August 25, 2018, 12:12 am
How’d We Get Here?
After a year full of positives, the Sixers had one of the league’s roughest summers. Even beyond the whole Bryan Colangelo nonsense things with the on-court product weren’t going great. Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, two cheap mid-year acquisitions who made the Sixers a far more dangerous and versatile team, left.
Not to mention the trades of Justin Anderson, Richaun Holmes and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. They were able to add Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala, but it’s a net loss in terms of overall talent.
Philadelphia was chasing big free agents and came up empty, though they were at least able to retain J.J. Redick. Not the best few months if you’re a team trying to crack the elite tier, though the important pieces are all still there.
Arrivals: Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Jonah Bolden, Emeka Okafor
Rookie Arrivals: Zhaire Smith (No. 16), Landry Shamet (No. 26), Shake Milton (No. 54)
Departures: Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova, Justin Anderson, Richaun Holmes, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
Retained: J.J. Redick, T.J. McConnell, Amir Johnson
Depth Chart and Minutes Per Game
PG: Ben Simmons (32.5-34) / T.J. McConnell (20-23) / Jerryd Bayless / Landry Shamet
SG: Markelle Fultz (25-28) / J.J. Redick (27-29) / Zhaire Smith (INJ 0, 9-16) / Furkan Korkmaz
SF: Robert Covington (30-32) / Wilson Chandler (24-27)
PF: Dario Saric (30-33) / Mike Muscala (18-24) / Jonah Bolden (0, 9-16)
C: Joel Embiid (29-31.5) / Amir Johnson (14-18) / Emeka Okafor (0, 6-12)
Point Guard: Ben Simmons is going to dominate the minutes but the fact that he can more or less play the role from the forward spot opens things up for him to play alongside Markelle Fultz, who has allegedly rebuilt his jumper.
Beyond that Fultz will be competing with T.J. McConnell for playing time, and TJM is deserving of around 20 mpg. It’ll be a tight group with Jerryd Bayless and rookie Landry Shamet on the outside looking in.
Shooting Guard: J.J. Redick returns on a fair, short-term deal after putting up a big season a year ago. Zhaire Smith was slated to be his backup but we’re not going to see him for a few months after he sustained a Jones fracture. That’ll open the door for some two-PG lineups in the early going since Shake Milton profiles as the only other (healthy) true shooting guard.
Fultz is the beneficiary, although Robert Covington can slide up to fill minutes if the Sixers go very big up front.
Small Forward: Covington will spend most of his time at small forward, where he’s emerged as one of the league’s better two-way options. Wilson Chandler will do most of the backup work with Furkan Korkmaz serving as emergency depth.
Power Forward: If the Sixers want Markelle Fultz to start then we could see Saric back on the bench, where he was at to begin last season. Saric played well enough to deserve the starting job but there’s just too many players and not enough spots here.
For now we’re expecting him to hold onto the job but if the Sixers really push Fultz (or if he forces their hand) then he’ll probably be the odd man out. There isn’t much depth here, though Chandler figures to see some action at the four spot. Beyond that it’s center types like Mike Muscala and Amir Johnson who make the most sense.
Center: Joel Embiid, finally healthy, will dominate the minutes here. Johnson, Muscala and Jonah Bolden will soak up whatever is left over.
Development-wise, the year will be all about Fultz – making sure he’s right and finding out where he best fits with Philadelphia’s other core pieces. The Sixers are about ready to kick down the door and he could be the missing piece.
They’re are still pretty top-heavy but it’s one of the league’s most enviable situations. They have their eyes on a Finals appearance and would like to stake their claim to the East while everyone is talking about Boston. While the rest of the conference is a mess, the Celtics, Sixers, Raptors and maybe even the Pacers are looking really, really good. Another third place finish would be an accomplishment even if it looks like Philly is running the treadmill.
Total Value: 15/27 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 31/48 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 81
2017-18 Review: Simmons took home the Rookie of the Year award after slicing and dicing defenses with his vision and strength all season long. Even with the obvious weak spots in his game, Simmons just has so many physical advantages over his positional peers that he’ll always be a matchup nightmare.
This Year: We’d expect him to put some time in working on his shot. The free throws are an obvious problem and the fact that he’s a complete zero from behind the arc will really put some strain on the Sixers against elite defensive outfits. Beyond that, there’s a ton to like about where his game is already.
