Ranking every player on the Sixers’ 2021-22 roster

Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sixers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

There’s a fair amount of controversy hovering around the Sixers‘ 2021-22 roster. With one All-Star holding out and the other a naturally polarizing leader, it’s easy to get swept up in the chorus of media narratives around the team. That said, Philadelphia’s roster is also fascinating, with a unique balance of star talent, proven veterans, and plucky youngsters.

Philadelphia’s goal this season is the same as last season — to win a championship. Doc Rivers is a historically winning coach, and the pressure to put a winning team around Embiid has never been greater. While the Ben Simmons saga certainly complicates matters, it does not take away entirely from the talent on the roster.

With that in mind, we once again introduce our biannual Ranking the Sixers project. This time around, six writers — Jonathan Geib, Matt Cahill, Lucas Johnson, Ben Wieland, Jarod Hughes, and myself — contributed rankings of the entire Sixers roster in order to form a true consensus ranking of all 17 players currently under contract. To read last season’s edition, click here.

Ranking every player on the Sixers roster — 17. Aaron Henry

Aaron Henry signed with the Sixers after going undrafted in July. The Michigan State product faces an uphill battle, with several talented young wings ahead of him on the roster, but Henry’s two-way deal in a bargain for Philadelphia. The No. 49 prospect on our draft board, Henry is a real NBA prospect who contributes on both sides of the ball.

In college, Henry made a name for himself on the defensive end. By his junior year, he was one of the best perimeter defenders in the nation. At 6-foot-6, Henry frequently weaponizes his 6-foot-11 wingspan in passing lanes, generating turnovers and clogging up the floor. He is also great at the point of attack.

Henry was a consistent offensive threat with the Spartans, but he will face heavier challenges in the NBA. The 3-point stroke is his big swing skill. If Henry can improve his efficiency and volume from beyond the arc, it’s hard to imagine him not sticking around in the pros. His motor and basketball I.Q. are suggestive of NBA upside. That said, his jumper does need work.

The Sixers will likely make use of the G-League to evaluate Henry’s future with the franchise. He only has 45 days with the NBA franchise per his contract, and with Isaiah Joe making noise, there’s really no path to minutes under Doc Rivers. Not this season, at least. Henry will need to prove his mettle early — he’s already 22 years old — but we have seen prospects get off to fiery starts in the G-League before, then turn that into a full-time deal. Just look at Paul Reed.

For now, fans should expect little more than garbage time minutes for Henry in Philadelphia. They will instead need to look toward Delaware for game tape, and an opportunity to truly assess his potential at the next level. Henry has spunk and the physical tools are there, but his skill has to catch up before he can play consistently in the big leagues.