The Sixers‘ overstocked frontcourt has been drawing headlines this season, but what the team really needs is help at point guard, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia had planned to let rookie Ben Simmons run the offense with newly acquired Jerryd Bayless providing a veteran counterpart in the backcourt. However, Simmons’ fractured foot and Bayless’ wrist injury have forced the Sixers to turn over point guard duties to Sergio Rodriguez and T.J. McConnell.
“We started the season with Jerryd Bayless as our starting point guard and Ben Simmons was going to share some of that and be starting at a four. We lost them both for, so far, the season and we’re obviously reevaluating Ben,” said coach Brett Brown. “So you have what used to be your second point guard and your third point guard now lifted a shelf higher and the expectations of grabbing that position come with it. I think that under the circumstances they’ve been very good. Now you need a starting guard.”
There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:
- Bayless tried for two months to heal the torn ligaments in his left wrist without surgery, relays Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. Bayless, who signed a three-year, $27MM deal over the summer, first hurt the wrist in training camp. He tried to play through the pain, but managed just three games. “That’s why I was trying to push it off,” Bayless said. “That was the goal, to try to avoid it at any cost. From the beginning I knew it was going to be season-ending, but I decided to do it. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time I’m glad I’m getting it fixed now and I can move on from it.” Bayless underwent an operation December 15th to have three pins inserted in the wrist and must keep it immobilized for 12 weeks.
- The Sixers are still waiting for the draft choice that was part of the Michael Carter-Williams trade nearly two years ago, writes Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly. In February of 2015, Carter-Williams was sent to the Bucks in a three-team deal, with Philadelphia receiving a protected Lakers pick from Phoenix. It was top-five protected in 2015 and top-three protected last season, and L.A. kept it both times. It is top-three protected again this year, and with the Lakers seventh in our Reverse Standings at 11-22, it’s possible the Sixers will have to wait even longer. If L.A. remains No. 7, it would have a 15% shot at getting a top three pick in the draft lottery. The choice will become unprotected in 2018.