76ers Convert Ricky Council IV’s 2-Way Deal Into 4-Year Contract

76ers Convert Ricky Council IV’s 2-Way Deal Into 4-Year Contract Apr 7, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ricky Council IV (16) dribbles against San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33) in the second half at Frost Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are converting Ricky Council IV’s two-way deal into a standard NBA contract. Shams Charania of The Athletic was first to report the move, adding that it is a four-year, $7.4 million contract.

Council took a long, winding journey to reach this point. He played two years of college at Wichita State before transferring to Arkansas, where he averaged 16.1 points per game. The 22-year old did not get selected in the 2023 NBA Draft. However, he signed a two-way contract with the Sixers after the draft concluded.

It did not take long for the Sixers to realize what they had in Council. He dominated the G League while playing for the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers’ G League affiliate. In 11 contests, Council averaged 23.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Once the calendar flipped to 2024, Council began to see some action with the Sixers. He quickly showed flashes of brilliance, scoring 11 points in 12 minutes in a late January loss to the Indiana Pacers. His breakout performance came a few weeks later against the Washington Wizards, recording a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

While Council’s role has fluctuated with the Sixers, he typically produced whenever given significant opportunity. In 11 total games with 10-plus minutes, Council is averaging 10.5 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 54.2% from the field and 44.4% from 3-point range (1.6 attempts per game).

Council brings a ton of energy and plays with loads of confidence. When on the floor, he provides physical defense, a high motor as a rebounder and a consistent ability to draw fouls. He is averaging 2.3 free-throw attempts per game despite playing in just 9.1 minutes per contest. His outside shooting, once considered to be his primary weakness, has improved this season. After shooting 28.4% from beyond the arc over his final two seasons of college, he increased his efficiency to 35.0% in the G League and 35.5% with the Sixers at the NBA level.

Head coach Nick Nurse praised Council after the Sixers’ light practice on Saturday. According to Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Nurse spoke about how Council always competes hard while bringing a versatile skillset to the floor.

“His shooting has improved. He’s got a unique kind of athleticism that lets him drive and draw fouls. He’s a little bit versatile on defense. He can guard on the perimeter. He can guard up, again because of his athleticism. I would say there were at least three times last night (vs. the Magic) I just about pulled the trigger to put him in the rotation. So he’s right on the edge of that, depending on what we’re seeing, who’s out there, what the foul trouble is and all that kind of stuff. We feel like, just like in the San Antonio game, he’s a little bit of an X-factor guy. He can go in there and sometimes just change energy and change rhythm or make a few plays. So I’m really happy for him.”

Council has proven capable of making plays that can swing games in the Sixers direction. He made multiple crucial plays to help the Sixers defeat the San Antonio Spurs back on April 7. One of those plays was an incredible wraparound pass to Nic Batum for a corner 3-pointer that helped seal the game.

Through his strong play in limited opportunity, Council earned this contract extension from the Sixers. By converting his contract to a standard NBA deal before the end of the regular season, Council is now eligible to play this postseason. Signing him for four years also locks him up for the foreseeable future. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported more details about Council’s four-year deal.

The way the contract is structured gives the Sixers added flexibility over the next few years. Getting Council under contract for multiple years at an inexpensive price is a major plus for the Sixers. Along with Council, the team also recently signed Jeff Dowtin Jr. to a contract for the remainder of this season. Dowtin’s contract also comes with a team option for the 2024-25 season. Making these types of moves that add productive players along the margins of the roster are critical for any team with plans to contend for a championship.

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