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Rotational Trust Level: Sixers finalize their depth ahead of playoffs

With Jalen McDaniels and Dewayne Dedmon in the fold, we evaluate the trustworthiness of the current rotation.

Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

With the trade deadline passed and most of the major options on the buyout market settled in new homes, Daryl Morey added the finishing touches to this roster for the impending playoff run. Philadelphia added forward Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets as a result of a three-team trade that sent Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers. They also added veteran center Dewayne Dedmon to the squad after he was bought out by the Spurs following a trade with the Heat.

With the 15th roster spot now filled, the Sixers rotation is likely set, but how much trust do you have in the rotation?

De’Anthony Melton

I haven’t featured Melton in this series yet, as he was such a reliable player off the bench that he played his way into the starting lineup. Melton has been everything this team could have asked for, being the best perimeter defender on the team while also shooting 40 percent on three pointers.

As Melton shined in the absence of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey earlier in the season, many fans wished for him to remain in the starting lineup when the stars returned over the struggling P.J. Tucker. Harden and Maxey have been back for two months now, and Melton has remained in the starting lineup, but it wasn’t Tucker he replaced, it was Maxey.

Over a West Coast trip in January, head coach Doc Rivers said he had three different starting lineups he intended to use based on matchups, but has only used the one starting lineup since then. When the offense hit a lull in February, many wanted Maxey back in the starting lineup over Melton, especially after Maxey opened up about his mental struggles coming off the bench.

Both starting lineups have been elite offensively. With Maxey starting, the five scores 120 points per 100 possessions and has a net rating of +16.3, per Cleaning the Glass. The starting lineup with Melton has a more reasonable net rating, at +9.5, albeit in a much larger sample size.


Who should start?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (487 votes)
  • 44%
    De’Anthony Melton
    (386 votes)
873 votes total Vote Now

Jalen McDaniels

The newest Sixer popped in his three games with the new squad thanks to his athleticism. He played 27 minutes in a blowout win over Houston, but expect him to play about 12-15 minutes like he did against the Nets and Cavaliers.

McDaniels is the first lob threat the Sixers have had from the wing position in what feels like the first time in franchise history, and Maxey has made a point to try to take advantage of that, but it’s been on the defensive end that McDaniels’ biggest impact has been felt.

As a Hornet, McDaniels was in the 85th percentile or better in steal percentage, block percentage, and defensive rebounding percentage, per Cleaning the Glass. As a team that has severely struggled at rebounding the ball for the last two seasons, McDaniels’ skillset is a much needed breath of fresh air.


How much trust do you have in Jalen McDaniels?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    A lot
    (401 votes)
  • 58%
    Meh, we’ll see come April
    (652 votes)
  • 5%
    Little to none
    (66 votes)
1119 votes total Vote Now

Paul Reed

After a disastrous showing a couple weeks back from Montrezl Harrell against the Knicks, Paul Reed has been solely backing up Embiid. Between that switch and the addition of McDaniels, the second unit looks like they have found a fountain of youth on the defensive end.

Rivers wasn’t sure if he liked the combination of Reed and McDaniels, but had high praise for it after the team blew out the Houston Rockets last Monday.

Reed will have another veteran to compete with for the backup minutes, as the team signed Dewayne Dedmon last week. Reed deserves a chance to keep his minutes however, given that he still is the best defensive option on the roster and has made significant improvements on the offensive end in the past couple of weeks.


How much trust do you have in Paul Reed?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    A lot
    (533 votes)
  • 43%
    Meh, we’ll see come April
    (516 votes)
  • 11%
    None, get PJ in there
    (133 votes)
1182 votes total Vote Now

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