The Philadelphia 76ers kick off their Summer League play in just a few days against the Milwaukee Bucks. Although most of the focus has been revolved around free agency, summer league is always a fun time to get a sneak peak of the NBAs incoming rookies, second year players, and occasional journeymen.
There are a few bright spots on the Sixers summer league roster that many fans are excited to see. Below I break down what we could expect from those particular players along with a handful of others that round out the roster.
Heading into his second summer league stint after missing a great majority of his rookie campaign, Zhaire Smith is ready to showcase his skills to the world.
The super athletic guard out of Texas Tech is defensive minded but has the ability to do damage on the offensive end as well. After bulking up and working on his shooting mechanics while sidelined all year, Zhaire should show some offensive improvements from a year ago where he averaged just 7.2ppg in summer league play.
Projected stats: 16.0ppg 5.0rpg 1.5bpg
A lot of eyes will be on the reigning Naismith Defensive Player of the Year after Philadelphia traded up for him in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Thybulle should have no problem at excelling on the defensive end of the ball in summer league play. His shooting will be something to keep an eye on though as his success rate from deep varied throughout his collegiate career.
I don’t expect him to be too polished offensively but him jumping the passing lanes on the defensive end will be a joy to watch.
Projected stats: 9.0ppg 2.0spg 2.0bpg
On a summer league roster that doesn’t consist of too many shooters/scorers, Shake should have the green light on the offensive side of the ball.
A sniper from deep, Milton has the ability to pull up wherever he pleases. The 22yr old averaged just under 25ppg in the G-League last season which was the 4th most among all players. Milton will also be able to put his defensive abilities on display, where his size at 6’6ft mixed in with his 7ft wingspan benefits him a ton.
I expect Shake to be among the top scorers in the summer league which should go a long way in solidifying him a role in the Sixers rotation this upcoming season.
Projected stats: 22ppg 5.0apg
Others To Watch
Although most won’t make the 2019-20 roster, Philadelphia added a few intriguing prospects to round out their summer league team. Christ Koumadje is a name that has been rumored to be in line for a two-way contract. The 7’4ft, 270lb big out of Florida State is an exceptional athlete for his size and rebounds on both ends of the floor. Koumadje is another one of those guys who didn’t start playing basketball until high school, so the potential is there.
PJ Dozier, who was with Boston last season, is another guy who excelled in the G-League last season where he put up a 21-6-6 line. And we can’t forget about the Sixers second draftee from the 2019 class, Marial Shayok out of Iowa State. Shayok, a 4yr senior, displayed both his superb shot creating and making abilities all last year in the Big 12.
Featured Image: Michael Bryant / Philadelphia Inquirer
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.