It’s almost common tale at this point to say that the Philadelphia 76ers have had an unenviable offseason. With a summer adorned with constant theatrics and mental gymnastics, the franchise will definitely have a tougher way around them in their bid to win a championship in the upcoming campaign.
However, perhaps inadvertently, the front office actually managed to do something positive amid all the drama: creating a deep roster. Probably done in keeping and coping with the growing uncertainty in the team, the 76ers brass has undeniably exhausted all its options in fortifying the second unit, which has hit-and-miss in the previous season.
The Philadelphia 76ers may have just created the deepest bench in the NBA
With James Harden still on the roster technically, Philadelphia will literally have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to viable rotation players off the bench.
De’Anthony Melton, who started and closed a lot of games for the 76ers last season, will presumably reprise his role as a sixth man when the main cogs are healthy. After all, the team’s resident 3-and-D guy is a plug-and-play piece malleable enough to fit into different lineups and configurations.
Meanwhile, Patrick Beverley arrives to Philly and will bring his trademark hard-nosed defense and momentum-shifting intangibles to the second unit. It remains to be seen if he can continue logging significant court time as he has in his entire career, but his presence will definitely be felt as one of, if not the main enforcer off the bench.
Paul Reed, whom Nick Nurse has repeatedly raved over, will have a bigger role this year. While a promotion to the starting unit is not out of the woods later on, he will most likely come off the bench to start the season where he can showcase a more robust skill set.
New signing Mo Bamba can also give Philly more grunt and size while having a modern skill set coveted by many in the league as a center who can deter shots and hit three-pointers. The returning Danny Green and youngsters such as Jaden Springer can also be counted on as niche players or as replacements if injuries arise.
More interestingly, depending on what the starting unit looks like, either Kelly Oubre Jr., a 20-point scorer, or PJ Tucker, the team’s main defensive cog, will round out the bench. That’s an incredible luxury that the 76ers will be able to enjoy as it will give them more than sufficient optionality lineup-wise.
Overall, the Philadelphia 76ers may be popularly penciled down as a team poised to decline, but unbeknownst to many, the team will trot out one of, if not the deepest roster in the league this season.