After a successful 52 win season advancing to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, the 76ers kept most of their core in place in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Markelle Fultz and more. They also resigned free agents JJ Redick and Amir Johnson who were question marks to return. Despite the relative steadiness, they did bring in a couple new faces to the organization through the draft and free agency. Those players will have a variety of roles and with the opening night less than a day away, there is no better time to break them down than right now.
Wilson Chandler: Chandler was acquired in a trade over the summer from the Denver Nuggets in what truly was a salary dump deal with the Sixers taking on Chandler’s expiring $14 million deal for this season. To some people’s surprise, the 76ers did not waive him, and decided to keep him on the roster. Chandler is a 31 year old veteran who has averaged 13.5 points over his 10 year NBA career, but has been dealing with a hamstring injury he has suffered in the preseason and won’t suit up tonight against the Celtics.
Zhaire Smith: Smith was involved in a draft-day trade where the Sixers sent Mikal Bridges to the Suns while the 76ers acquired the rookie from Texas Tech and a first round pick in return. Smith is extremely bouncy and raw when it comes to talent level, however, keeping with the injury theme, Smith isn’t expected back until December as he is recovering from a fracture in his foot that he suffered in training camp.
Landry Shamet: Shamet was the 26th pick in the 2018 NBA draft with many analysts considering it a reach at that spot. However, the rookie from Wichita State had an extremely encouraging preseason and with injuries to Chandler/Smith and veteran guard Jerryd Bayless, Shamet should have minutes in the second unit from the jump. Expect him to take advantage of the opportunity.
Mike Muscala: In the trade that sent Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Thunder and Justin Anderson to the Hawks, the 76ers got the veteran big man Muscala in return. The five-year power forward from Bucknell will attempt to fill the void that Ersan Ilyasova had this past season as a respectable shooter from the perimeter.
Jonah Bolden: Bolden was selected in the 2nd round in the 2017 draft by the 76ers, and played a season in Israel before making his way over to the NBA. Bolden is an extremely athletic 6 foot 10 inch forward who will be fighting for minutes in the second unit with Amir and Muscala, but has much more upside than the two veterans who hold those minutes currently.
Shake Milton: Milton was selected in the 2nd round of the 2018 NBA Draft, and was signed from the training camp roster to one of the 76ers’ “two-way deals” which requires players to spend a certain number of games with the G-League affiliate of the 76ers, the Delaware Blue Coats. Milton played three years at SMU averaging 13.4 points and shooting 42.7% from three point range.