Now that the Philadelphia 76ers’ postseason quest has ended, it feels like the right time to review the season of their G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, had this past year. The Blue Coats was first established in the 2013-14 season as the Delaware 87ers. They’ve had the current name Blue Coats for the past four seasons.
This article will focus on the general roster, Sixers players, player development, and overall record (showcase, regular season, and playoffs).
Philadelphia 76ers: Review of 2021-22 Delaware Blue Coats
The Blue Coats had seven players who were under contract for the 76ers at some point during the regular season. Paul Reed, Charles Bassey, and Jaden Springer were there due to assignments by Philly. Grant Riller and Aaron Henry started out on two-way contracts for the Sixers to begin the year, but were later waived at separate times and were replaced by Myles Powell and Charlie Brown Jr. Braxton Key also played for the 76ers on a 10-day contract.
Delaware also had some notable names on their roster. Shaquille Harrison won G-League Defensive Player of the Year. Haywood Highsmith and Key earned two-way contracts with the Miami Heat and Detriot Pistons respectively.
Jared Brownridge is the longest-tenured player who has been with the organization for five seasons. He’s first all-time in franchise history in made 3-pointers (423) and the 12th all-time 3-pointers in the G-League. Other notable players who played at least one game for Delaware this year include former NBA champion Patrick McCaw and Ron Artest III son of former player Metta Saniford-Artest.
In the Showcase Cup, Reed was the Blue Coat’s leading scorer (20.0), rebounder (12.8), and shot blocker (2.0) as the team had a 14-1 record. Harrison led the team in assists (5.9) and steals (3.3) Brown Jr. led the club in 3-point percent with 40.0 percent. The team did win the Showcase Cup with their core of talented players.
For the regular season, Reed was the leading scorer (22.9) and rebounder (13.3). Harrison led the team in assists at 6.0 per game, steals at 2.0 per game, and 3-point percentage shooting at 45.8 percent. Key was the leader in blocks per game at 1.7. Delaware had a regular-season record of 22-10 which was second-best in the G-League.
The Blue Coats made it all to the G-League finals where they fell short to the Rio Grande Vipers. It was a physical series that saw several ejections in Game 3.
In terms of player development, there are several players who saw growth in Delaware this past year. Outside of his 3-point shooting, Springer saw growth across the board. Players like Brown Jr., Key, and Highsmith clearly showed growth or else they wouldn’t have earned two-way contracts. Even Reed who was the G-League MVP last season did show growth on the intellectual side of the game. If he didn’t then Sixers head coach Doc Rivers wouldn’t have turned to him in the playoffs.
Despite not winning the G-League title, it was an overall pretty successful season for the Blue Coats. First-year head coach Coby Karl saw player develop, won the Showcase Cup, and made it all the way to the G-League Finals. This should be encouraging signs for the Philadelphia 76ers front office as they continue to look for potential talent.