May 2, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center DeJuan Blair (45) celebrates during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 113-111. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency 2014: Can DeJuan Blair Fit?


DeJuan Blair seems like a perfect fit for the Philadelphia 76ers — he plays the role of a Philadelphia ball player. Gritty, tough, energy, hustle — all those adjectives fit Blair’s game. Blair has played five seasons in the NBA and has played in the playoffs in every season. Blair has 42 post-season games on his resume, which is more than the Sixers roster combined.

DeJuan Blair played his first four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, before spending this season with the Dallas Mavericks. Over his career, Blair averages 7.5 points and 5.6 boards on 53 percent from the field in only 18.2 minutes per game. Blair has per-36 stats of 14.9 and 11.0 rebounds, which shows his potential if he can receive minutes. Finding minutes has been a problem for Blair, as he’s never averaged over 22 minutes per game in a season. However, there’s a reason for that.

DeJuan Blair has no anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL’s) in either knee. How does this happen? Blair had two surgeries while in high-school, where the doctors tried to remove some partial damage to his ACL’s, but failed. Over time, Blair’s ACL’s literally disappeared over time. Since this disappearance happened over a long span of time, his other muscles and ligaments were able to adjust. Blair can play basketball, but he still has a higher risk of getting injured than other athletes. Check out the full explanation here.

After signing a minimum contract with the Mavericks this season, Blair went to work. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game. Blair looks like the perfect fit for a backup power forward slot for the Sixers.

DeJuan Blair really shined for the Mavericks in the playoffs, as he was allover the court grabbing rebounds and finishing on the glass. Blair averaged 6.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in 13.5 minutes per game. Throw this kid 20-25 minutes per game and a nightly double-double shouldn’t be that unrealistic.

Blair can come right in and give all his energy and hustle, because he knows his time is limited on the court. He’s going to bust his ass when he’s playing, something the fans in Philadelphia will love. No doubt that Blair would become a fan favorite within his first week in Sixers red, white, and blue.

The best thing about Blair is the price tag. Blair signed with the Mavericks for a minimum deal, which was under $1 million dollars. With that contract expiring, Blair will probably be on the hunt for another deal, which won’t be much more than the minimum contract he just played out with the Mavericks. Sam Hinkie should be all over this type of deal.

Blair can come into a game and provide a spark off the bench, something the Sixers lacked last season. Well, the Sixers lacked a lot of things last year, so this is one place to start. It’s a cheap option, which is right up Sam Hinkie’s wheelhouse.

So, what do you think? Should the Sixers look at DeJuan Blair in free agency?

 

 

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  • F F Woodycook

    Yes!! Watched him at Pitt and he is a beast. Big East player of the year, dominated all other centers in the conference his freshman and sophomore years.

    His lack of minutes may have something to do with the ACLs but I think it also had to do with the fact that both the Spurs and the Mavs just had too many bodies at Blair’s position.

    For anything between $1 to $2.5 million, he is a good deal. Give hi. 25 min, he’s a robust double-double every night.