Sixers: Projecting the 2022-23 starting five and bench unit

James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Sixers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Sixers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Sixers resident sharpshooter: Georges Niang

With Tucker in the rotation, Georges Niang will probably see his opportunities dwindle. While there’s an argument to be made for another wing like Furkan Korkmaz or Shake Milton in this spot, Niang is probably the Sixers’ best bet as the ninth man who will inevitably be phased out of the rotation come playoff time.

For all his issues staying on the court last postseason, Niang was a genuinely impressive regular season player for the Sixers. He is the most prolific spot-up shooter left on the roster and he carries himself with the kind of spunk and confidence Philadelphia always needs more of.

Defense is the big question mark. With Tucker and House in the mix, Niang’s lack of perimeter speed and switchability could make it challenging to give him extended minutes. That said, the Sixers don’t really have a long list of great defenders behind Niang, and he’s just too good offensively in a regular season setting. Embiid and Harden both need quick triggers on the perimeter, and Niang is the Sixers’ quickest trigger.

This is by far the most impressive depth of the Joel Embiid era. For the Sixers, having the luxury of Niang for 10-15 minutes each night — rather than relying on him for 20+ minutes and to close most games — is going to be immediately noticeable. For the first time in his soon to be three-year tenure as head coach, Doc Rivers will be able to go 10-deep without compromising the integrity of his rotation.