By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Staff
The Sixers talent certainly lies in the frontcourt. There is not a core player to speak of in the Sixers backcourt, and it is filled with stopgap players until they can groom a draft pick or acquire an established player to grow with the frontcourt stars.
Jerryd Bayless - Current: $9.4 Million
Key Averages: 23.7 MPG, 11 PPG, 4.3 APG, 4 RPG
The veteran point guard has missed all but three games of his first season in Philadelphia. In those three he performed well and showed his ability to hit from distance. Bayless signed a three year deal this past summer when Bryan Colangelo added him and the next player on the list to bring a veteran presence to the young team. Bayless has remained a veteran leader in his absence, hosting his teammates at his house for dinner around Christmas time, via CSN Philly.
By all accounts, Bayless is still an important part of the team. In addition to his veteran presence he adds a perfect complement to the Sixers offense when he is on the floor. His ability to play point guard or shooting guard will allow TJ McConnell to continue to see the floor and if Ben Simmons works as the point guard, Bayless can play shooting guard. Despite missing his first season in Philadelphia, he will be a part of the team next season.
Gerald Henderson - Current: $9 Million
Key Averages: 24 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 1.7 APG, 85.1 FT%
The Philly native and Episcopal grad has meshed well with the Sixers in his first season back home. He has bounced between the starting lineup and the bench, but has been a key player late in games for the Sixers. His 85.1% free throw percentage leads the team and has made him the focus of the offense late in games, often receiving the ball when the Sixers are being fouled by the opponent to close games. Henderson is also a capable three point shooter and perimeter defender. His passion for the game and his city has been apparent, and he has been an important piece, but he is likely to be waived. There is more youth in the backcourt and more likely on the way following the draft. The Sixers also do not have much dead money next year and will still need to reach the cap floor. Waiving Henderson will get them closer to that floor, regardless of how nice it would be to keep the Philly native in town.
Nik Stauskas - Current: $2.9 Million
Key Averages: 27 MPG, 9PPG, 2.2 APG, 2.7 RPG, 81.1 FT%
Nik Stauskas was largely a disappointment in his first season in Philadelphia. His second season has shown much more promise. After a hot start to the season he was rewarded with the Sixers exercising his option for the 2017-2018 season. Stauskas has added the ability to attack the basket in his third professional season and is posting career highs in all major categories. Stauskas has enjoyed a move to the bench recently in which all of his season averages have been amplified. Stauskas isnot going anywhere and will be playing to keep his spot in Philadelphia next season.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot - Current: $1.3 Million
Key Averages: 11.5 MPG, 3.7 PPG, 76.4 FT%
The man known as TLC has been a pleasant surprise in his first season. TLC seemed destined for the D-League when he was drafted as a raw international player but after biding his time he has slowly worked his way into the Sixers rotation. Luwawu-Cabarrot has shown off his athleticism and length and is game has slowly caught up. In his first appearances of the season he looked like a project but as the season has gone on he has consistently progressed and begun to look a player who could stick with the Sixers in the long term after another year of seasoning. In the first year of his rookie contract, he will not be going anywhere.
Stay tuned for the final installment of our series as we look at the frontcourt.