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Sixers Mailbag Season 2 Vol. 2: Possible Waivers Pick Ups

This week, we take questions on the waiver wire, allowing Nik Stauskas to play this summer, and much more.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

After a week off to get our mind right (or really due to a lack of questions), we're back today with another of edition of the Liberty Ballers mailbag. Let's get things going.

David Van Lanten (via email): Who are you eyeing on other rosters that might get waived and be available to the Sixers?

I'll give you one name that's already on the market: Bryce Cotton. The Sixers may already have a roster's worth of point guards in Pierre Jackson, Scottie Wilbekin, and T.J. McConnell alone, but I think Cotton is better than all of them. He spent four years at Providence, leading the Big East in assists his senior year, and putting on a show against UNC in one of my favorite NCAA tournament performances ever. He played 15 games with the Jazz last year, averaging 5.3 points a game while shooting 42% from the floor in almost 11 minutes. He's undersized, but he can shoot, pass, and even play off ball in certain situations. Philadelphia has also expressed interest in him the past, at one point nearly making him a promise in the 2014 NBA Draft. If the Sixers are searching the waiver wire, he's a guy who would be at the top of my list.

Commenter Carlo69: What's your opinion in regards to the Nik Stauskas injury? Is it possible that a team like us, that emphasizes day in and day out the importance of sports science, didn't recognize the need of him having a bit of rest after coming from a long NBA season and being involved for the whole summertime in FIBA basketball action with his national team?

I think it's unfortunate, but likely won't be a huge deal as we head through the season. Some guys are able to handle the grind of the international summer circuit and then head right to training camp. Maybe Stauskas wasn't one of those guys, but it's not like he had a very grueling summer. He sat out of all of Las Vegas Summer League with an ankle injury, and had nearly a month before FIBA competition began. Frankly, I think playing in two intense international cups was probably a much better learning and playing experience than anything he would seen in the preseason. He looked composed and confident shooting the ball for team Canada, and I expect that style of play to translate to the regular season.

While stress reactions can be a bit concerning (ask Jrue Holiday), I can't blame it on the Sixers training staff for not telling him to sit out this summer. He's been able to use these past few weeks to rest, and indications are he'll likely be ready for the regular season. No real harm, no foul in my book.

@FredFFIV: How is Jerami Grant progressing? Have you seen any signs of steady improvement?

It seemed as though he was pretty confident doing this last year, but I just love watching him create off the dribble from the perimeter. Philadelphia identified early on that he was more of a wing player than a post presence, and maybe that's because he can use his size and length so much better when he's facing up. Grant takes two long strides and he's basically in the restricted area. He's learning to draw and finish through contact too, which is resulting in extra easy points from the line. If he could just improve his three-point shot to keep defenders at bay, he'd truly be hard to guard.

@JoshCollacchi: Who leads the Sixers in minutes played at PG this season?

I'm leaning Marshall, because it seems as though he'll be back well before Tony Wroten. Brett Brown has stated Wroten isn't slated to return until sometime in December, while I've been told Kendall Marshall is targeting a mid-November return. I'm expecting Marshall to have a decently large role in this offense, too. I've covered it in the past, but I just really like Marshall's fit in this offense much more than Tony Wroten. They should work him in slowly, but I anticipate he'll eventually take over the starting role, and make Isaiah Canaan the backup point guard. Wroten's return might result in Canaan playing off ball more than he did last year. They have a lot of experimenting to do. I still like Marshall's odds to lead this team in minutes played at the point (Editor's note: similar predictions coming from the staff on Friday).

@Akiva_R: Who stays - McConnell or Wilbekin?

My heart says Wilbekin, but my brain says McConnell. My guess is as good as yours right now, but I'm leaning towards McConnell. I hate the fact that he can't shoot worth a lick, but he does a lot for them defensively. He's solid on ball, gets involved on the boards, and has a knack for playing out for lose balls. The cliche hustle factor seems like something Brett Brown might really value a little extra. There might be an outside chance they both make the team, but most likely McConnell lands a roster spot.

@soconnor76: What are your thoughts on the Sixers court re-design?

The first game I saw after the re-design, I actually had trouble following the ball because I thought the floor was way too bright. I suppose that just took time to adjust to. Otherwise, I think it's really clean, and I appreciate them not going crazy with any patterns or eccentric floor designs. The tiny Wells Fargo logo is equal parts petty and hysterical. I give the Sixers an 8/10 for this one.

@jyorg: You can upgrade one skill for Wroten this year: passing off dribble penetration or three-point shooting?

Without a doubt I would take the passing. This team can survive with Tony Wroten shooting 26.1% from beyond the arc like he did last year because they have enough shooters on the wing to make it work. They don't have enough quality facilitators at the point guard position as the roster currently stands. If Wroten were to ever improve his passing abilities, then it's much more likely that the Sixers could include him in their longterm plans. He gets in the paint with relative ease whenever he wants, but has tunnel vision for the rim. The offense would flow so much smoother, and his time in Philadelphia could be elongated if Wroten would drive and kick.

Thanks for your questions. As always, you can send me questions on Twitter @JakePavorsky, or email me at We'll be back next Tuesday.

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