Newest 76ers addition could provide a pleasant late-season twist

The Philadelphia 76ers could be in for a pleasant late-season surprise following their newest addition to the roster.

76ers, Nick Nurse
76ers, Nick Nurse / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are on their way to the final 14 games of the season, and while their odds of making the playoffs seem sterling at the moment, the team cannot afford to relax just yet as the race in the Eastern Conference continues to be a tight one.

To bolster their bid, the 76ers made a slew of moves in the past few days. After signing erstwhile embattled center Kai Jones to a 10-day contract, the team also snagged former first-round pick DJ Wilson to the same deal, giving them more ammo in the frontcourt on the interim.

DJ Wilson has the potential to be an impactful late-season signing for the 76ers

Wilson, the former 17th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has been a journeyman for most of his career, only getting considerable rep time in the big league in the 2018-19 season with the Milwaukee Bucks. Since then, he’s bounced around the league, not even making an NBA roster last season and this one before the 76ers took a flier on him.

A 6’10 stretch big, Wilson has tallied 21 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on 58 percent shooting overall, including an impressive 41.6 percent clip on three-pointers for the Osceola Magic.

Joel Embiid may be closing in on a return for the 76ers, but the team still needs more big bodies to handle his absence. They’ll do it collectively, but Wilson has the potential to be an impactful, late-season addition due to his skillset and the offensive variety he can provide for Nick Nurse.

Robert Covington’s absence and inconsistent showings from the team’s forwards has Philly needing more on that front, especially offensively. Wilson, who has had experience playing all frontcoourt positions for Mike Budenholzer in his Milwaukee days, offers positional versatility on both ends — a far cry from the one-dimensional offerings of Paul Reed, Mo Bamba, and even Kai Jones in that regard.

While this may ultimately just be a swing, fill-in signing, the 76ers have to like what they can extract out of Wilson right from the get-go. It also helps that he once played under Nurse in his brief stint in Toronto.

Late-campaign signings tend to veer toward eventual irrelevance, but given how the team is currently designed, DJ Wilson has a shot to put on a good audition piece for better staying power in the 76ers roster heading into the playoffs.

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