Final Regular-Season Grades for Every Philadelphia 76ers Player
Finishing with such a rough record is largely considered a success among Sixers fans—even to owner Josh Harris. The next step is to evaluate the talent currently on the roster and look at who can contribute moving forward. Philadelphia's potential success—with the 2014 draft full of top prospects—is as enticing as ever. However, the most important thing is to understand what and who the team already has.
The Sixers might have had one of their bumpiest seasons in franchise history, but there were still a couple of smooth spots. Here's a look at the final regular-season grades for each member of Philadelphia's squad.
Casper Ware: C
Casper Ware is far from a household name. The former Long Beach State product left as the school's all-time assists leader and averaged 17.4 points per game in his senior year. He was in the fortunate position to get signed to two 10-day contracts that ran through the end of the season which allowed him to finish the year out with the Sixers.
He was only able to play in nine games, but proved himself as best as he could. The NBA is beginning to see an influx of undersized point guards seeing a good amount of playing time. Ware fits the mold of Patrick Beverley in the sense that he can score, but his primary goal is to be a pest on defense when the time comes. Ware did well in that sense by averaging nearly one steal per game at 0.9.
The sample size surrounding him is relatively small, but it would be fun to see him get another shot next year. Ware brings a lot of energy off the bench and plays his heart out.
Elliot Williams: C
Elliot Williams would have a completely different grade if he had started his season out the same way he ended it.
Williams scored in double-digits just six times in his first 55 games with the Sixers. Some light bulb must have clicked on because he ended the year scoring double-digits in 10 of his last 12 games. The disparity between the two time periods is crazy, but it was nice to see him begin to find his place.
He didn't play too well all season, but it's important to remember that this was his first season back after rupturing his Achilles and missing all of last year. Some of his explosion started to return as the number of games began to wind down, so who knows how he'll look next season. The question is will we find out while he's playing in Philly or somewhere else?
Jarvis Varnado: B
A "B grade" for Jarvis Varnado could sound like it's way too high. He only played in 23 games with the Sixers while averaging 4.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. His numbers don't warrant that kind of grade, right?
Varnado has a unique ability when defending that only great shot-blockers possess. If you're 6'9" or above then you're bound to block some shots. It's just what happens when people are that big. The difference between an average tall guy and a great shot-blocker is when they have the ability to change the opposition's shots. Those kind of numbers never show up in a box score, but can be the difference at the end of a game.
Watch highlights from Varnado's six-block performance against the Detroit Pistons and you will see how he covers all areas of the rim. You'll also see there are times where the only option for the offense is to change their shot or else they'll get blocked.
Philadelphia is Varnado's fourth team in two years, but his performance should land him a roster spot on some NBA team next season, even if it's not with the Sixers.
Hollis Thompson: B-
Hollis Thompson has gone from being an undrafted player on Philadelphia's preseason roster to a guy who played in all but five of the team's games—starting in 41 of them.
Averaging 22.1 minutes per game gave Thompson a lot of times to make things happen on the floor, but he never managed to put up big numbers. What he did do, however, was take advantage of opportunities when they did come to him. A perfect example of this is his 40.1 shooting percent from three-point range, as he connected on 2.2 triples per game.
A quick look at Thompson's shot chart shows that he did what he was supposed to when it came time for him to shoot. On top of that, he has the perfect body to defend shooting guards and small forwards, and he proved he has the length to do just that.
Thompson was lucky to be playing most of his time in a supporting role. New talent will be coming into Philly over the offseason and Thompson seems ready to help off the bench when the time comes.
Byron Mullens: C+
If we're strictly looking at Byron Mullens' performance while he was a member of the Sixers, then it's impossible to give him too low of a grade.
Philadelphia is his fourth team in only five seasons. He's never been able to stick in one spot for more than two seasons because he isn't one of those guys who a team can build around or stick in spots to fill holes. Mullens simply has the talent to play in the NBA, and has been bouncing from team to team since entering the league.
6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and shooting 40 percent from out deep in only 13.7 minutes per game are great numbers. He did what was asked of him and you've got to give Mullens credit for that.
He has a player option for next year so we'll have to see what he chooses to do. Till then, the city of Philadelphia thanks you for your time Mullens.
It's been fun.
Arnett Moultrie: F
Arnett Moultrie did nothing but disappoint over the course of the 2013-14 season.
He wasn't able to play in any games until early February after undergoing surgery on his ankle before the season. Still though, it's not crazy to think that he would still be able to play well once he returned, but that couldn't be further from the case.
Here's a look at how this year compares to his rookie season:
|Year||Games Played||Minutes Per Game||Shooting Percentage||Points Per Game||Rebounds Per Game|
Not only was he unable to even slightly raise his numbers, but they actually fell off in every important area—even with an increase in playing time. It only took Philadelphia 12 games to relegate him to the D-League and he never saw action with the Sixers for the rest of the season.
