Philadelphia 76ers: What the team could expect from Raul Neto

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers recently acquired point guard Raul Neto. Here’s what the team can expect and will hope to see from the four-year veteran.

After an array of moves left the Philadelphia 76ers with a gargantuan roster, the franchise signed Brazilian point guard Raul Neto to help fill out the bench. Neto, who’s 6-foot-1 stature puts him slightly above average among normal humans, will be akin to a crew team’s Coxswain for this Sixers squad.

In his four NBA seasons, all with the Utah Jazz, Neto has shown flashes of solid backup point guard play. Sadly, that time was marred by inconsistent shooting and an array of injuries. While only 27-years-old, Neto has spent a large amount of time playing professionally overseas and for his home country of Brazil in international play.

In his first NBA season, Neto played in 81 games and averaged 5.9 points and 2.1 assists in 18.5 minutes per game, while shooting 39.5 percent from 3-point range.  Promising stats for a 23-year-old in his first NBA season. From there, Neto had trouble staying on the court and hasn’t played in more than half a season in the last three years.

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Health is not the only unpredictable trait for Neto, his 3-point shooting has been up and down throughout his career as well. Not known as a marksman coming into the league, Neto surprised with his accuracy in his rookie year. The following season saw him a large regression, shooting 32.3 percent. He then bounced right back to 40.4 percent two seasons ago, before immediately crashing again to 33.3 percent in the 2018-2019 campaign.

If you are a person who likes to find patterns, then you might have hope that Raul will be a 40 percent 3-point shooter next season. Unfortunately, the only thing that can be said for sure about Neto’s shooting is that its shaky. Him finding his stroke will likely be a determining factor in the minutes he’s allotted.

The areas of consistency for Neto have been his ability to get to and finish around the rim, along with his sound ball-handling. He was known for his speed coming out of Brazil and while he may be a step slower with age, he still has a good burst. He has a knack for creativity around the rim and has finished about 60 percent of his shots within 10 feet the last 2 years, per

Neto has also been very solid at taking care of the ball. He has averaged only one turnover for his entire career and that number gets even lower if you remove his rookie season. This is a welcome sight for a team that has been near or at the bottom of the league in turnovers for the last two seasons.

Neto’s playing time may also be affected by something out of his control, like the development of G-League standout Shake Milton. Shake recently signed a four-year deal to stay in Philadelphia, but his rough summer league (stats per RealGM) has caused some concern that he will not be ready for regular minutes in the NBA. If Shake is unable to develop this season, the door would be open for Neto to own the backup point guard position.

Neto’s small frame limits much defensive impact he could have, therefore him winning those minutes will likely come down to his offensive production. A healthy and on-target Neto is a strong bench piece for the Sixers. He’s someone who could run the offense in brief stints while Ben Simmons sits and play along Simmons as spot up shooter if the team is in a crunch. An even more ideal scenario would be Neto developing a pick-and-roll chemistry with Joel Embiid.

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All of those things happening are, while plausible, a bit unlikely. If I had to predict assuming health, I would say Neto will hover around league-average from three-point range and offer his usual steady hand, giving the Philadelphia 76ers a playable backup point guard. If everything comes together, he could be the first guard off the bench and be helpful in the postseason. If he’s lost a step and the shooting touch doesn’t find him, then at least he’s good in the locker room.