CAMDEN, N.J.–The Philadelphia 76ers welcomed the new additions they received in the James Harden deal with the Los Angeles Clippers and they got to see what a practice with new coach Nick Nurse is about on Wednesday.
The additions the Sixers made are all on expiring contracts, but they all can help Philadelphia on the floor, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris Sr., and Robert Covington all can knock down a 3-pointer and they can play some defense as well.
Those components are what excites Nurse the most as the Sixers now move forward.
“Well, the group as a whole I think they’ve all—three of the four anyway have played considerable minutes in the NBA,” said Nurse. “That’s a good start and three of the four also or have a shooting component to their game, which I think it’s always—I say that a lot, it’s always important when you got somebody like Joel that you have guys that can space and the guys that have had taken shots in the bright lights and made them you know? That’s important.”
The other player the Sixers acquired is KJ Martin who’s heading into his fourth season in the NBA. He hasn’t quite found a consistent 3-point shot yet, but he has a ton of potential and athletic ability that Nurse enjoys.
“I do like KJ, too,” Nurse added.” He’s a young, explosive, athlete, a pretty good player who’s kind of on the rise pretty quickly. I think he’s just just kind of starting to figure out what he can do in games and all that stuff, but the other three, played against them, coached against them. Coached one of them. I coached Marcus Morris in Rio Grande, so I know him a little bit better than the other two.”
All in all, the four players offer versatility as they can play plenty of different roles and positions. That is another aspect that they all bring that Nurse is a fan of. That is what will be helpful on the floor for the Sixers.
“There’s certainly some versatility there,” Nurse continued. “They’re all kind of the same position, which is kind of multiple wing, 2, 3, 4 type guys. So we got some flexibility there and some depth, I think, added some depth.”
Now, there is the question of who will start in the short term. The Sixers also traded away PJ Tucker to the Clippers who started the first three games of the season. Therefore, Nurse will need somebody to step into the starting lineup and that somebody is Kelly Oubre Jr.
“We’ll bump Kelly into there, I think for the short term,” Nurse said. “I think that I certainly love what he brings off the bench as an explosive score. So I don’t know how that’ll end up in the long term, or the midterms, but the short term, it’ll be him tomorrow night (Thursday).”
The new additions will likely not play against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday as they continue to get up to speed.