahoma City Thunder: 31 points (8/13 from three), 6 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 steal
– Acquired in the KJ McDaniels trade from the Houston Rockets, Canaan showed flashes during the final stretch of the season. He was an effective three-point shooter and the team’s offensive numbers soared, but the team defense suffered as he (6’0) replaced Michael Carter-Williams (6’6) as the starting point guard. Of the six point guards in training camp, Canaan is by far, the best three point shooter but that is pretty much all he can do. He doesn’t set up teammates well and cant attack the inside like Tony Wroten can. His skill set amongst the point guards is rare, but it is also the most limited.
2013-2014 Stats with the Idaho Stampede (NBADL): 29.1 PPG, 6.2 APG, 1.9 SPG, .449 FG%, .349 3P%, 4.0 TPG, .121 WS/48
Contract: “Hinkie Special” Fully guaranteed $750,000 for 15/16, non-guaranteed salaries of $874,636 in 16/17 and $1,014,746 in 17/18, and a team option of $1,088,038 in 18/19
Strengths: Explosive guard, pure scorer, legitimate point guard ability, can create his own shot, good ball handler
Weaknesses: Height, defensive liability, not a great finisher at the rim, poor floater, lacks great court vision
– Originally traded by the Sixers to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Jrue Holiday-Nerlens Noel trade, Jackson put up outstanding numbers with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League in 2013-2014. Jackson was reacquired on draft night 2014 by the Sixers and was set to join the team for last season. Unfortunately, Jackson ruptured his Achilles in the first half of the first game in the Orlando Summer League. He was done for the season. Jackson stuck around hoping for another shot, appreciative for the 76ers letting him rehab and eventually having another shot with the team. He was signed to the “Hinkie Special” following a decent, but obviously rusty showing at the Las Vegas Summer League this summer. Jackson is probably the second-most talented point guard on the team behind Wroten but is the best pure scorer of the six. But his issues are the same as Wroten and Canaan. Like Wroten, after such a bad injury, will Jackson have the same explosiveness and ability as he did before the injury? Like Canaan, Jackson’s height (5’10) is also a major defensive liability. Time will tell if Jackson will be able to replicate the sort of stats he had two years ago in the D-League.
2015 Sixers Summer League Stats: 5 games, 27.0 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, .436 FG%, 15/34 from three (44%)
Contract: “Hinkie Special” Partially guaranteed salary of $525,093 in 15/16, non-guaranteed salary of $874,636 in 16/17 and $1,014,746 in 16/17, and a team option of $1,088,038 in 17/18
Strengths: Knocks down open shoots, good size for a point guard (6’2), natural scorer, leadership qualities
Weaknesses: Not a typical point guard, not a great passer, not very explosive, okay defender
– The former SEC Player of the Year at Florida in 2014, Wilbekin didn’t find NBA work after his college career. He spent last year in both Australia and Greece developing his game. He played with the Magic in the Orlando Summer League and played with the Sixers in the Las Vegas Summer League. He was the Sixers best player in Vegas, outplaying his teammates Jahlil Okafor, Jordan McRae, TJ McConnell, and Pierre Jackson. He excelled from the three-point line and didn’t miss a free throw over five games. He played well enough to earn a “Hinkie Special” from the team but is very much an unknown against legitimate NBA talent. While he is considered a point guard, Wilbekin also has the ability to play the two-guard. Like Jackson, time will tell if Wilbekin can replicate his Summer League performances against real NBA players.
2015 Sixers Summer League Stats: 6 games, 23.9 MPG, 5.2 PPG, 3.4 APG, 0.5 SPG, .354 FG%, .238 3P%, 2.5 TPG
Contract: Partially guaranteed contract in “six-figure range” for 2015/16, unclear past this season
Strengths: Takes care of the ball, good court vision, tough, good free throw shooter (75% in college), sets teammates up well, pass-first point guard, tough on-ball defender, above average basketball IQ, leader on and off the court
Weaknesses: Not ideal size for a point guard, lacks great athleticism, has issues creating his own shots, poor perimeter shooter, already 23 years old as an NBA rookie
NOTE: According to Derek Bodner, McConnell has yet to sign with the team for training camp but we will include him in this post anyways.
– The Sixers were considering taking McConnell in the second round of the NBA Draft but rather waited until he became an undrafted free agent and offered him partial guaranteed money to see if he could make the roster that at the time, was severely lacking point guard depth. McConnell was solid in three games in Utah, setting up the offense, feeding the ball down low to Jahlil Okafor, and playing stingy defense on the perimeter. He struggled, however, against more talented teams in the Vegas. It’s clear that at this moment, McConnell lacks the pure athleticism that the other five point guards possess but he is a pass-first point guard, which the previous four mentioned point guards are not.
2014-2015 Stats: 28 games (3 starts), 14.9 MPG, 5.3 PPG, 3.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, .455 FG%, .391 3P%, .088 WS/48,
Contract: According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Marshall signed a multi-year contract, with the first year of the contract fully guaranteed (about $981,000)
Strengths: Exceptional passer, can run a good pick-and-roll, throws good entry passes into the post, good size for a point guard, solid outside shooter, high basketball IQ
Weaknesses: High turnover rate, struggles from inside the arc, not a good finisher, lacks pure athleticism, not a good defender, coming off torn ACL
– Like Tony Wroten, Marshall is looking to rebound after tearing his ACL in January. While Marshall already lacked elite athleticism, coming off a major injury like a torn ACL won’t help either. Originally drafted 13th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Marshall was a bust for the Suns, played well for the Delaware 87ers, and put up good numbers with the Lakers in 2014, then signed with the Bucks last year. He was a solid backup to Brandon Knight until he tore his ACL in January and missed the rest of the season. The Sixers thought enough of him to fully guarantee his 2015/16 salary. They are betting that Marshall can effectively run the offense and dish down low to Okafor on the low post. It appears that Marshall will miss all of training camp recovering from his injury but according to people close to the situation, Marshall will make the 15-man roster to start the season. He will have the year to prove if he can still an effective point guard.
May the best three point guards win! #TrustTheProcess