Philadelphia 76ers: Losing Shaquille Harrison is a minor league bummer

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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In case you haven’t noticed, the NBA is in a bit of a crisis at the moment.

With double-digit players added to the COVID-list in each of the past three days, games have been postponed, rotations have been altered, and teams around the association have been scouring the G-League and free agency for live bodies to sign to 10-day contracts.

Could the Philadelphia 76ers have used an extra body roughly a month ago, when they were trotting out less than 10 players in a move eerily similar to the Seven Sixers from back in January? Most definitely, it would have been nice to see a new player or two on the court for the Sixers, but alas, I digress.

What is a major – or minor – league bummer, however, is watching Shaquille Harrison, a summer standout for the Philadelphia 76ers that the team was able to sneak onto their G-League roster, sign a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets one day after they beat the bricks off Doc Rivers‘ squad down only Georges NiangBen Simmons – and Tyrese Maxey.

The Philadelphia 76ers should try to re-sign Harrison when his 10 days are up.

If the Philadelphia 76ers had an open roster spot coming out of camp, I genuinely believe Shaquille Harrison would be on the team today.

Sure, he’s not a hyper athlete, a polished shooter, or a guard capable of adding to the primary or even secondary playmaking coming off the bench, but he’s big, long, can play/guard positions 1-4 in a pinch, and most importantly of all, puts in effort every time he takes the court.

In games without Tyrese Maxey – like the team’s most recent bout against Harrison’s new team – Harrison could serve as a backup point guard for the 14 minutes Shake Milton was out of the game. Similarly, in contests where the Sixers find themselves in need of a big wing defender, Harrison could surely help to set a hard edge on the perimeter, as the 28-year-old stands 6-foot-7, 190 pounds with long arms and a knack for picking off passes.

Heck, I’m such a fan of Harrison that I could see some team – maybe Brooklyn, if he sticks around long enough – tasking him with putting on, say 20-30 pounds and giving him a try at super-small-ball center, as he’s a much better defender than Georges Niang with the added boost of being a college point guard.

Remember how the NBA was obsessed with finding point forwards a few years back? Harrison played 36 percent of his snaps at small forward last season and could perfectly fill that role on a team with a ton of shooting but a lack of size.

Hmmm… now who does that sound like? Eh, why worry about it now?

Next. Joel Embiid has been starved of quality playmaking. dark

If the Philadelphia 76ers were to trade Ben Simmons in a deal where more players leave than come back, Shaquille Harrison felt like the G-League player in waiting to either take a two-way spot if Grant Riller and/or Aaron Henry was elevated or to take on a full-on roster spot himself. Could that still happen? Yes, but only if the Brooklyn Nets opt not to sign him to a full-on contract, which they just might, considering his obvious fit on defense. Remember how Brooklyn has been linked to Ben Simmons in a Kyrie Irving trade all season long? How much would it stink to see the team land a player with a Ben-lite game and get Irving back for road games? Yeah, not ideal.