The Philadelphia 76ers may end up being thin at the small forward position with Wilson Chandler getting injured during the club’s first preseason game.
The last thing the Philadelphia 76ers needed during the preseason was an injury to a key player off the bench, but that’s exactly what happened to Wilson Chandler. According to the Sixers official twitter page, it was revealed that Chandler has a strained left hamstring from an MRI and Philadelphia will wait about two to three weeks before re-evaluating him.
Keith Pompey of philly.com reported that Chandler will rehab in Camden while the team travels to China. Chandler won’t be the only Sixers reserve wing player staying in the States as Zhaire Smith won’t travel either, according to Rich Hofmann of the Athletic. It makes sense that Smith doesn’t travel either seeing as he recently underwent surgery.
Both Smith and Chandler made up the majority of the Sixers depth at small forward. Chandler’s re-evaluation date is right around the start of the regular season, so there’s no guarantee he’d be back in time for the start of season. With the most recent procedure, there’s some uncertainty regarding Smith’s return as well though before the second surgery, his return date was expected to be in December (the tweet that is linked has a story that needs a payed subscription to read).
The only full-time roster player that can play the position off the bench is Furkan Korkmaz. Korkmaz does has plenty of potential, but still his a very raw player. So far, he has shown some of that potential in the team’s preseason matchup against the Melbourne United. He finished the game with seven points and just as many rebounds, while shooting 3-4 on field goal attempts.
Depending on how Korkmaz performs during the rest of preseason mighht dictate if the team signs another small forward to fortify the Philadelphia 76ers depth until Chandler returns. Hopefully it won’t come to that and Chandler can return fully healthy before the Sixers play their first regular season game on Oct. 16 against the Boston Celtics.