In recent weeks, the Philadelphia 76ers have continued to add depth to their already deep rotation. More recently, the Liberty Ballers have acquired guards Royal Ivey and Maalik Wayns. Even though there isn’t an issue with acquiring so many players for a roster, there becomes the question of how much time will they get to play, and also what they’re roles will become.
Looking at Ivey first, his role will be more behind the scenes than in recent years. Previously, Royal Ivey contributed in a different bench role to a 2008-2010 Sixers team. Now, Ivey will be seen more as a mentoring presence to up and coming star, Jrue Holiday. After speaking to a few fans of Ivey, there is speculation that he will continue or go back to being a “capable jump shooter”.
To erase that speculation, Ivey has never been an offensive presence in the NBA in his entire career. Ivey can make wide open jump shots, but to the defense of other bench players, who in the league can’t? He’ll never make it at this point in his career as a jump shooter, he’s only good now for his mentoring to younger guards and his great defensive skills. Ivey only averaged 2.1 points per game last season in 10.4 minutes of the bench for Oklahoma City.
Moving on to Wayns, he becomes the hope off the bench for the 76ers if he remains with the team and doesn’t get sent to the NBA D-League. Wayns is the only “true” point guard on the Sixers bench and can easily make his way into the rotation with a good amount of minutes. Provided that he beats out former Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen, Wayns, under the tutelage of Coach Doug Collins, can become a force in the NBA given a few years.
Wayns was a standout guard at Villanova University his junior year and also a star player at Roman Catholic High School for Boys in Philadelphia, Pa (the rival of my alma mater Saint Joe’s Prep). While forgoing his senior year at ‘Nova, he decided to enter the NBA Draft where he went undrafted. After numerous workouts with the Orlando Magic, there was hope that he would be signed there, but nothing transpired.
Instead the Philadelphia 76ers signed him to a 1 year deal that gives him a chance to prove his worth. Wayns, in his junior season at Villanova University, averaged 17.6 points, 4.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game and nearly 90 percent from the line while shooting over 41 percent from the field.
Peering forward, it’s clear the 76ers have done a better job than in recent years in the off-season. By acquiring two more guards to add to the rotation, they have finished their off-season requirements as a team. Look for the 76ers to be a threat in the 2012-2013 season.
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