Jerryd Bayless has done little to earn his role

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

At this point, the Philadelphia 76ers don’t need Jerryd Bayless on the floor if his play doesn’t improve.

There have been several disappointments with this Philadelphia 76ers team over the past couple of weeks, but Jerryd Bayless is towards the top of that list. The 29-year-old was billed as a steady-handed veteran when signed two summers ago, but has been anything but that in 2017.

After shooting lights out in his final season with Milwaukee, some concern crept in regarding Bayless’ career-long inconsistency. He missed most of last season with a wrist injury as well, which only made a return to form more improbable.

Still, Sixers fans entered the season with high expectations. He’s still on the books for one more season anyways, and Brett Brown deployed Bayless as the starting two-guard to begin the year. It seemed like he’d be able to play a significant role as a secondary ball handler who stretches the floor and works off of Ben Simmons.

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That role is still what he’s trying to fill, but he just hasn’t done a good job. His 3-point percentage is hovering around the league-average mark at 36.6 percent, but that has come with some massive highs early on and some troubling lows in recent weeks.

Bayless hasn’t been able to consistently hit shots at all, and he does very little good when those shots aren’t falling. He’s a defensive liability, while his tendency to make dumb mistakes mirrors the young talent around him, which is the exact opposite of what he — the veteran — is supposed to be doing.

His playmaking and defense have devolved into weaknesses, while his inconsistency only makes them stand out more. In theory, Bayless is the perfect fit on this roster. Right now he just looks like a subpar NBA player.

Those struggles have only worsened the Sixers’ limited depth on the perimeter. Justin Anderson is finally back in the rotation, but the absence of Markelle Fultz leaves very little firepower outside of the starting group.

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Aside from Bayless, TLC has struggled even more with his shot. Until Fultz returns, proves he can shoot and looks comfortable in an NBA setting, it does feel like Brown’s hands are tied when setting his rotations. With that said, something needs to change.

As of right now, Bayless is the weakest link in the Sixers’ rotation. TLC, on physical tools and energy alone, is at least a passable defender with room to grow moving forward. Anderson’s versatility and energy bring their advantages as well, while T.J. McConnell has been one of the few bright spots in the Sixers’ second unit.

Bayless doesn’t bring much of anything outside of his shooting, which right now is below average at best. Not only should Fultz eventually take all of Bayless’ minutes, but Brown needs to seriously consider slashing Bayless’ minutes right now.

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More TLC or Anderson isn’t the most desirable solution, but it’s something Brown has to consider. There might be some value left in Bayless’ threat as a floor-spacer, but that’s about it at this point. Hopefully he gets things turned around.