When the Sixers drafted Michael Carter-Williams and basically guaranteed he would be the starting point guard this season, team management had a void to fill at the backup guard position. Speculation surrounding the team’s thought process was that management was looking to add a veteran point guard who could come in and backup Carter-Williams while mentoring him as he transitioned to being a starting point guard in the NBA.
As the summer rolled on, the Sixers signed veteran free agent point guard Darius Morris to a one year deal with hopes that he would be the backup. However, it was a late August trade with the Memphis Grizzlies that would net the team their sixth man and backup guard when the team sent a second round pick for former 2012 first round pick Tony Wroten.
No one truly expected Wroten to contribute much for this Sixers team. In his rookie season, Wroten played a limited role for the power house Grizzlies and averaged only 2.6 PPG while appearing in just 35 games.
So far this season, Wroten has been a pleasant surprise for this team and to Sixers fans.
Tony Wroten has been a catalyst for the Sixers early on this season coming off the bench. Head coach Brett Brown has given Wroten the sixth man minutes and the twenty year old has delivered. Wroten has continually come off the bench to provide a much needed energy burst throughout the season thus far.
The key for Wroten has been his improved shooting and quickness on both ends of the court. Despite struggling to score in the preseason, Wroten has averaged 13.7 PPG for the Sixers. He is knocking down open shots on the perimeter and has used his quickness to penetrate the lane to get to the basket for lay ups. Wroten has also shown a knack for finishing through contact, something we had not seen from him during the preseason.
On the defensive end, Tony Wroten has teamed up with MCW to form one of the best perimeter backcourts in the NBA. Wroten enters Wednesday’s game averaging 1.1 steals per game, and has consistently disrupted the passing lanes of opposing teams. His quickness has also played well in the transition game for the Sixers.
Since being inserted into the starting lineup for the injured Carter-Williams, Wroten has been arguably the most productive Sixer along with Evan Turner. The second year man is averaging 18.2 PPG in his last five games including a triple double in his first career start when he scored 18 points, collected 10 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists in a win against the Houston Rockets. Wroten has also done a nice job of running Brett Brown’s offense as he has averaged five assists per game since entering the starting lineup.
There is no doubt that when Michael Carter-Williams recovers from his injury that he will return to the starting lineup, but Wroten will still have the opportunity to be a key contributor for the Sixers off the bench. Brett Brown and company have seen what Wroten is capable of when given ample playing time.
Tony Wroten will return back to his sixth man within the next few days, and that is for the best. Wroten’s energy and production on both ends of the court is irreplaceable as we have seen the last few games due to the lackluster performances of the bench. Look for Wroten to continue to grow as a player and develop more into a scorer for this Sixers’ team as the year goes on.