Injury History: After missing his whole rookie season because of a Jones fracture, Simmons only missed one game all year because of a sore elbow. For the record, he initially fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and later underwent a procedure to inject bone marrow into the area. It’s enough to keep him a low-level risk but last season’s full slate is a great sign.
Outlook: Simmons can’t hit threes and is a poor free throw shooter but he’s going to be off the board in the early rounds. He’ll limit flexibility somewhat given that you’ll either need to load up on 3-point gunners or punt free throws if you want to compete in those categories, though owners who get his combo of points, rebounds, assists and defensive stats on a strong mark from the field will probably live with it.
He’s not going to come cheap but he’s certainly an early round guy, with upside to crack the top half of that designation but depending how much you pay the profit might not outweigh some of the risks.
Total Value: 73/68 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 76/70 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 70
2017-18 Review: Redick was very open about how much he enjoyed his year in Philly, and fantasy owners probably feel the same way. The sharpshooter set career-highs in points, 3-pointers and rebounds while increasing his field goal percentage, free throw percentage and assists. The elite output from deep has always carried Redick’s fantasy value but the boosts across the board allowed him to easily outperform his ADP.
This Year: The Sixers couldn’t land a max-level free agent and were happy to keep Redick in the fold with their vacant cap space. He’ll play the same role he did last season, flying off screens and stretching the floor in 30-plus minutes. Some real growth from Markelle Fultz could chip away at his minutes a little bit but the Sixers don’t have a ton of shooting guards around so Redick and his skillset are going to be vital parts of the team’s success either way.
Injury History: There was only one substantial injury this season, a bone edema and small cortical crack in the fibular head of his left leg. It was never thought to be serious despite all those big fancy medicine words and he ended up missing seven games. Redick missed two December games with hamstring tightness and also sat out the regular season finale with a back injury, but injuries on that night should be taken with a grain of salt.
Redick has some back problems dating back to college but has been mostly clear in the NBA, with minor hamstring strains, ankle sprains and a bruised heel in the 2016 playoffs being the only things to really stick out. He’s not a major injury risk but we wouldn’t count on a full season as he enters his age-34 campaign.
Outlook: Not much has changed from last year for Redick. We’d probably hedge against him finishing in the top-75 again but he’s a safe bet to finish in the top-100. Redick seems to be one of those guys who never gets drafted at his true value, so you can let the ADP dictate where you’ll need to pounce.
Total Value: 24/20 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 43/36 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 80
2017-18 Review: Covington stayed right on track last season with only minor fluctuations across his statline from the 2016-17 campaign that finally got everyone to pay attention to his fantasy prowess.
It was looking like he might’ve turned the corner after a hot shooting start but he reverted to the usual ups and downs (while playing through a finger injury, it should be noted), though in the end he was able to post a career-high .413 mark from the field. RoCo also stayed on the court for more than 70 games for the first time ever, which led to a big jump in total value.
This Year: Covington got the contract he very much deserved and will maintain his big-minute role as Philly’s best wing defender and one of their main floor-spacers. He’s a long-term piece now and the most important of Philly’s non-stars.
Injury History: Health-wise it was easily the best year of Covington’s career as he missed only two December games with a back contusion. He underwent offseason surgery to repair the extensor tendon in his left middle finger after suffering the injury back on December 28, but he’ll be ready for camp.
It was a nice change of pace as Covington had previously dealt with knee problems (including arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus), a left knee sprain and a nasty concussion. The knee things make him a moderate risk considering his workload but Covington is at least trending in the right direction.
Outlook: The profit margin continues to dwindle but there’s nothing keeping Covington from posting easy early-middle round seasons. Look for him somewhere in round five or six.
Total Value: 52/58 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 72/81 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 78
2017-18 Review: While Saric is a wonderfully talented player, his promotion back into the starting lineup might’ve saved his season. That’s a bit dramatic, but Saric spent the first five games coming off the bench with Jerryd Bayless starting and Ben Simmons at power forward (four of which featured Markelle Fultz active) and averaged 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.4 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers in just 21.4 mpg.
