It’s no secret that the Philadelphia 76ers have championship aspirations this season. On paper, the team looks like it could run through the best the league has to offer.
Philadelphia has arguably two of the best rising stars in the league in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. However, the more we see them on the court together suggests that they can’t be their best selves when they play alongside each other on the floor.
Given how the Sixers continue to go through with this Simmons-Embiid experiment, perhaps they can improve their title chances. They can do so by tweaking their roster to address some of the most glaring weaknesses.
One of Philadelphia’s major weaknesses is their depth. Despite boasting arguably one of the best starting units in the NBA, their bench is paper thin.
In comes a former elite scoring point guard like Isaiah Thomas of the Washington Wizards.
Before anyone says anything about Thomas being washed or already past his prime, just pause for a moment. He is still just three years removed from a campaign where he averaged 28.9 points per game as the main man in Boston.
Why The 76ers Could Really Use Isaiah Thomas
Philadelphia currently ranks as the third worst team in bench scoring and 22nd overall across the league. Thomas could infuse some instant offense for a team that badly needs a scoring punch in the second unit.
Going against second string point guards could be beneficial for him as well. As Washington’s starting point guard, Thomas is averaging 12.1 points per game. He is doing so 41.3 percent shooting from the field, 41.3 percent shooting from three, and 80.3 percent from the foul line.
Add those points to Philadelphia’s 29.0 bench points per game and that could make them a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of bench production. In addition, the two-time All-Star could also give the Sixers another perimeter player. Another player who is more than capable of creating his own shots and making plays for others, as well.
Likewise, Philadelphia could use some help in terms of three-point shooting. They rank at 23rd in triples made per game and 17th in three-point shooting percentage. As you can see above, IT is shooting at a pretty solid clip from beyond the arc this season. Per NBA Stats, he is also shooting 44.1 percent in catch-and-shoot situations from long-range.
76ers Need a Legit Backup Point Guard
Last but not least, no disrespect to their incumbent reserve guards, but the Sixers could really use a legitimate back-up point guard. Raul Neto or Trey Burke might not cut it if Philadelphia wants to make some noise in the playoffs. Philadelphia would probably be more confident in having a player who once finished third in MVP voting. It certainly exudes more confidence than any of their reserve point guards on their roster right now.
By no means will Thomas’ addition guarantee that the Sixers will win it all this season, but it could slightly increase their potential as title hopefuls. Nonetheless, it’s a move that they can make without having to give up anything too significant in the present, or even in the future.
Thomas is making just $1.6 million this season, the veteran’s minimum. Just scroll through their roster, find an expendable bench player they have (to match salaries) and attach one of their four 2020 second round picks (or even one of their three 2021 second rounders). Perhaps those could be enough to entice a rebuilding Wizards team to part ways with the 30-year old former All-Star.