Sixers Add Microwave Scorer Via Hardship Exception

Tyler Johnson Nets

Getty Brooklyn Nets guard Tyler Johnson handles the ball during a game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Like half of the teams in the NBA right now, the Philadelphia 76ers are currently getting snakebit by COVID-19. On Sunday, big man Andre Drummond and combo guard Shake Milton joined forward Georges Niang in health and safety protocols.

Meanwhile, Furkan Korkmaz has been out with a non-Covid illness and Danny Green, Joel Embiid, Jaden Springer and Tyrese Maxey have been banged up as well. As a result, Philly’s latest home game against the New Orleans Pelicans was postponed. However, help is on the way for the ailing club.

On Saturday, the Sixers signed former Seton Hall guard Myles Powell to a two-way contract. And, now, they look to have landed a bona fide super-sub via the hardship exception.

Namely, combo guard Tyler Johnson who, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, has also signed a contract with the team.

Johnson Was Formerly One of the League’s Better Bench Players

Tyler Johnson 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets HighlightsHighlights from Tyler Johnson's 2020-21 Season for the Brooklyn Nets2021-07-24T17:09:58Z

The fact that Johnson was even available for Philly at this juncture feels like something of a surprise. For a considerable portion of his seven years in the league, the 29-year-old has been a legit microwave-type scorer.

For his career, Johnson is averaging a hair under 10 points in 24.8 minutes per contest. He has also added 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.8 steals per game while knocking down 36% of his attempts from behind the arc.

Although his best year came with the Miami Heat — he logged a 13.7-4.0-3.2-1.2 line during the 2016-17 campaign — he most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets over parts of two seasons from 2020 to ’21. During that time, he was lauded for being a strong fit in the Nets’ second unit.

Nevertheless, Brooklyn opted to let him walk this past offseason.

The 6-foot-3 guard brings energy off the bench as well as an ability to act as a secondary ball-handler. However, Johnson’s scoring ability continues to be his calling card. If he gets the minutes, he should be able to fill in nicely for Milton while he remains in protocols.

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Sixers-Celtics Matchup Appears to Be a Go*

*Barring additional positive Covid tests coming in or further injury, the Celtics and the Sixers appear to be on track for their game at TD Garden on Monday night.

As of the 12:30 p.m. ET injury report, Drummond, Milton, Niang (health and safety protocols), Furkan Korkmaz (non-Covid illness), Springer (concussion) and Ben Simmons (personal reasons) were listed as out. Meanwhile, Embiid (ankle soreness), Green (hip soreness) and Maxey (quad contusion) were listed as questionable.

Meanwhile, the Celtics will be without Josh Richardson, Al Horford, Grant Williams, Juancho Hernangomez, Jabari Parker, Sam Hauser and Brodric Thomas (health and safety protocols), while Jayson Tatum (ankle sprain), Romeo Langford (neck soreness) and Dennis Schroder (non-COVID illness) were questionable.

That leaves both teams with the eight-player minimum to participate as of this writing.


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