The Philadelphia 76ers G-League affiliate didn’t have any games this past week, which limited the amount of rookies that received playing time.
Head coach Brett Brown has appeared to have settled into a regular bench rotation. Which is great, but he only has two rookies coming off the bench regularly at the moment. On top of that, the Philadelphia 76ers G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, didn’t play a game this past week and that didn’t help the development of two of the team’s rookies.
16th pick, 2018
Rich Hofmann of The Athletic reported that Zhaire Smith is still focused on his shot, but not practicing with the club yet. It appears the next step in Smith’s rehab is to practice with the team and hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.
26th pick, 2018
Outside of the matchup against the Indiana Pacers, Landry Shamet had a poor week shooting from downtown. In the past four games, he shot 5-16 from the 3-point line. Hopefully, the game against the Pacers is a turning point for Shamet’s 3-point shooting.
It should also be noted that Brown entrusted Shamet with the point guard role late in the blowout win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He ended the game with four assists with zero turnovers; the four assists is a career high by the way. He did play the point in college, so as it wouldn’t be surprising if Brown did this again later down the road. However, with Ben Simmons, T.J. McConnell and the injured Markelle Fultz, it’s unlikely he will have the chance to play it often.
Season stats: 76ers
36th pick, 2017
Brown tried the rookie big man out at a new position this past week. In the past, Jonah Bolden had played primarily at the power forward, but Brown had the rookie be the primary backup center for Joel Embiid. Prior to this change, Mike Muscala played as Embiid’s reserve, but it didn’t work out well.
In the blowout win against the T-Wolves, Bolden scored a new career high of 14 points on 4-5 shooting on 3-pointers. After the game, Brown said the following about Bolden playing at the five spot according to Noah Levick of NBCSPhilly.
Brett Brown said he thought the rotation with Jonah Bolden playing as a backup five worked well.
He said he likes Bolden’s “bounce” and he looks like a modern-day big when he’s hitting 3s.
— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) January 16, 2019
On the week, Bolden has shot 7-11 from downtown and has found his niche as Embiid’s backup for the time being. Unless the team makes a trade for a center or signs one via the buyout free agent market, there’s little doubt that Bolden’s role should change. Unless one of the previous events occur or that Bolden experiences an injury, it’s unlikely that he sees the G-League again this season.
Season stats: 76ers
54th pick, 2018
Due to Corey Brewer signing a 10-day deal with the Sixers, it’s unlikely that until that contract is up, Shake Milton will see time with the 76ers. It may be very hard for Milton to see regular time up in Philly if the team signs Brewer for the rest of the season.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article ,the Blue Coats didn’t play in any games this past week and Brown didn’t call Milton off the bench, so he didn’t see any action at all. Due to zero playing time, his stats haven’t changed since the last rookie report.
Like Milton, Haywood Highsmith didn’t see playing time in either the NBA or G-League, so his stats haven’t changed since the previous rookie report. If Brewer is signed for the remainder of the season, it’s doubtful that Highsmith would see much if any NBA time.
The lack of G-League action for the Blue Coats limits the number of rookies that saw game action this past week. There’s little doubt that Bolden had a very good week among all the Philadelphia 76ers rookies.