The Philadelphia 76ers, who have an unfilled roster spot, recently worked out several veteran guards.
In trading for Jimmy Butler, the Philadelphia 76ers also opened up their 15th roster spot. While the trade and buyout markets have been stressed ad nauseam, the front office may look to fill the void with a current free agent.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Sixers worked out several veteran guards earlier in the week. Arron Afflalo, Sean Kilpatrick, Brandon Rush and Haywood Highsmith — who currently plays with the Delaware Blue Coats — all participated.
The Sixers still need depth, as evidenced by their poor outings against the elite Eastern Conference teams. Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and T.J. McConnell don’t exactly thrive on defense, which can undo solid production from the starting five.
For a team that’s still a couple pieces away from true title contention, there shouldn’t be any hurry to fill the 15th roster spot. Wait, see who’s available in February, and then pull the trigger. Someone of Brandon Rush’s ilk will still be on the market in a couple months.
With that said, the list above does feature some intriguing names. Afflalo started 45 games for the Kings just two seasons ago, though last season was largely uneventful in Orlando (save for his uppercut to almost-Sixer Nemanja Bjelica).
A career 38.6 percent three-point shooter, Afflalo has the ability to space the floor for the Sixers’ core on offense. He’s also a defensive upgrade over Shamet, Furkan Korkmaz and such, even if he’s regressed on that end.
Sean Kilpatrick had a couple strong seasons in Brooklyn before bouncing around the league last season. A bouncy scoring guard who competes on defense and hits the occasional three-ball, he makes some sense.
The Brandon Rush experience never really worked out, but sometimes it just takes the right situation. He’s still a career 40.2 percent three-point shooter, which is something the Sixers clearly value.
Perhaps the most intriguing name, however, is Haywood Highsmith, who continues to produce in Delaware. The Sixers have some additional familiarity with him in the farm system, which might boost his chances of making the 15-man roster.
This profile from Philly Front Office nicely outlines Haywood’s game, backstory and potential NBA fit.
According to PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck, the team isn’t expecting to make any moves at this time. It is, however, worth monitoring who the club looks into.