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Terq Time: What to look for in the Sixers’ two-way contracts

Who might make an impact from the fringes of the Sixers roster?

NBA Salt Lake City Summer League - Memphia Grizzlies v Philadelphia 76ers

Ready or not, another season of 76ers basketball is right around the corner. With that being said, it is once again time for preseason player profiles at Liberty Ballers. We’ll be starting with the two-way guys and players the team has signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, looking forward to how they could impact the team in the 2023-24 season.

Terquavion Smith

Easily the most exciting player of this bunch to talk about, Smith signed a two-way contract with the Sixers after going unselected on draft night. He flashed a ton of shot creation ability over summer league, averaging 15.7 points per game and shooting 37.9 percent from three across the two summer sessions.

He’ll likely spend most, if not all, of the upcoming season in the G League in Delaware where he can develop. He is just 20 years old, and his rawness as a prospect is a big reason he wasn’t taken in the draft. The Sixers probably wouldn’t mind if he put on a few pounds during the season, as his 165-pound frame was a red flag for him.

Still, he’s shown plenty of flashes of being capable of contributing to a team at an NBA level, and the team appears to be high on him as a prospect. If a couple of years of development go the right way, the Sixers could have a real steal on their hands.

David Duke Jr.

One of the latest moves of the offseason, Duke was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract just last week. He was an undrafted free agent who got his break in the league with the Brooklyn Nets during the COVID outbreak during the 2021 season.

In just 45 NBA games, Duke has averaged 4.2 PPG and 2.1 RPG. On a crowded Nets team, his role was to be a defensive stopper on the perimeter, and that will be what to expect from him if he earns an opportunity here.

On an Exhibit 10, Duke has no guarantee of making it on the roster past training camp, especially after the team brought back veteran wing Danny Green days later. But the Sixers’ wing depth leaves a lot to be desired. It’s unlikely Duke sees real minutes for this team, but crazier things have happened.

Azuolas Tubelis

Like Smith, Tubelis signed with the Sixers for the Summer League after going undrafted earlier this summer. Unlike Smith however, Tubelis’s Summer League performance was so quiet it was hard to notice he was even there.

Tubelis was a three-year player in college, averaging 19 points and nine rebounds a game in his junior year at Arizona. Over the Salt Lake City and Vegas summer league sessions, he only appeared in four games. In those four games, he averaged 2.5 points per game on 2 shots in just 11 minutes a game.

Still, the Sixers liked enough of what they saw to sign him to a two-way contract when Summer League concluded. Now while that certainly is a tiny sample size, the decision to sign him after Summer League was puzzling. Tubelis was the least impressive big man on that roster, and the Sixers’ main roster is already comedically overpacked with centers.

Ricky Council IV

Another undrafted rookie, Council was a pretty exciting player to watch over the Summer with his violent dunks and lockdown perimeter defense. He averaged 10 points, four boards, and 0.8 blocks per game over the summer.

As is the case with a lot of Summer League guys, Council is a jump shot away from being an NBA player. He’s more comfortable dribbling in for a long two than hoisting up a three, something no coach wants to see these days.

Defensively, he does look like he can stay in front of just about anyone. Between his active hands and picking guys up at half court, he is a really annoying defender to deal with. It’s just hard to see his offense developing enough to see him become a 3-and-D player at the NBA level. He shot 1 of 17 from deep in Summer League, and those 17 attempts all looked rather reluctant.

Javonte Smart

The only real surprise on here, Smart played his way into a contract over the Summer. Like Duke, Smart got a cup of coffee in the league in the 2021 season and has bounced around a couple of teams since.

He averaged 12 points, four rebounds, and five assists in Summer League. His game has a bit of Shake Milton to it, where his length makes up for a lack of touch on the offensive end. At 6-foot-4 though, he is a bit smaller than Milton and his jumper looks even wonkier.

While his chances of making a real impact this year are a long shot, he’s one of the more NBA-ready players who will be in Delaware this year, available should something like another COVID outbreak happen.

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