The Thirteen Misfit Toys

5 of 14

Apr 8, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) leans on the scorers table during the second half of a game against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards won 119-90. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Shooting Guard
Robert Covington

The fourth player to join this cast is none other than Robert Covington.  Covington has been a pleasant surprise for the Sixers, who took a chance in signing the just-released Hoston Rocket in November 2014.  Covington has been the type of player this Sixers team is looking to round out that roster. Who that is exactly is a long, athletic player who shows signs of developing into a good NBA player, but who needs several patient years to develop.  That way, he will likely come into his own in synch with the rest of the team’s timed events – likely in the 2016/17 season.

Covington, who has a 7-foot-2 wingspan, is an excellent three-point shooter who has the ability to get to the basket and is a good defender.  He shot over 81% from the free throw line last season.  Couple that with improving the accuracy on his three point shot from 37.5%, and you see the raw material of a player who will benefit greatly from focusing on his perimeter game.

His role could be

"“clearly to space the floor so (at the time of his arrival) Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel have room to operate. It’s just like we used to see Danny Green or Gary Neal [with the San Antonio Spurs] or whomever. You need people to stretch the floor.” – coach Brett Brown discussing Robert Covington"

The names have changed, but the role has not.   Replace Okafor for Embiid and you see how the Sixers have simply adjusted midstream to the news of Embiid’s continued difficulty with his foot.
Covington himself is no stranger to struggling to get to the floor.  He has had a very storied background of challenges of converting his talent into game minutes. In an almost Pappy Jack like fashion, Covington describes how he converted his detractors into motivation to play basketball.

"“As many times as people tell me I can’t do something that’s just more motivation. No matter what I did, people told me I wasn’t going to be able to make it. But I never listened to them because I knew I could do anything if I put my mind to it. With my family behind me, I knew I could do anything. Nobody can stop me but myself. That’s the way I think about it.”"

But this will be a new season, and that usually leads to either significant improvement, or a plateau statistically. Covington thinks he will improve:

"“Now that I have a season under my belt, I know what to expect. I know how teams are going to guard me so I can incorporate those things into my workouts and add other things to my game during the summer.”"

He’s projected to start this season, and is one of those players who could pleasantly surprise many. Should he optimize that three point shot, the team will do very well.

Next: Jerami Grant