Philadelphia 76ers: Malachi Richardson is no Corey Brewer

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

While Malachi Richardson could pay dividends to for the Philadelphia 76ers moving forward, he is certainly no Corey Brewer.

Earlier today, I wrote a piece highlighting why the Philadelphia 76ers‘ decision to swap cap space out for Malachi Richardson and a second-round pick could pay dividends, especially if the Trenton native can finally live up to his draft pedigree (read it here).

Richardson is a big guard who played well enough to be selected as a first-round pick after a single season at Syracuse, but has failed to really catch on in either Sacramento or Toronto.

While he could conceivably develop into a solid rotational piece, the 76ers will only have 28 games to see if that can happen, as Richardson’s current contract is set to expire upon season’s end.

More from Philadelphia 76ers

Full disclosure, I was a big fan of Richardson coming out of college and had initially hoped that the 76ers would select him and Malik Beasley in the 2016  NBA Draft, but it’s hard to imagine him stepping into his third team in two years  and suddenly develop into a serviceable eight or ninth man coming off of Brett Brown‘s bench.

However, even the most optimistic fan can’t expect Richardson to do half of what Corey Brewer accomplished over his 20 game tenure with the 76ers.

You see, Brewer is a classic case of a fringe player that captures the hearts of fans in the 215. Brewer is a tough, all-effort guy always looking to play some d, set a screen, or intercept an errant pass for an easy bucket.

And best of all; Brewer didn’t care how many minutes he got from game to game.

Whether earning a start in relief of Jimmy Butler or recording a DNP, Brewer always kept his energy up and maintained an ‘I’m just happy to be here’ demeanor that you couldn’t help but appreciate.

In only seven games of action, Brewer scored 53 points, stole 12 balls, and knocked down 4-14 3-pointers in 140 minutes of action. Now these numbers aren’t amazing, but they are better than Richardson’s numbers in three times as many games, as the 23-year-old guard has only scored 30 points in 103 minutes of action. Now granted, he did knock down 8-25 3s for a 32 percent clip, but that’s hardly a stat to write home about, even if it’s an upgrade over Brewer’s 28 shooting percent.

Sure, neither player projects as a serious offensive weapon moving forward on the Sixers squad, especially when you consider that fellow additions Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, and Boban Marjanovic average 24.9 shots a game, but Brewer provides so much more versatility on the defensive end of the court that it’s almost insane to imagine a team in ‘win now’-mode passing on his production for the price of a second round pick.

But hey, there is an upside to the whole situation.

As expressed by Kyle Neuback of PhillyVoice, the team appears willing to give Richardson a shot to make the team but could be easily swayed to waive the 23-year-old guard if a better option becomes available via trade or a buyout (Wayne Ellington). Conceivably, that could include re-signing Brewer if he remains available over the forthcoming weeks.

Malachi Richardson could be more than just filler. dark. Next

Now I personally hope that doesn’t happen and Richardson can finally develop into a solid bench scorer freed from the logjam that is the Raptors’ second unit, but if he does falter, it’s reassuring to know that Brewer could conceivably make his triumphant return to the City of Brotherly Love and give the team a versatile 3-and-D bench piece to supplement the Philadelphia 76ers’ recent influx of frontcourt talent.