Center Solomon Alabi just didn’t cut it for the Philadelphia 76ers, and forward Gani Lawal is his replacement now. Alabi was waived by the Sixers on Friday, according to Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey.
The Sixers gave Lawal a multi-year, partially guaranteed contract on Friday as well. He’s had stints with the Phoenix Suns, VEF Riga, Virtus Roma and the D-League as well.
The more versatile, 6-foot-9 Lawal has more of an upside in comparison to the bigger, 7-foot-1 Alabi. Lawal is a better inside presence and can relieve minutes for an injury-ridden Sixers front-court.
He didn’t get much opportunity during his time with the Suns for the 2010-11 season, averaging two minutes in one game played with one personal foul. Lawal did show his potential with Roma, however, averaging 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the Italian League.
Lawal put the roster back up to 20 players. This might not be a significant move, but could give way to an up and coming player who has nothing to lose. The growing list of injured big men include Lavoy Allen, Spencer Hawes and Nerlens Noel.
The Sixers will have to find another productive big man who can fill in for the injured players. They may not find a complete replacement, but someone who can make the best use of their time.
Lawal was an All-ACC Third Team member with Georgia Tech and was a McDonald’s High School All-American, so he does have an upside, even though the NBA game is a different transition and some college stars have difficulty making it. He is also on Nigeria’s National Team that competed in the 2013 FIBA Africa Championships.