With Tony Wroten's ACL injury and a subsequent lack of ball handlers, the Sixers are looking for a little help at the point guard position. Despite re-signing Larry Drew II to another ten-day contract on Monday, Philadelphia has shown interest in signing Gary Talton of the D-League.
From Shams Charania of RealGM:
The Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers are exploring the call-up candidacy of Gary Talton, the NBA Development League’s assists leader, league sources told RealGM.
Behind 13 games of 10 or more assists, Talton has averaged 13.2 points, 10.2 assists and 40.6 percent three-point shooting this season. He has split the year with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, his current team.
Talton had two 20-assist performances earlier in the season with Rio Grande Valley, where he was surrounded by a bevy of shooters to feed passes. The 6-foot-1 point guard has notched double-doubles in three of his last five games with Fort Wayne.
Talton, 24, finished his collegiate career at UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), averaging 12.3 points, 4.4 assists, four rebounds and 34.4 minutes per game as a senior. He went unselected in the 2013 NBA Draft, followed by free-agent workouts for teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies.
Talton and Drew II have posted pretty similar numbers during their D-League careers, although Drew II happens to be a more accurate shooter from the floor. However, signing Talton seems like a long shot at this point, mostly because of the team's current commitment to Drew II. The former UCLA point guard has provided very little in the form of offense, but has shown he can be an effective passer at the NBA level.
Unless Michael Carter-Williams is out for an extended period of time -- he missed Monday's game against New Orleans with an illness -- signing Talton doesn't do the team a whole lot of good. If they did choose to sign Talton, it would require the team to waive a player. The first name that comes to mind would be Malcolm Thomas, who has played sparingly the past three games. The wildly inefficient JaKarr Sampson would also make sense as a guy to cut, but the team has shown a willingness to see this experiment through.
Once Drew's contract expires, it may make sense to take a look at Talton again. But Charlotte is currently looking for someone to replace Kemba Walker for the time being, who is expected to be out for an extended period, and Milwaukee needs a replacement for reserve guard Kendall Marshall. Talton may not be on the market come next week, but there are plenty of other options out there.
Notably, the Sixers have reached out to Austin Toros guard Bryce Cotton, but Cotton doesn't fill the facilitator role Philadelphia needs. He's averaging just 4.9 assists per game, but is shooting 46.5% from the field and 43.5% from beyond the arc.
Expect Philadelphia to bring in a handful of different point guards before the season ends.