Compared to his averages in 29.6 mpg on the whole season – 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers – it’s easy to see how Saric’s production is tied to usage and workload. Our big worry with The Homie was playing time and he managed to skirt an unfortunate campaign.
This Year: Saric, to his credit, deserves to be the team’s starting power forward and probably would’ve worked his way towards 25 mpg even if Fultz and Bayless were healthy. Bayless won’t be posing a threat anymore but if there is ever a change to the starting five Saric is the most expendable of the group.
It’s strange to say that about a Rookie of the Year finalist and rock solid 23-year-old, but here we are. That said it’s been two years of impressive play and it’d be hard to limit his opportunity even if the organization wants to pump Fultz’s tires.
Injury History: Saric missed one game with an eye injury and three with elbow cellulitis last season. He dealt with a sore heel and bruised shin but played in 81 games as a rookie. He’s not an injury risk.
Outlook: The big concern here will be minutes. Saric did well to improve his percentages last season but if he’s going to plateau at under 30 mpg it’s tough to call for any improvement in his totals, especially since his usage last season was well below that of his rookie season. We’d hold off until the late-middle rounds here.
Total Value: 30/45 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 17/31 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 63
2017-18 Review: The Sixers raised some eyebrows after handing Embiid a max contract after just 31 games, but The Process tore it up in his first “full season” and will be a superstar in the league for years to come. Obviously it was just great to see Embiid healthy and involved for the whole season, as his availability more than made up for some changes in his stats.
For one, Embiid averaged “just” 1.9 blocks in 30.3 mpg after swatting 2.5 in 25.4 in his first year. He also saw his 3-point percentage fall from .367 to .308 and his steals fall from 0.9 to 0.6 per game.
On the other side, his rebounds rocketed up from 7.8 to 11.0, his turnovers fell from 3.8 to 3.7 and his field goal efficiency increased from .438 to .466 on added volume. The defensive numbers are a little concerning but it certainly wasn’t enough for Embiid to fall out of early-round value.
This Year: Embiid should see more minutes headed his way as long as he can prove himself relatively healthy, and he’s going to be an absolute terror for the rest of the league. He’ll need to avoid falling into the 3-point trap that other big men have fallen into but there should be enough spacing around him that he won’t be forcing up too many triples outside the flow of things.
Injury History: Embiid’s big red flags are the stress fracture in his back from the college days as well as the right foot problems – a broken navicular bone, surgery and a subsequent re-injury. All of that kept him sidelined for two full seasons.
In 2016-17 he dealt with an ankle injury, right elbow inflammation and some knee soreness before he went down with a season-ending left knee injury in January. A hyperextension caused a bone bruise and also exacerbated a partial tear of the meniscus, which was fixed with offseason surgery.
Last season he missed the final eight games due to facial fractures and also hit the sidelines with minor instances of a sore back and sore knee. The Sixers should continue to budget some rest days into his schedule for the sake of his long-term health and he’ll need to be treated as one of the riskier players around.
Outlook: Embiid is going to put up monstrous numbers as long as he stays healthy and is looking like he’ll be off draft boards inside the top-20. We’d like to see him get the steal and block rates back up before really diving in head first at that price but there are few in the league who can offer the same upside as Embiid.
It’s going to be an unavoidable cost and if you need to talk yourself into it further he’s already said that he’s using those Colangelo burner tweets as motivation and hopes to win MVP.
Total Value: 405/414 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 336/370 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 14
2017-18 Review: Fultz’s first year was a total dud. A muscular imbalance in his shoulder resulted in a busted jump shot that he needed to entirely re-work, and depending on who you believe there were all kinds of competing voices between the team and his own camp that were giving him different sets of instructions on how to go about his recovery.
Fultz was able to return to the court at the end of the year after it was just assumed that all of Philly’s non-updates meant he was out for the season and even notched a triple-double, showing his elite talent level. At the end of it all, Fultz averaged 7.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks per game in 18.1 minutes while shooting .405 from the field and .476 from the charity stripe.
This Year: The per-minute numbers there are interesting to say the least, and if Fultz is as healthy as the Sixers are saying he is he could easily be looking at minutes in the mid-20s. He could also start if he really breaks out, though having a player whose skillset looks so similar to Ben Simmons’ might be one of those “good problems” for Philly to work through.
