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Should The Sixers Re-Sign Royal Ivey?

Royal Ivey is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Should the Sixers bring back the back-up point guard?

Is this the most intimidating Royal Ivey has ever been?
Is this the most intimidating Royal Ivey has ever been?

Last offseason, the Sixers impressed everyone by bringing back once Sixer for one-and-a-half years ago and all-around solid player Royal Ivey.

Wait a minute......

Last offseason, the Sixers added Royal Ivey, in pursuit not of a championship run.....but of a, uh, come to think of it, I'm not really sure. Maybe this team really was trying to tank this season! Or someone did a bad job at talent evaluation. It's probably the latter, but just let me dream of the former, ok? Actually, the Sixers ended up 11th in the draft lottery. Don't let me dream of the former, on second thought. That's a dream deferred.

Royal Ivey managed to do the impossible this season, in that he managed to outlast Maalik Wayns (missin u, Sheep), Shelvin Mack, and Jeremy Pargo. Think about how bad you must be at being a back-up point guard to get outlasted by Royal Ivey. Now consider that that was a reality for these three. Weep for the 2012-13 Sixers, and weep for those that had to endure watching them for more than five minutes this season. But most of all, weep for Sheep, Mack, and Pargo. The Ivey Three. Never forget.

Let's talk about what Royal Ivey did in 2012-13, and I use the word "did" in the broadest sense possible. Royal Ivey, as one might have boldly predicted, was not a good player for the Sixers. Royal Ivey managed to play 13.3 minutes per game for the Sixers in 53 games. According to Hoop Data, he did have a true shooting percentage of 56.9%, which can be largely attributable to an improved three point field goal percentage. That said, this is about the best you could say for Ivey. His PER this season was 7.78, an improvement from the 4.66 PER of his last year.* Ivey contributed a career best 1.0 win shares and .066 WS/48, which is second best in his career. Basically what all this amounts to is Royal Ivey had one of the strongest years of his career and was still pretty terrible at basketball.

*This is the part where we laugh and laugh and laugh and cry and puncture our gullets over the fact the Sixers brought in a 30-year old coming off a 4.66 PER season.

While this marginal improvement would be something to build on if Ivey were a young bench player just entering the league, Ivey is a 31-year old journeyman. This past season was likely the zenith of a career that will be remembered for cheese, a 2027 post entitled "Remember This Guy: Royal Ivey" commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Thunder's first Western Conference Championship at Welcome To Loud City, and Doug Collins's inexplicable usage of him in end-game situations.

Without Royal Ivey, the Sixers will create a need at back-up point guard. However, the Sixers should be encouraged to favor Royal Ivey in much the same way I should be encouraged to contract syphilis. There may not be great options available, but there will be better, younger, more upside-y options than a 31-year old coming off a near career best season most people would label bad.

In conclusion, the Sixers should boot Royal Ivey. Boot Royal Ivey to Yenisey Krasnoyarsk of the Eastern European VTB United League where he can play along side Lonny Baxter in front of a maximum 4,000 fans on the western corner of Siberia.

That should make up for this season a bit.

Previous Toots: Dorell Wright, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner

Previous Boots: Nick Young

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