2015-16 Sixers Roster Preview: Small Forward

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Apr 13, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Jerami Grant (39) drives past Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Covington certainly can not do all of the work for the three spot. He’s going to need some support from the bench, and lucky for him, there’s no shortage of players to help out there. The question becomes more an issue of if they have the talent.

Jerami Grant

Most casual basketball fans don’t know Jerami Grant’s name. As shown by our very own Ryan Disider, he’s definitely overlooked by the NBA. Despite that, most Sixers fans are quite aware that he could have a breakout year on the way.

As I looked into Grant, I struggled trying to figure out if he should really be used in the three spot, or if he falls more under the league trend of a stretch four, due to his range.

Back to Disdier’s article, I liked the way he described Grant, labeling him a, “hybrid,” between  a stretch four and a traditional small forward.

In many other offenses, I believe Grant would be a stretch four. But since the Sixers lean more towards the traditional front court offense, he will fit in as a small forward.

Nothing too glamorous came in Grant’s rookie season, averaging just over 6 points per game in 21 minutes. Per 36 minutes, he still was not a star, just barely breaking into double digit points.

He has his issues, for sure, including his free throw shooting. Grant shot below 60% from the line last year, an alarming statistic.

Hollis Thompson

Thompson has consistently seen around 23 minutes per game in the first two years of his career, and it looks like that’s around what he will get this year too. He averaged nearly nine points per game last season.

Per 36 minutes, he has shown improvement throughout his first two years, and averaged 12.7 points per 36 minutes last year.

He’s a versatile part of the offense. From being an option as a three point shooter, to taking mid-range shots, and also driving to the rim. Thompson is good at all things scoring,

Gerald Wallace

I included Wallace in the projection post for the front court since he has played power forward in the past, but it’s no secret that he’s traditionally been better at small forward. Wallace is the closest thing the team has to a veteran presence at the moment. He’s no Paul Pierce, but for the moment he’s all the Sixers have in that realm, standing out among the roster built mostly by first, second, and third year players.

As Wallace is aging, it’s clear that his skill set is not what it used to be. Last season he was unable to play for a good chunk of the year, only appearing in 32 games, and starting zero for the Boston Celtics. In nine minutes per game, Wallace only scored 1.1 points.

The year prior, he only scored 5.1 points per game while playing 24.4 minutes. He hasn’t been able to score double digit points since 2012.

Hierarchies in the NBA don’t go based off of seniority, they go off of skill set, so it will be no surprise to see Wallace warming the bench most of the season.

Even now, it doesn’t seem like his spot as a Sixer has been solidified, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dealt in a trade now or partway through the season. It’s not just his age, but his style of play does not seem to fit with the Sixers.

Next: Projections