Georges Niang ready to show more skills for Sixers that he didn’t with Jazz

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The Philadelphia 76ers brought in Georges Niang in order to provide more depth behind Tobias Harris off the bench. The Sixers were in serious need of a guy who can provide some shooting at the big man spot as well as be able to provide versatility.

Niang fashioned a solid 2020-21 season with the Utah Jazz where he averaged 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 42.5% from deep. He played in all 72 games, starting 10 of them, and he averaged 16.0 minutes per game.

With the Jazz, his role was just to take the catch and shoot triples that were created by his teammates. He did a solid job in that role, but now he wants to do more with the Sixers. Coach Doc Rivers is giving him a bit more freedom to show off other parts of his game.

“In Utah, there’s a ton of playmakers,” said Niang on Thursday. “Mike Conley, Joe Ingles so that wasn’t really my role. It was more or less catch and shoot when I had the opportunity to. Here, Doc’s given me the freedom to kind of get the ball off the rebound and push and play make and kick to guys like Furk (Korkmaz) or Shake (Milton) or throw lobs to Andre (Drummond) at the rim so that’s something that I’m really excited to continue to expand here and Doc’s such a good coach that he gives his guys freedom to do things like that and I feel like that’s a skill set that I’ll be able to tap into while I’m here.”

Considering that Ben Simmons is essentially gone at this point, the Sixers will need other players to handle the ball and initiate offense. Niang is a guy who wants to help in that regard and that is why Rivers pursued him so hard in free agency.

“Anybody that’s been through it knows free agency is kind of crazy so to have a head coach call you and express interest and tell you how he’s going to use you and the things that he likes about your game and how they fit into his plan, going forward like I said before that was the swinger in me wanting to be here,” Niang explained. “Just simply because that’s the guy that’s taken me in.”

Rivers is known as a player’s coach and a guy who can relate well to them due to his own playing career. That is why he was able to make Niang feel like Philadelphia is the right place for him and he can help the team right away.

“He had a vision for me and it aligns with how I thought I fit in,” the veteran stated. “He wants to win right away and so do I and I want to be in a good culture and that’s what he’s building here and, obviously, when I got off the phone I was really excited because I felt like before I even had made the decision I had a home here in Philly.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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