Mar 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten (8) is defended by New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith (8) during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks defeated the Sixers 93-92. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Is Tony Wroten the 76ers Answer at Shooting Guard?

Well, this should probably be prefaced by saying is Wroten the “extremely temporarily so we can get through another dreadful season” answer at shooting guard, instead of a permanent solution. While free agency has come and gone, the 76ers still have a gap at shooting guard, unless you want Jason Richardson firing three’s after not playing for almost two full seasons.

Tony Wroten, the 76ers surprise player last season, is an option at shooting guard. According to 82games.com, Wroten spent 36 percent of his minutes last season at the two guard, while spending 19 percent at point guard and 10 percent at small forward. Wroten is noticeably more comfortable with the ball in his hands, just because his lack of a reliable jumper makes it hard for him to create without the ball.


At shooting guard last season, Wroten created 24.0 points per-48 minutes with a PER of 11 (league average is 15). With the dismal season that the 76ers had, it’s hard to find positive statistics for the team. A 19 win season means the PER’s are low and the win shares are even lower. Plus, anyone that has watched Tony Wroten play is aware that he’s not a player that will be favored by statistics, especially advanced statistics. Wroten is a poor man’s Dion Waiters, but there is a ceiling somewhere.

wroten shots

Compared to Waiters’ shot chart, Wroten has ways to go. Waiters has a consistent jumper, especially from deep. Wroten has a hard time hitting anywhere from deep, shown by all the red from three. From the above shot chart, Wroten does a lot of his damage in the paint. For him, it’s either taking a three or driving to the rack. The 76ers should feel more comfortable with the latter, because his shooting just isn’t there right now.

With the lack of shooting on this team, throwing Wroten at shooting guard next to Carter-Williams wouldn’t help anything. There needs to be some sort of shooter on the floor to open up room for everyone else to roam. With no shooting threat, the defense will pack the paint, which will make it harder for the team to score.

Is Wroten an option? Sure, it’s an option, but there are probably better options out there. I’m more comfortable with Tony Wroten in a backup point guard role, because he’s just more effective with the ball in his hands. His per-48 numbers at point guard show higher points, PER, and shooting percentages.

Who knows what the 76ers plan to do at shooting guard this season, or if they really care. Everyone is aware this is another project/development season, but Wroten’s development is important. He showed flashes of brilliance last season, most effective when Carter-Williams was out due to injury. Wroten is cousins with Denver Nuggets shooting guard and offensive spark plug Nate Robinson and the two are similar, besides the obvious height difference (Wroten is 6’6″). Wroten is the perfect type of player to come in the game off the bench and be a spark plug and wreck havoc for opposing defenses.

So, no, I don’t believe Tony Wroten is an option at shooting guard. Let him flourish when Carter-Williams is on the bench.

All shotcharts via Vorped.com and statistics via 82games.com

 

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