Key Rotation Players
Kelly Oubre: A-
Nobody wanted Kelly Oubre this offseason. He was signed late in free agency to a minimum deal, and he has been brilliant so far. Oubre got off to an unbelievable start and has since cooled off since his unfortunate injury from being hit by a car. The fact that he has returned to the court and still been a significant contributor to a team contending for a title is remarkable. Oubre provides much needed athleticism, quick shooting, and wing defense for a team that is desperate for all of those things. He still has his flaws, but he has been an absolute bargain so far and should only continue to be a steal as the season progresses. Some of his problematic tendencies have been more apparent as of late, which is the reason he is not getting an A, but some of that is to be expected. The Sixers still really need Oubre because of his unique blend of skills and he should be a key guy in the playoffs, who should be in the conversation for sixth man of the year (assuming he remains on the bench as the team gets healthy and the trade deadline approaches).
Paul Reed: C-
Paul Reed has been perfectly fine as a backup center, but he may be a guy that was better off with Doc Rivers' stricter coaching style. Reed still does things that drive coaches wild and has the obvious size concerns for a center, but he is still a solid player. He has tried to be a shooter at points this season without much success and he almost refuses to pass the ball once he does a pump-fake down low that the defense never bites on. There is still hope for Reed; however, his time with the team could be coming to an end considering his very tradeable contract and age that could be valuable to other teams. The Sixers do not have many trade assets aside from Reed, so do not get too attached. At times, Mo Bamba has looked like the better option as Embiid’s backup. Ultimately, Embiid will be playing forty minutes a game in the playoffs, so the backup is not too much of a concern.
Patrick Beverley: B-
It’s hard to quantify the leadership and locker room presence that Patrick Beverley brings, but he is overall a nice addition to the team. On the court, he is probably not worthy of a B-, but he appears to be beloved by the team and fans. He has always been the embodiment of Philadelphia at every stop of his career, which is amazing that it took him so long to get here. Ultimately, Beverley is an extraordinarily entertaining veteran on a minimum deal. He attempts hook shots as if he is Magic Johnson, provides some playmaking, and plays defense in a way that the Sixers have not seen since Corey Brewer. He continues to be a nuisance to other teams, even if the offensive output leaves a lot to be desired. The shooting was completely non-existent to start the season, but he has gotten better since. It remains questionable if he will crack the playoff rotation, but as of now, the Sixers do not have depth at guard.
Marcus Morris Sr.: B
The expectations for Marcus Morris Sr. were extremely low. He has been diminishing year after year and can’t quite move the same as he used to. His lack of athleticism has really hurt his usefulness on the defensive end, which used to be his calling card. Luckily, he is still an incredible shooter. Though he still takes contested looks, he knocks shots down and has a quick trigger. For some reason, Nick Nurse keeps trying to use Morris as an undersized center and it has never really worked. This is not the fault of Morris, but it is worthy to note that he cannot succeed doing that. Defenders walk by him, and he is not a rim protector at all. Overall, Morris has been a positive addition to the team, but it is problematic how much Nick Nurse seems to like him. Hopefully, he is not relied upon too heavily in the playoffs (assuming his extremely tradeable expiring contract remains on the team).
Robert Covington: B+
Grading him as a B+ may be high considering his lack of a steady role in the rotation, but Robert Covington has been great when called upon. He is injured now, but it is unclear if he was uninvolved in the rotation previously due to injury, or if Nick Nurse has just not liked what he has seen from Covington so far. Though not the shooter he used to be, Covington is just as disruptive on the defensive end, and has improved as a scorer from inside the arc since his last stint in Philadelphia. In general, Covington looks like a much smarter player than he used to be, he just suffers from diminished athleticism. Hopefully, he will be healthy and contributing during the playoffs because he is still quite useful and is definitely better than Morris (even if Nurse feels otherwise). Covington is also on a very tradable expiring contract, so it is possible he gets dealt at the deadline, given that it would not disrupt the current rotation much to remove him from the team.