The Sixers’ offseason saw a trio of rotation-ish players depart the team, as they prioritized flexibility. We’ve seen the Sixers start off hot, winning eight of their first 11 games.
But how are the guys who left the team doing?
Let’s take a look at how the now-former Sixers are fairing with their new teams.
Shake Milton: 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists on 40/28.6/73.3 splits
The Timberwolves and Shake Milton agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with a team option in the second year. Thus far the Timberwolves as a whole have been one of the NBA’s better stores, amassing an impressive 8-3 record with wins over Celtics, Nuggets and Warriors.
Unfortunately, Milton hasn’t been much of a factor through their first 11 games, averaging 15 minutes per contest which would be his lowest since his rookie year. He’s struggled shooting the ball overall, shooting 40% from the field and 28.6% from three while averaging a little over five points per game.
As we all know Milton thrives with opportunity and it’s likely he’ll pick things back up whenever the opportunity presents itself. As for now, he’ll take a backseat to Minnesota’s core of Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl Anthony-Towns and Rudy Gobert.
Jalen McDaniels: 1.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists on 18.5/13.3/- splits
The Toronto Raptors and Jalen McDaniels agreed to a two-way, $9.2 million contract. The Raptors, unsurprisingly, have had their ups and downs — currently treading water in the middle of the Eastern Conference. McDaniels, however, hasn’t really done anything.
In fact, at the time of this writing he’s only made five shots in nine games. McDaniels has barely seen any playing time, with all of his stats hovering around one.
In all fairness to McDaniels, Toronto is loaded with 6-foot-9 lengthy guys, and they simply don’t have much playmaking to go around. Barring an injury to Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes or OG Anunoby, it’s hard to see him breaking the rotation much if at all this season. The opportunities just simply aren’t there.
Georges Niang: 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.9 assist on 35.1/28.6/100 splits
Georges Niang cashed out with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a three-year deal worth $26 million. On paper, it was a great fit — reuniting with Donovan Mitchell and providing some crucial perimeter shooting to a core of Darius Garland, Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
Thus far, the Cavs have had a roller coaster of a season — amassing a 5-6 record in 11 games. Some of this is due to injuries — with Garland and Allen missing time — but the Cavs haven’t looked that dangerous yet. Despite the addition of Max Strus, another skilled shooter, alongside Niang, the team appears to have improved on paper; however, it has yet to translate much in the win-loss column.
Much like the Cavs, Niang has largely underwhelmed shooting below average across the field. However, we all know he’s a capable shooter and his percentages should even out with some additional time. The Cavs will continue to rely on him, and the opportunity won’t be going anyway any time soon as he’s averaging the second-most minutes per game of his career.
The Sixers undeniably feel the absence of certain elements from the aforementioned players, particularly Shake Milton’s shotmaking and Niang’s floor spacing. Yet, through 11 games, it’s likely that the Sixers haven’t given a second thought or regret on these players walking in free agency. It’s still early, though, and there remains a possibility that some of these players could turn things around in the near future.