Do The Sixers Really Need A “Veteran Presence?”


With just two weeks left until the Philadelphia 76ers preseason opener, many questions still remain as to how this lineup will look on opening night at “The Center.” One of the biggest question marks that remains is what the Sixers will do with Veteran players Carl Landry, and Gerald Wallace.

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Both acquired in offseason deals, Landry and Wallace have come into a situation that not many 30+ year  old players have to deal with. They aren’t future hall of famers or guys looking for a ring, so therefore the value that they bring to the table is much less than many veterans we see that make moves at the end of their careers.

We already saw Jason Thompson moved with ease before he played a game with Philly so how must that make the other two vets feel? The Problem for Landry and Wallace is they aren’t big impact players, and with all of the cap money the Sixers have, moving or buying out contracts is simple, and readily available.

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has been left with the decision to either keep the veterans on the team (basically for locker room and off-court purposes), or let them go and try and use those two extra roster spots for younger project guys. Neither Landry or Wallace has any championship experience, so with that being said what exactly can they offer for this team? What can they do to prove their worth to the Sixers hierarchy?

Well, for one the Sixers just drafted a true low-post operator in Jahlil Okafor, and Carl Landry could help him immensely with his development. Landry has a wide array of post moves both from the elbow, and down on the block that could rub off on Jah. Landry is also known as a “high-character guy” that actually sounded excited to take on a mentor role in a piece from

As for Gerald Wallace, he knows what it’s like being an athletic swingman with jumper problems, so perhaps he could show guys like Tony Wroten, and Jakarr Sampson the tools of the trade when it comes to getting to, and finishing at the basket. Wallace also has a total of 13 NBA seasons of experience under his belt, which is something not many guys can say. Perhaps he can relay some of his tricks to staying relevant to Sixer young guns as well.

“I believe the average age on the team last year was 22 — I’ll be 32 next season,” Landry said. “My experience — playoff experience, game experience, leading vocally and by example — I’m sure will be huge for that ball club.” -Carl Landry

On the other hand Landry’s (and or Wallace’s) presence will only further clog up the 76ers front court taking away minutes from young guys like Richaun Holmes, Jerami Grant, and Furkan Aldemir. The last a rebuilding team wants to do is to stunt the growth of their recent draft picks. It’s sort of a double edged sword type of situation with no 100% right answer.

If I had to guess what the Sixers front office will do I’d say they will buyout Wallace before the regular season starts, and keep Landry until a better deal from a power forward-needy team comes around later in the season. Landry has much more left in the tank on the court than Wallace, and that will surely play a huge factor in the team’s decisions.

I think if you asked Coach Brett Brown in a private setting whether he feels they need a veteran guy on this team, he would probably say no. Not because he doesn’t see the value of it, but rather because he has great confidence in himself, and his coaching staff to handle a roster full of players 24 and under. In fact, I think part of Brown almost enjoys the headaches and guidance that comes along with coaching such a young team. It’s a hell of a change up in comparison to his last position with the Spurs.

The Sixers aren’t exactly the LA Clippers looking for a Paul Pierce type guy to plug the holes in a championship run, so I don’t really see the need to keep the two older guys just because they’re older. I’m all for giving these two vets a fair shot at the roster, but if it comes down to a young developmental talent, or a 33 year old bench player, I’m taking the guy who hasn’t hit his ceiling.

Do you think the Sixers need a veteran presence this year? Let me know in the comments section!