We’d love to see some shooting improvement but the fact that he was a .649 free throw shooter in college means it’ll take some time unless those offseason workouts with Drew Hanlen have completely rebuilt his stroke from the ground up.
Injury History: Fultz had a knee injury at the end of college but right now everything hinges on the health of his shoulder. We have to admit it was the first time we’ve come across a player with a muscle imbalance, so it’s sort of uncharted waters in terms of its long-term effects.
Outlook: Fultz will be interesting to draft, if nothing else. If something clicks and he can eventually shoot then there’s a lot to like. Otherwise, the logjam around him is going to help keep him in check and there are a number of ways this late round selection could go south. But he’s definitely worth burning a last round pick to see what an offseason with 50% less Colangelo can do for him.
Total Value: 143/134 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 167/156 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 74
2017-18 Review: Chandler felt the squeeze with Paul Millsap in the fold, moving out of power forward and into a small forward spot where he’s far less effective. He posted a career-low usage rate and fell off the standard league radar after two straight top-100 seasons.
His playing time increased but he averaged nearly five fewer shots per game, which was just too much to handle even though most of his other numbers were in the same ballpark as 2016-17.
This Year: Chandler was traded to the Sixers to clear up the rotation and make room for Will Barton’s promotion. He’ll provide a solid bench presence at the forward spots but it’s not like the Sixers are aching for production in those areas. He should see fewer minutes but could get more shots in that time, though it won’t be a big jump.
Injury History: The Chand Man has an extensive injury history. This year he missed time with an illness and some lower back soreness but previously he’s been crushed by mid-body injuries and missed the entire season in 2015-16. A lighter workload in Philly should help him out but he’s a safe bet to miss some time.
Outlook: Chandler goes to a team where it’ll be tough to take touches away from a number of young stars, so he’s firmly off the radar unless you’re looking for a guy who might grind out top-175 numbers in a bench role.
Total Value: 216/198 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 267/253 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 74
2017-18 Review: Johnson came over to the Sixers as an old Colangelo favorite from his Toronto days and promptly leapfrogged Richaun Holmes in the rotation. While it wasn’t what fantasy owners wanted to see, Johnson is a solid real-life player who does all the little things well.
He was even awarded the Hustle Award for his contributions, if that does anything for you. In 15.8 mpg Johnson averaged 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 combined defensive stats and his numbers weren’t significantly different in 18 starts.
This Year: Johnson returns, giving the Sixers some reliable center depth. His screening ability will come in handy for Philly’s non-shooting point guards and 3-point gunners alike.
Injury History: Johnson plays through a ton of small stuff, and he’s been good for game totals in the mid-seventies and above over the last five years. His injury history is as lengthy as you’d expect for a 13-year vet but he’s avoided anything too serious. If you had to pinpoint one thing on Johnson it’d be his ankles, but he’s not going to miss extended time.
Outlook: Johnson has the ability to turn in late-round numbers if he gets 24 mpg but if that’s the case then things will have gone very wrong for the Sixers. He’s only an option in very deep formats, but can be viewed as a streaming option when he’s called upon to start.
Total Value: 136/143 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 176/177 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 76
2017-18 Review: McConnell continued to assert his place in the league, capitalizing on Markelle Fultz’s troubles and posting late-round numbers while providing the Sixers with competent production.
His legend grew in the postseason and the rest of the league saw why McConnell has been a Brett Brown favorite since making the roster. In 22.4 mpg he was able to cook up 6.2 points, 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game on .497 from the field.
This Year: While he’s clearly an NBA-caliber point guard, McConnell might struggle to duplicate last season’s numbers if Markelle Fultz stays healthy. He averaged just 15.3 mpg in the first four games of the season and 14.5 over the final 10, the only games where all three of McConnell, Fultz and Simmons were available.
Injury History: McConnell missed five games this season thanks to a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder, with his other absence the result of personal reasons. He sprained his right ankle in 2015-16 and his left one in 2016-17. TJM also sprained his wrist that season but can still be considered relatively safe as far as injury risks go.
Outlook: McConnell will still be a member of Philly’s rotation but he’s going to struggle to keep his head above water in 16-team formats as he gets squeezed for minutes. There’s nice potential here if he can rise to even backup minutes but shouldn’t be expected to land inside the top-200 again without some help.