I wrote an article about how he needed to see more playing time last year and couldn't have been proven more wrong. Hopefully he finds a way of pulling his game together because he won't be around long if he keeps playing like he did this year.
Brandon Davies: C-
There were only six Sixers who began the year on the regular-season roster and were never traded or demoted to the D-League at any point in the season.
Amazingly enough, one of those players happened to be Brandon Davies.
The former Brigham Young University standout worked his way onto the team after failing to get drafted. For one reason or another something just clicked, and he always had a home in Philadelphia throughout the 2013-14 season.
Being an energy guy off the bench might not sound too difficult, but it can be taxing on both a person's body and mind. They have to be willing to throw themselves around the court regardless of whether diving for a certain loose ball might hurt. On top of that, it also has to be very stressful knowing that a couple of bad performances in a row could lead to not playing or possibly being cut.
As hard as it might be, it's an opportunity to play in the NBA and one that Davies took full advantage of.
Henry Sims: B+
Philadelphia was a bad enough team that it was able to be in a position to take a chance on a number of players who struggled to find success with other organizations. When it came time to trade Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, acquiring Henry Sims seemed like it was just another opportunity to give a guy a tryout.
That tryout turned into an absolute steal at the trade deadline, with the Sixers picking up a potential piece for their future.
No, Sims isn't going to be one of Philadelphia's starting five players moving forward, but he has a great chance to provide minutes as the primary backup big man. There's a reason why teams always have some tall guy you've never heard of who plays around eight minutes per game and fills in at power forward and center. It's because finding the right backup can be incredibly difficult when it comes to the taller positions.
Sims turned his 2.2-point and 2.8-rebound averages with the Cavaliers into 11.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game once he joined the Sixers. Keeping him around should be one of Philadelphia's priorities going into the offseason.
James Anderson: B-
James Anderson came to the Sixers having played in only 116 games in three years. He didn't have the track record, let alone the experience to be a starting shooting guard. Still though, he was brought into Philadelphia to fill in for one of the Sixers' weak spots.
The season is now over and he ended up starting in 62 of the team's games. Anderson was supposed to be the long-ball threat Jodie Meeks provided, and he ended the year shooting a respectable 32.8 percent from three-point range. He was also able to pull in 3.8 rebounds per game, which was a bonus seeing how he's not recognized for his rebounding.
As well as Anderson played this year, it's not likely that he will continue to start if he ends up on the Sixers next year. His game is just better suited to be a role player.
Tony Wroten: B
Tony Wroten proved quite a bit during the 2013-14 season. He showed he can provide points off the bench, he demonstrated he has the ability to defend when he gives the effort and he didn't let lack of experience hinder any of his growth as a player.
The most important thing he did, though, was show that he belongs in the NBA.
There are a lot of basketball players who share a number of similarities with Wroten. He's a 6'6" combo guard who can score with some efficiency and has great athleticism. If the last sentence sounded like what you hear about nearly every player on draft night it's because it is. There are just a lot of people with those intangibles and abilities.
The difference between all of those players is that some can translate those assets successfully to the NBA and some can't.
Wroten not only showed that he's in the right league, but that he's a valuable member of Philadelphia's second unit. Combine those two factors and it appears as though Philly found itself a diamond in the rough.
Michael Carter-Williams: A
There's no need to sugarcoat anything. If Michael Carter-Williams doesn't win the Rookie of the Year award, then there's a serious flaw in how the system surrounding postseason accolades works.
He led rookies in points, assists, rebounds and steals. Yes, four of the major five statistical categories were led by a 6'6" point guard. The crazy thing is that he still finished at No. 10 for blocks per game among rookies.
People can argue about his stats being inflated because of how much he played since he was on a bad team, but it's an incredibly poor argument. Two of his biggest competitors for the award are Victor Oladipo and Trey Burke, but they only played around two less minutes per game than Carter-Williams.
The bottom line is that Carter-Williams handled his business and easily had the best rookie season in the NBA. He has an incredibly bright future with the Sixers and it'll be fun to see what he ends up doing throughout his career.
Thaddeus Young: A
Thaddeus Young did it again folks.
He continues to go under the radar and impact the game in areas that don't appear in a box score. The 2013-14 season was a bit different, though, as he had some of the best statistics of his career. He had career-highs in scoring, assists and steals, while his his three-point percentage increased by almost 20 percent compared to last year.
Young was nearly moved at the trade deadline, meaning he is either going to be a part of the team's future plans, or he'll be trade bait when the draft rolls around.
Regardless of what happens, it's clear that he is still getting better in nearly every facet of basketball. Remember, he'll only be turning 26 years old this summer so he has plenty of great years ahead of him.
Holding on to him might be in the Sixers' best interest.