The Philadelphia 76ers made some notable addition to their bench unit this offseason. This was a major point of emphasis for the Sixers as they had the third-fewest bench points per game last season as the second unit added just 27.2 points per game. To address this, Morey added some key pieces to the bench unit in free agency and through a trade. Montrezl Harrell, De’Anthony Melton, PJ Tucker, and Danuel House are all expected to play notable roles in the team’s production this season.
This added depth has drawn attention from the rest of the NBA as well. In the most recent Bleacher Report rankings article, which was written by Greg Swartz, the Sixers were listed as the fourth-deepest roster in the NBA heading into the 2022-23 season.
Sixers Depth Rankings
The article broke the Sixers roster down into three categories- starting-caliber players, rotation-caliber players, and deep bench players. The Sixers had seven players listed in the starting caliber category in Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton, Matisse Thybulle, and P.J. Tucker.
Montrezl Harrell, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House, Paul Reed, and Georges Niang were the six players to make the list of rotation-caliber players. Jaden Springer was the lone Sixers to make the list of deep rotation players. The second-year guard has been given a ton of praise for the strides he has taken forward so far this training camp.
The Clippers, Nets, and Warriors are the only three teams listed above the Sixers in terms of depth. This is a good company to be in and a major sign of progress for a Sixers team that has been criticized for its lack of depth for several years.
Expectations for 2022-23 Season
The addition of these key bench pieces has increased hope for the Sixers’ chances in 2022-23 in a major way. The Sixers currently have the seventh-shortest odds to win the championship and are listed as fourth for the Eastern Conference favorites.
The Sixers have now seemingly all the ingredients of a championship team and now have to attempt to put the pieces together. This is the deepest team in the Joel Embiid era and the hope is that these additional bodies will help in the postseason as well as prevent some wear and tear on the key players during the grueling regular season.
The biggest question marks surrounding the team are if Joel Embiid can stay healthy, how much James Harden has left in the tank, and what type of third-year leap Tyrese Maxey is capable of taking. Morey and the Sixers deserve a ton of credit for addressing the bench issues but the top-end talent may still end up being the make-or-break for the team.
Regardless, it should be looked at as a major step in the right direction regarding how improved the Sixers bench is. Shake Milton and Georges Niang served as the first guy off the bench as recently as last season. To see them remaining on the team but several knocks down on the pecking order are clear evidence of how much the rest of the roster has improved.