Even the most die hard 76ers fan probably had a few “Who’s that…” moments this season with the current roster. The 2013-14 Sixers started off as a interesting hodgepodge of players, as well as a few staples and holdovers from last year’s squad. But after the trade deadline, all of Philadelphia was scrambling to their programs and smart phones trying to figure out who half of the starting lineup was.
A member of this group of mystery men is Elliot Williams, a shooting guard from the University of Memphis. He’s in his second season after being drafted 22nd overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by Portland. He is an athletic over-sized guard with decent range, but relies more on his ability to get the the hoop for much of his scoring. I’ll give you a moment to check his Wikipedia page out.
Surprisingly enough he is sixth on the team in games played this year with 61, even though he has only started two. He doesn’t get much run, averaging only 16.5 minutes a game, and hasn’t been wowing anyone in the process. He only pours in 5.6 points a night in that time frame.
Friday night in Boston was probably his best game of the year. In the “upset” win against the Celtics, Williams had 15 points on five-of-seven shooting as well as four steals. He has been playing better down the stretch for head coach Brett Brown. Williams has scored in double figures in five out of his last six games, probably fighting for a roster spot for next season.
He has the chance to make it better with these last few games and make a strong case for Hinkie to keep him. Most of this team is in a season long, high school style try out. Only Noel and MCW are really safe on this roster (notice how Thad Young isn’t in any of these “blueprint” advertisements) so Williams will have to prove he should get a jersey net year. He has proved a solid punch lately off the bench and his potential is still high. Again, he was a first round pick, albeit middle of the pack. The grade could rise.
Stay or Go: Stay
Brett Brown is playing scout more than coach this year. The goal is to see who is worth taking a second look at going into the summer and beyond. Williams hasn’t set the world on fire, but he does have a bit of upside that is at least worthy of a flyer. Maybe he gets cut in the summer after the draft picks and possible free agents find their way to Philadelphia, but not know who they will pick up, it is hard to just drop a talent like this without a little more time.
He may never end up being a pivotal piece here in Philadelphia. But for the time being, he is more than serviceable.