Sixers Gamble In Vegas By Signing Wilbekin


Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Scottie Wilbekin (18) reacts after a foul is called during an NBA Summer League game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Thomas & Mack Center. The Lakers won 68-60. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Gamble In Vegas By Signing Wilbekin

The Philadelphia 76ers and Scottie Wilbekin agreed to terms on July 18, 2015. They signed on July 24, 2015. After a college career at the Florida Gators leading up to the 2014 NBA draft, Wilbekin went unselected.  So Wilbekin instead opted to play for the Cairns Taipans of the Australian National Basketball League. Last season, he played 32 games for the Australians, and was named the club’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He later joined AEK Athens of the Greek Basket League, averaging eight points and four assists in nine games played.

Wilbekin had a colorful history during his tenure with the Gators. He was suspended twice by coach Billy Donovan. The first occurred at the beginning of the 2013 season, where he missed three games. The second suspension occurred during the 2014 for violating “team rules”. However, Wilbekin was a part of three consecutive Elite Eight teams during his career.

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He caught the Sixers attention when he joined up to play summer league with the team in Las Vegas. There he averaged 14.4 points per game (PPG), 2.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game (RPG) while shooting 43.6 percent. He played in five games with the Sixers.

The agreement was first announced on July 18 by Shams Charania.

The contract is a four year deal, with two years guaranteed and two years optional.  The move comes as no surprise, as the consensus is that the Sixers continue to look for backcourt players to round out their roster for the 2015/16 season.  And Wilbekin was a logical choice, having made a positive impression on the Sixers summer league coaches.

"“He’s got good control with his hands and he’s able to make plays. He’s played point his entire life, but you can put him off the ball as well.” – Sixers summer league coach Lloyd Pierce"

That sentiment was echoed by the player himself.

"“I’m a point-guard size, but I can play off the ball. I try to play what I am good at.”-Scottie Wilbekin"

The Sixers Sense has had Wilbekin in their sights, as he is one of the main features in the starting point guard discussion. You can follow that discussion here:

The Sixers Sense:Who Will Be The Starting Point Guard?

Wilbekin played for the Sixers in both the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League and the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he finished second on the team in scoring with 14 points per game and averaged three 3-pointers made per game.  With a solid front, the team continues to explore all options possible in the back court.  The team is very interested in finding some perimeter shooters, who can threaten from three point land.   That forces their opponents out, which opens lanes for their bigs.

Next: Will More People Tune In To Watch Games This Year?