With injuries piling up in the frontcourt, the Sixers have decided to add some reinforcements. After signing veteran Justin Harper of the LA Defenders to a ten-day contract on March 3rd, the Sixers have now added Delaware 87er center Shawn Long to the roster via the hardship exception (according to Keith Pompey). We wrote last week about how injuries may force the Sixers to utilize that exception.
After going undrafted in this past year’s draft, Long joined the 76ers for the 2016 Summer League. He played well enough to be invited to training camp, signing with the team on July 8th. He was cut at the end of the preseason, but was designated as an affiliate player so the Sixers’ D-League franchise, the 87ers, had the rights to add him to its roster.
Long (24 years old, 6’9, 250) has been dominant this season with the Sevens, averaging 20.2 points (54% shooting), 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. His strong play netted him a spot on the D-League All-Star team, as he has led the Sevens to a 22-17 record.
Long played center while in Delaware, but size-wise is more of a power forward at the NBA level. He has a good back to the basket game, using impressive footwork to establish good position under the basket, then utilizing his strength to score or go to the free throw line. He has the ability to pass from the elbow and has a decent stroke from the outside, but the primary concern with Long at the NBA level will be his lack of athleticism.
Overall, this signing is a success for the Sevens coaching staff, as they developed Long’s game in the Sixers backyard. Now Long gets his shot at the NBA with the big club.