Total Value: 234/218 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 190/163 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 53
2017-18 Review: Despite being limited to 53 games, Muscala set a number of career-highs: minutes played (20.0), points (7.6), rebounds (4.3), steals (0.6,) and 3-pointers (1.2). Sprinkle in his 0.5 blocks and his .458 mark from the field and it’s easy to see how Moose’s blend of production gave him surprisingly solid per-game value.
His shooting percentage was at .458 – below .500 for the first time in three seasons – but the dip largely comes from doubling his attempts from deep. The fact that he’s a career .378 shooter from range mitigates that concern somewhat and the league seems to be trending in a direction that should only help Muscala going forward.
This Year: Now in Philly, Brett Brown has already said that Muscala will work as the backup center and occasionally play power forward. He’s not as good as Richaun Holmes, who was glued to the bench behind Amir Johnson last season, but perhaps the Sixers find some more use for a younger big that can reliably sink triples.
The Joel Embiid injury risk, if you want to call it that, also opens the door a bit for some extra run but there’s nothing bankable there. Hopefully the team’s preseason games give us a hint as to whether Muscala will be the first or second big man off the pine.
Injury History: Muscala hit the injury report with a left ankle problem in early November and ended up missing 29 straight games, and he also missed one game in January with a sore left ankle. It’s something to keep in mind but it was the first major absence of his career, as his 12 games missed in 2016-17 came as a result of combined left ankle and back issues.
Outlook: Muscala has a really fun stat set but doesn’t seem likely to get enough minutes to put it to good use for most fantasy players. The Sixers do need some spacing so it’s possible that he ends up as the main backup big man, so deep leaguers should at least remember Moose for the later rounds. With his ability to hit threes, block shots and corral rebounds on solid percentages, Muscala can post top-200 value without a huge workload.
Total Value: NA/NA (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: NA/NA (8/9-cat)
Games Played: NA
2017-18 Review: Bolden, formerly a UCLA Bruin, opted to play in Serbia in his draft year and was taken 36th overall back in 2016. He spent last season with Maccabi Tel Aviv where he averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 boards, 1.2 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.8 triples in 21.1 minutes a night.
This Year: The Sixers are looking at a guy who can do things in the Richaun Holmes vein if you squint – run the floor, shoot a little bit, provide an athletic presence – though Bolden is a better passer and the team is hoping he proves to be a more stable defender. The four-year deal is a nice vote of confidence for him even if he figures to be behind Amir Johnson in the rotation for the foreseeable future.
Injury History: Bolden doesn’t have any injuries of note in his past.
Outlook: In a best-case scenario Bolden will get the same run that Richaun Holmes got a year ago. Now dock him for having zero NBA minutes to his name. He’s only a dynasty play this year but if you’re in a 30-teamer you can consider him an option late.
Total Value: 484/478 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 507/497 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 14
2017-18 Review: Korkmaz made his NBA debut last season after being drafted by the Sixers at No. 26 overall in 2016. He only saw more than 10 minutes in three of his games and battled a foot injury sustained in G-League action.
This Year: After a big Summer League (including just the fifth 40-point game in the event’s history) and Philadelphia’s offseason turnover, Korkmaz will have a shot at wing minutes this year. It’s not likely to be much but he could cement himself as the 11th or 12th man in the rotation while Zhaire Smith is out.
Injury History: Korkmaz suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot back in December but was able to return to action in late March. It’s something to look out for going forward but he’s not a serious injury risk for now.
Outlook: Keep Korkmaz in mind for 30-team formats or dynasty leagues, but there’s minimal re-draft appeal here.
Total Value: 315/324 (8/9-cat)
Per Game Value: 274/301 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 39
2017-18 Review: Bayless was a starter early in the season but got injured and quickly fell out of favor. Further injuries limited his chances to produce and Philly’s deadline acquisitions pushed him out of the rotation for good. He played the first four games of February before riding the pine the rest of the way.
This Year: The Sixers have been trying to trade him with no takers so far. The lack of depth at shooting guard gives him the faintest glimmer of hope as a combo guard but we wouldn’t bet on him entering the rotation until injuries strike.
