The Philadelphia 76ers need help protecting the rim. That’s why they just signed 6-foot-9 power forward Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day contract.
Varnado becomes the first player signed by the Sixers since the trade deadline. The signing is a temporary response from the Sixers, who lack an inside presence, after their embarrassing losses to the lottery-bound Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. In both blowouts, the Sixers were out-rebounded by a total of 102-70.
In the 101-90 loss to the Magic, the Sixers had no response to Nikola Vucevic’s six offensive rebounds. They also allowed shooting guard Victor Oladipo to pull down 11 rebounds. Rebounding should improve with Varnado in the lineup. Varnado became an inside presence at Mississippi State. He joined David Robinson as the only players in NCAA history to amass 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks.
Rebounding hasn’t been a problem for the Sixers, until the deadline trades occurred. The Sixers are 11th in the league averaging 44 rebounds per game.
Varnado has been a force in the D-League, averaging 14.1 points, 11 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game. He was selected by the Miami Heat in the 2010 NBA Draft and spent time bouncing around teams in Europe. Varnado’s outstanding play helped him earn a spot in this year’s D-League All-Star Game.
He also spent time with the Boston Celtics and Heat, where he was a member of last season’s championship team. Varnado was recently waived by the Chicago Bulls. He averages 0.6 points and 0.6 rebounds per game in limited minutes throughout his NBA career.
Varnado will be suiting up in tonight’s matchup with the Washington Wizards.