Six Reasons to be Excited about the 2015-16 Season

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Apr 13, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard JaKarr Sampson (9) is fouled by Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo (00) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Bucks won 107-97. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Young Gun Jakarr Sampson

After Grant, the next player that comes to mind when talking about player development is JaKarr Sampson. When the final opening night roster was released and JaKarr Sampson was still on it, I was so confused. He did not show much of anything in the preseason, as he could not shoot nor create for himself, and seemed like a guy that was destined a play overseas. Making the team was one thing, but if you had told me that Sampson was going to stick on the team for the whole season, log over 1,100 minutes, AND get non-garbage time minutes at the point guard position I would have been beside myself.

Although his playing time was inconsistent throughout the season, Sampson’s athletic and defensive ability was appealing to the Sixers coaching staff in spot situations. If Brett Brown needed someone to pick up the point guard for the full 94 feet in the final two minutes of the third quarter, Brown would call on JaKarr. He was never asked to do too much, but he excelled in his smaller roles and went beyond expectations by showing flashes of potential on the offensive end.

The greatest thing (and worst thing) about JaKarr Sampson is that I have no idea what he will be in five years. He could be a fun, more athletic version of Shaun Livingston or he could be playing overseas. But JaKarr flashed enough potential, through a jump shot that can be improved, strong ball handling for his size, and the ability to take people off the bounce, to warrant an increase in minutes this upcoming season.

Next: Stauskas!