Injury History: Bayless missed six games in November with a bruised left wrist and then seven more in January with left wrist soreness. He continued to deal with it into February but by then the injury and the DNPs run together. Bayless had surgery on the wrist in 2016 so it’s a lingering issue and he’d be a moderate injury risk if he was seeing any minutes.
Outlook: Bayless can be ignored outside of 30-team leagues.
Zhaire Smith (R)
2017-18 Review: Smith didn’t put up huge statistics as a freshman at Texas Tech but was widely regarded as one of the most athletic players in the nation. He was relied on mostly as a finisher and lockdown defender, and there’s still a ways to go in terms of development even though he’s already shown top-level defense in spurts. The Sixers traded for Smith on draft night after he was selected by the Suns.
This Year: Smith isn’t expected to return to the court until the end of December. He won’t be counted on for much this year, and even if he was an active rotation member the Sixers would only look to him for good defense and low-usage work on the other end.
Injury History: A Jones fracture will keep Smith sidelined until around Christmas. He fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Hopefully it doesn’t affect his explosiveness down the line.
Outlook: Smith is going to be an interesting player to track in dynasty leagues but won’t be worth a draft pick in re-draft formats.
Landry Shamet (R)
2017-18 Review: Shamet will need to add some strength to combat his so-so length but was Wichita State’s best scorers. He averaged 14.9 points and 5.2 assists per game, earning All-AAC First Team honors. One of the draft’s best spot-up shooters, he also worked hard to improve his playmaking last season while remaining lethal off the ball. Shamet went .489 from the field, .442 from deep and .852 at the line. It’s no wonder the Sixers were enamored.
This Year: Look for the Sixers to groom Shamet into J.J. Redick’s eventual replacement. A knockdown shooter who can be a menace off the ball is the perfect fit for Philly’s potentially cramped lineups, and he’ll help replace some of the shooting that was lost in free agency.
Injury History: Shamet picked up a right ankle sprain that knocked him out of Summer League but he’s expected to be ready for the regular season. A fractured left foot forced him to redshirt his freshman year and he also fractured his right foot in July of 2017.
Outlook: If he gets minutes in a thin-ish backcourt, Shamet might be able to return 3-point specialist value in deep leagues. It’s not something you’ll need to spend a draft pick though.
Shake Milton (R)
2017-18 Review: Milton finished with All-AAC Second Team honors despite missing most of the season’s second half because of a fractured right hand. He’s a versatile option as a point guard with the length of a wing and exhibited intriguing potential as both a distributor and jump shooter. Milton put up 18.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game and shot .427 from deep over his three seasons at SMU.
This Year: It’ll be interesting to see where the Sixers want Milton to play long-term as the point guard spot is accounted for two times over. If he embraces an off-ball role he could factor in on the wings but it looks like he’d benefit from some G-League work.
Injury History: Beyond the fractured hand, Milton is also dealing with a back stress fracture. It doesn’t sound like he’ll have to redshirt the year or anything like that as he was cleared for some work last week, but he’s definitely riskier than most first-year players.
Outlook: Milton can go undrafted in just about all formats.
Total Value: 353/344 (8/9 cat)
Per-Game Value: 271/249 (8/9 cat)
Games Played: 26
2017-18 Review: If you thought Darius Miller returning to the league after two years away was impressive, boy do we have a guy for you. Okafor made his season debut on February 5, 2018. His last game before that came back on April 15, 2013. In addition to being a great story Okafor wasn’t half bad when he finally made it onto the floor, averaging 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in just 13.6 mpg. He also had four- and five-block games this year and wound up making 19 starts.
This Year: The Pelicans waived Okafor in September, but he landed on his feet quickly and latched on with the Sixers. Unfortunately they’re quite deep in the frontcourt, though the organization is at least familiar with him following his G-League stint with Delaware. He’s no lock to make the final roster.
Injury History: Obviously it’s been a while since Okafor has sustained any basketball injuries but he did have back surgery back in college and needed surgery on a herniated disk in his neck after the 2012-13 season.
Outlook: It’s tough to see Okafor getting more minutes than he played last season in spot duty, and the more likely outcome is that he ends up getting less than 10 mpg. He’s still a great shot-blocker after all these years and would have streaming appeal in case of injuries but that’s about all you’ll find here.