Philadelphia 76ers: Georges Niang could work as small-ball center

Georges Niang (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Georges Niang (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers recently found their solution to the Mike Scott issue that has been plaguing the roster the last two seasons. There’s no doubt that Georges Niang can step up in Scott’s role as a floor spacer at the power forward position, but can he do more?

In his introductory press conference, Niang made it clear that he’s willing to win and do what is necessary to do that, include play at the center spot as a floor spacer, per Noah Levick of NBCSPhilly. However, being listed at 6-foot-7 would certainly make him small for the position. However, he might be the ideal option for that role for the Sixers this upcoming season.

Niang should be a small-ball center for the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Despite being just 6-foot-7, he’s a solid 230 lbs and he has a strong build. Granted he’s not a great rebounder for his position. Last season, he averaged just 2.4 rebounds in just 16.0 minutes per game. However, if he plays alongside Tobias Harris in those lineups then it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.

It should be also be noted that because of his solid frame, he can body up bigger player better than Scott did, despite both players being of similar weight. Niang has a 6-foot-10 wingspan which should help on defense as well. More importantly, Niang is more of a weapon offensively than Scott was during his 76ers tenure.

Niang averaged 6.9 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the 3-point line last year. Despite not being able to showcase the skill in the NBA, Niang was a very good playmaker in college and the G-League. In his last G-League season, he averaged 3.3 assists. That will be used more by the Sixers than by his former team the Utah Jazz.

With the center depth of Joel Embiid, Andre Drummond, and Charles Bassey, Philly only has big lumber centers that struggle to be defensively versatile, especially the bench big men. Having Niang as a small-ball center allows Philly to switch more on defense and stretch the floor more on offense, while also being able to run more in transition.

Outside of Ben Simmons, whose future seems unlikely to continue with the Philadelphia 76ers, Niang seems like the best option for the Sixers to turn to if they want a small-ball center on the floor.

Next. Grading the Niang signing. dark