Philadelphia 76ers Roster
- Eastern Atlantic
- Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons remains estranged from his current team. After things took a downward spiral once the Sixers were eliminated during the postseason, recent reports indicate that Simmons is not interested in reporting to training camp. Although many teams have emerged as potential suitors to acquire the former LSU Tiger's services, he has recently been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a possible deal involving Lauri Markkanen. It's no secret that the 25-year-old would prefer to suit up for a contender. However, regardless of where Simmons calls home during the 2021-22 campaign, he should remain classified as an elite fantasy option, though category managers will almost certainly take a hit in percentage categories.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid agreed to a four-year, $196 million supermax contract extension on Tuesday. The deal will keep the big man in Philly at least through the 2026-27 campaign, and it comes after he averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 boards, and 1.4 blocks while shooting nearly 38 percent from deep last season. The 27-year-old should remain a top-ten fantasy option for the upcoming season, although consistent injuries over the years have significantly lowered his fantasy ceiling.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons could still be on the move this offseason. According to those close to the situation, the belief is that Simmons has already played his final game in Philly. The multi-time All-Star is also rumored to be advocating for a trade and has reportedly not taken any calls from either team officials or his teammates over the last few months. Nonetheless, the 25-year-old has been a superb option in many fantasy formats throughout the years, averaging 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.7 steals throughout his four seasons of service. However, his shooting percentages haven't been the best, although that could change moving ahead. Managers looking for an impactful contributor in category formats should look in Simmons' direction, as long as they are willing to take a potential hit on the offensive end.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Isaiah Joe (knee) was injured during Sunday's 99-96 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Joe left the Summer League contest early after suffering an undisclosed left knee injury, although it was later determined that he had sustained a mild MCL sprain. As a result, the 2020 second-round pick will head back to Philly, where he will receive a more extensive evaluation from team medical personnel. The 22-year-old averaged only 3.7 points throughout 9.3 minutes across 41 games last season. While dynasty managers should give Joe another year or two to develop, he certainly won't see the floor enough during the 2021-22 campaign to warrant a roster spot in redraft formats, regardless of size.
It's funny that every year at the NBA Draft, once the end of the guaranteed money and live appearances arrives at the end of the first round, everybody tunes out and refers to the 60th pick as "Mr.Irrelevant". That's not very accurate though, is it? Speaking historically, the title of "Mr.Irrelevant" could just as easily be applied to each pick in the draft, as organizations differ greatly in their evaluation of talent and their own needs, particularly in a year without the NCAA tournament. The nickname just doesn't reflect how basketball works anymore. Executives strategically stockpile second-round draft picks for the less burdensome financial obligations, and organizations in down years get super creative to field a team on a budget. With the right situation, the right under-the-radar player can be an immediate breakout.The last few seasons alone have seen scores of second-rounders and UDFAs who wasted no time in making a name for themselves, and the increasing prominence of the G-League and other alternative paths to the pros should only keep this trending upward.We are going to discuss a handful of 2021 second-round picks and undrafted free agent signees who, given their individual skill set and circumstances, should be on the radar of Fantasy Basketball Managers heading into the season, starting today with the second-round picks. Herbert Jones (SF, NOP, 35th Overall)As a two-time member of the SEC All-Defensive team and the 2020-2021 SEC Defensive and straight-up POY, Herbert Jones was custom-built to take on time early with this New Orleans Pelicans squad. The 6'8, 210-lb. forward didn't even see ample PT until his final two seasons at Alabama, a time in which he consistently excelled on defense but needed plenty of work on the other end. In his last season for the prominent Crimson Tide, Jones played 27.3 minutes per game, and in that time he averaged 11.2 points, 6.6 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks, while also hitting 71.3% from the line and converting on 20 of 57 three-point attempts (35.1%).Every single figure just listed is a career-high mark for Jones, who shot just 14 of 61 from three (22.9%) and 141 of 257 from FT (54.9%) over his first three college campaigns. While NOLA has a decently thick crowd of guys who can play the two through four as FA kicks off, the wall is far from impenetrable, especially when you possess the athleticism, ability to learn quickly, and game-changing defense that Herbert Jones offers. The defense might get him on to the floor and it might even keep him there, but his burgeoning well-rounded skillset can contribute across the board if and when he gets his sniff. Ayo Dosunmu (PG/SG, CHI, 38th Overall) Making an early NCAA tournament exit as a #1 seed is always tough, but Ayo Dosunmu had a banner year for the Fighting Illini on his way to Consensus First Team All-America honors. While his slip to the second round might be surprising, it could be a textbook example of NBA franchises thinking a little too hard on scouting reports. In three NCAA seasons, Dosunmu's minutes and points per game averages climbed steadily from 31.3, 33.5, to 35.1, and from 13.8, 16.6, to 