Philadelphia 76ers: Is Matisse Thybulle the next Andre Igoudala?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

With dominant defense and an eye for stealing the ball, is Philadelphia 76ers first-round pick Matisse Thybulle the second coming of Andre Iguodala?

Though he barely logged 100 minutes of action over the course of five Summer League games, Matisse Thybulle already looks like a steal for the Philadelphia 76ers.

With as-advertised defensive ferocity, a feathery touch from beyond the arc, and an eye for a lazy ball-handler, Thybulle could not only continue Philly’s success in finding upperclassman contributors in the back half of the first round of the NBA draft, but also win a spot in Brett Brown‘s wing rotation.

But just how good can he be?

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Is Thybulle the next Danny Green? The next Tony Allen?

What if I were to tell you Matisse Thybulle has the potential to be the next Andre Iguodala, and maybe even surpass him on the court?

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, if you dig into the stats, the duo have a whole lot more in common than one might initially think.

Coming out of college, Thybulle weighed in at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, virtually identical to Igoudala’s 6-foot-6, 207 pounds. While neither player was a particularly effective outside shooter over their college careers – with Igoudala shooting 27.4 from 3 and Thybulle shooting 35.8 – the duo made their bones on the defensive end of the court as their respective teams’ top wing defender.

While Igoudala won out on the boards (6.6 vs. 3.1), Thybulle averaged an insane 2.5 steals a game – capped off by the most steals in a single year (126) in 2018-19.

So it’s clear the duo came into the league as relatively similar players, but the situations the two players joined in 2004 and 2019 respectively couldn’t be any more different.

Coming off a 33-49 season, Igoudala immediately slotted in as the 2004-05 Sixers’ starting shooting guard – averaging nine points, 1.7 steals, and 5.7 rebounds in 32.8 minutes of action a night. Thybulle, on the other hand, is firmly destined for a bench role on a legitimate championship contender, with Josh Richardson blocking his route to the starting five for at least the next three seasons.

Now one could argue which situation is better for the development of the 22-year-old rookie, playing for a contender while playing 24-ish minutes of action a night, or pairing up with Allen Iverson as a sink-or-swim starting shooting guard, but with only nine-or-so players earning consistent minutes even in a regular-season rotation, Thybulle should still have plenty of opportunities to showcase his skillset and fight for additional playing time.

The NBA is a meritocracy after all.

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With four full years of college seasoning, the Philadelphia 76ers are not only getting a more complete player than they did in 2004 with Andre Igoudala, but a player with a potentially higher upside due to his plus-athleticism and generational ability to steal the ball. If Matisse Thybulle can continue on the upward trajectory he started in the Summer League, it’s hard not to be excited about his prospects as a pro.