Summer League struggles for Sixers

It shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise that the Sixers finished with a near-worst 1-4 record following the NBA Summer League in Orlando. Even though their roster is thin, they didn’t have any of their top guys playing, with the leader being rookie Michael Carter-Williams, a guy who clearly has a lot of work to do before he becomes a legitimate starting point guard. Arnett Moultrie and Khalif Wyatt were probably the two best players, while others seemed to be major disappointments. I’ll go through some of the top names and break down their performances.

Michael-Carter Williams

Sure, he’s supposed to be the starting point guard next year and the centerpiece for their future, but he certainly didn’t perform that way. Shooting a terrible 27.1% from the field, and an even worse 15.8% from beyond the arc is not going to cut it in the NBA no matter how you look at it. That has to increase by at least 15% for both categories if he even wants to keep a job in the NBA; it’s scary to think that he’s going to be the starter next year. He did have other solid stats such as 6.8 APG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.0 SPG, so there’s definitely some upside here. No reason to be giving up on him yet. But, there’s also a catch. In addition to his terrible shooting numbers, he averaged 4.8 turnovers per game, which is definitely a bad stat in which to have a high number. As the second worst shooter on the team during these five games, I have to say that I’m disappointed with his performance.

Arnett Moultrie

As a member of the roster last year, he didn’t really do much. He scarcely played, and when he did, he was never really that impressive. But he certainly showed this offseason that he deserves a second chance and should stick around for the rebuilding process. He started every game for the team and shot a solid 46.2% from the field, better than most. He also averaged 12.2 PPG and a team high 7.4 RPG, a solid number for the power forward. He was also one of the top guys to get minutes, proving that he will probably retain his spot on the roster come next season.

Khalif Wyatt

After being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Temple last month, he was not exactly deemed as “the guy” to dominate the team. He proved though that he has game, providing a spark for the Sixers off the bench and averaging a team high 13.8 PPG in only 19.2 MPG, which is an astounding statistic. He shot very well from the floor and was the best three point shooter on the team, shooting 42.9% from three point range. Although he turned the ball over too much (3.0 TPG), he was able to get to the line a lot and provide an excellent addition of scoring for a team that struggled with offense last year. Just imagine if he played a little more…

Arsalan Kazemi

As the first Iranian player to ever be drafted in the NBA, he was certainly deserving after posting great numbers in college at Oregon and Rice. After being drafted by the Wizards, he was quickly traded to the Sixers for a conditional draft pick. But, his play in the Summer League was pretty sub-par. He only averaged 4.6 PPG and 4.6 RPG, pretty low numbers for a rookie with high hopes. Though he didn’t play a ton, he seemed to rarely take shots while on the court. Despite this timidity, he actually converted well on his shots, making 75% of them. He will be hard-pressed to earn any time on the team if he continues to play like this.

Rodney Williams

A Drexel product, the small forward earned a start in every single one of the games that the Sixers played this summer. He shot a solid 50% from the field and averaged 8.0 PPG, but struggled from the free throw line, shooting only 68.8% there. He’s pretty much a long shot to make the team considering he doesn’t really get rebounds or assists, but he was able to average 1.4 BPG, a solid number for a small forward. Of the people discussed in this post, he probably has the least chance of making the team.

After analyzing the bad performance by the Sixers, there were a few good numbers to point out. Obviously I would’ve liked to see Noel in there for a little bit, but there was no way he was suiting up since he’s still recovering from his knee injury. The rest of the team didn’t really do much and will likely not make it on an NBA roster, but that’s just a guess. Who knows, maybe the Sixers still have a couple of moves up their sleeve.

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