20.1, respectively; while also putting up 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.1 steal over his last go-round.As his opportunities from the FT line improved, so did his shooting, going from 69.5% on 95 tries as a freshman to 75.5% on 102 tries, capped off by 78.3% shooting on his final 143 takes. He shot 79 for 240 from three over his first two seasons (32.9%), and while his volume ticked back a bit, he shot with much better consistency this past season to the tune of 32 of 82 (39%), netting career-best marks for true shooting rate (56.6%) and effective field goal rate (52.6%) along the way. Chicago's backcourt is getting more crowded by the minute, as Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso just signed big deals with the Bulls; but the surrounding cast isn't insurmountable for a player who has proven that he can improve against growing competition, and his experience in high-octane schemes could actually fit quite well alongside Chicago's cornucopia of energetic guards. If Ayo Dosunmu gets his shot early with a rebranding organization, he has a great chance of carving out an extended slot. Jared Butler (PG/SG, UTA, 40th Overall) A weird year for college basketball was finalized by a Baylor championship, which probably wouldn't have happened if not for NCAA Tournament MOP and Consensus First Team All-American Jared Butler. Butler was technically drafted by the Pelicans and then traded to the Jazz via the Grizzlies, so he's headed straight for the reigning Western Conference #1 seed to start his professional career.He was good for each of his three years under Coach Scott Drew and managed to consistently get better.This past year, in 30.3 minutes per each of his 30 games played, Butler averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals. Butler's FT tendencies never changed much over three years, but he ultimately shot 194 for 248 (78.2%) over his career, and after going 60 of 171 (35.1%) from three as a freshman, Butler knocked down 77 from deep in each of his last two seasons for success rates of 38.1% and 41.6%. He kept his turnover numbers in check as his usage climbed and his assist rate jumped 7.8% from start to finish, his shooting only became more potent, and his steal rate went from 2.2% in 2018-19 to 3.7% on route to "One Shining Moment". He joins a Jazz team with a lot of returning pieces, but the nature of the roster allows for down-the-bench contributions, and Jared Butler's repertoire could be picture-perfect for working himself in early. Luka Garza (PF/C, DET, 52nd Overall)There was plenty of speculation that Luka Garza could go undrafted, but I guess being a two-time Big Ten POY, two-time Consensus All-American, and the 2021 Naismith/Wooden/AP POY carries some prestige worth rolling the dice on. Over his final two seasons (62 games) with Iowa, Garza averaged 23.9 points, 9.3 boards, and 1.7 blocks per game, shooting 83 for 209 from deep (39.7%) with career-highs in true shooting rate (62%) and effective field goal rate (59.6%) as a senior. The Pistons have young and talented guards, forwards, and combos in between, but with Mason Plumlee gone and the rest of the frontcourt specializing in other aspects of the game, the 6'11, 265-lb. Luka Garza could prove himself essential early for a Detroit club that ranked near the bottom of the NBA last season in three-pointers made and three-point percentage. Charles Bassey (PF/C, PHI, 53rd Overall)Charles Bassey out of Western Kentucky was a potential first-round talent that Philly picked up at the tail-end of the draft, and that value could pay early dividends depending on how the 76ers roster shakes out over the coming weeks. 6'11, 235-lb., with a stifling 7'3 wingspan, Bassey took home almost all of the hardware the C-USA had to offer in his two full seasons (RS in 2019-20). In 2020-21, Bassey played for 30.4 minutes in each of 28 games, averaging 17.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks. He also shot 75.9% from FT (actually the lowest of his career), 65.2% from two-point range, and while his volume kicked up in 2021, he shot 27 for 79 from three (34.2%) in his first and third seasons. Reliable offense now from everywhere he's been asked to operate, 22.4% rebounding, and some of the best shot blocking in the whole 2021 talent pool means that Charles Bassey was already a name to watch, and he might be a name to cash in on early if Joel Embiid needs a break in the trenches. Aaron Wiggins (SG/SF, OKC, 55th Overall)Aaron Wiggins is a 6'6, 200-lb. combo wing who spent three years at Maryland before going to the Thunder in the late-second round, but with a 6'10 wingspan and 36-in. vertical leap, his game well exceeds his height and position (and I checked, he is NOT related to Andrew Wiggins). He gradually worked throughout his college career to add volume and then balance activity with efficiency, culminating in a 2020-21 season wherein which he averaged 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals in 33.0 minutes per game. His second year with the Terps was a down one offensively, but he bounced back with 61 of 79 FTs (77.2%), 57 of 160 from three (35.6%), and career-best marks of 55% (TS%) and 52.3% (eFG%). As his usage climbed from 18.9% to 25.4% from 2018 to 2021, his assist rate nearly tripled to 17.3% while his turnover rate held steady near 13%. His 2.1/1.6 split of offensive/defensive win shares demonstrates his versatility, and with phenomenal physical tools and improved shooting all over the floor, he paints a portrait of a player capable of contributing from the offset for an OKC squad aggressively searching for its identity. Though the ends of the rotation have strong barriers in the way, the Thunder love athletic combos, and Aaron Wiggins could slide into that slot early and often if some of the franchise's project prospects need extra prep time. Honorable Mentions:Isaiah Todd (WAS), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (OKC), Jason Preston (LAC), Miles McBride (NYK), Neemias Queta (SAC), Isaiah Livers (DET), Kessler Edwards (BKN), David Johnson (TOR), Sharife Cooper (ATL), Sandro Mamukelashvili (MIL), Scottie Lewis (CHA).