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Backup Point Guard Options for the 76ers in Free Agency

The 2019-20 Philadelphia 76ers’ had several flaws. The coaching was subpar, the chemistry looked off at times, and Al Horford completely forgot how to the play the game of basketball. However, while smaller, another issue was the lack of a reliable point guard when Ben Simmons was off the court. Elton Brand inexplicably waived Trey Burke, and Raul Neto failed to step up while Josh Richardson struggled with the ball in his hands. Finding a trade partner for Al Horford may be a monumentally tough challenge. However, finding a reliable backup playmaker should be more manageable, and here are five options. 

5. Michael Carter-Williams (ORL) 

2019-20: 7.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, .427/.293/.832 splits

Wow, would this signing be interesting if it came full circle. After winning Rookie of the Year in 2014 with the 19-win 76ers, Michael Carter-Williams’ career has fallen off. MCW has never been a good shooter but has stuck around the league due to his defensive ability. After looking like he might not get another NBA deal, MCW made the most of a 10-day offer with the Magic in 2018-19 and has been able to establish himself as a solid backup point guard. His inability to shoot from three will frustrate fans, but his playmaking and defense would make him a solid rotational player.  

4. Emmanuel Mudiay (UTA) 

2019-20: 7.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.1 apg .462/.345/.759 splits

Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke have many similarities. Both were massive prospects coming out of the draft but have largely disappointed in the NBA. Both pride themselves on shot-creating and solid range. Mudiay took the starting point guard job from Burke with the Knicks in 2018-19, where he had his best season, putting up 14.8 ppg and 3.9 apg. Mudiay was off to a solid start last season as Mike Conley’s backup but lost his spot in the rotation when the team traded for Jordan Clarkson. Simply put, Mudiay won’t bring this team over the top but is certainly an upgrade over Raul Neto. 

3. Shabazz Napier (WAS)

2019-20: 10.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, .412/.317/.824 splits

The feel-good story and hero from the 2014 NCAA Championship, Shabazz Napier’s game has never translated to the NBA level. However, Napier had the best season of his career last season after getting sent from Minnesota to Washington at the trade deadline. Like Mudiay, Napier won’t do anything to bring this team over the top but is certainly an upgrade over Raul Neto. He’s also an above-average defender with a career DBPM of 0.2. If anything, his game is somewhat reminiscent of T.J. McConnell’s.  

2. Kris Dunn (CHI)

2019-20: 7.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, .444/.259/.741 splits

While Kris Dunn has largely failed to live up to expectations throughout his career, he would certainly be a solid bench piece. Dunn doesn’t bring much to the table offensively but prides himself on the defensive end. He shot an abysmal 25.9% from deep last season. However, as a career 30.6% three-point shooter, he should project to be at least marginally better from deep. Through 51 games, Dunn posted a ridiculous 3.1 DBPM and a defensive rating of 106. It will be tough to pair him with Ben Simmons, but Dunn would be an above-average backup point guard. Not to mention he has a very similar play style to Matisse Thybulle.   

1. D.J. Augustin (ORL)

2019-20: 10.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.6 apg, .399/.348/.890 splits

Heading into his 13th NBA season, D.J. Augustin has been able to stick around the league for a while due to his solid two-way ability. While his shooting numbers were down a bit last season, he’s a career 37.9% three-point shooter and 86.5% for his career from the line. After losing his starting spot to Markelle Fultz last season, Augustin is likely to get a near Mid-Level Exception deal to be a sixth man, in free agency. The Sixers can’t afford to spend big on a backup point guard, and Augustin is easily the best available option. Not to mention, as a veteran, he has plenty of playoff experience, including two trips to the Conference Finals. 

Now it’s on Daryl Morey and Elton Brand to go out and make a move! 


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