Georges Niang is the Philadelphia 76ers’ best value bench player

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

When the playoffs roll around, the Philadelphia 76ers‘ rotation will inevitably shrink.

Sure, we may still see the occasional game where Doc Rivers clears out his bench just for the heck of it, but that will likely only happen in games with a point differential of 20-plus entering the final minutes of the fourth. In 2021, Rivers only threw that card on the table once, in Game 2 of the opening round versus the Washington Wizards. When games remain close, and the starters are playing 36-40 minutes, depending on the particular outing, there just aren’t enough minutes available for more than eight, maybe nine players to see action, especially when the roster is loaded with multi-faceted players who can log minutes at multiple positions.

Who, you may ask, will the Sixers ultimately roll with come postseason time, when Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid need a break? Well, it’s safe to say at least one center will get into any given game when Embiid needs 10-ish minutes on the bench. The team will also need to supplement Thybulle from time to time with a wing player who can actually shoot, which would suggest a pretty solid role for Danny Green.

But, at least in my humble opinion, the most important reserve player of all for the Philadelphia 76ers is none other than Georges Niang, who both leads the team in 3 point shooting percentage and has the fastest trigger of any player on the roster. If the “Minivan” can get going, the sky really is the limit down the stretch.

Georges Niang is the best-value player on the Philadelphia 76ers’ bench.

Do you know how much money Georges Niang makes to play basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2021-22? Well, considering he signed a two-year, $6.765 million contract last summer, that number would be a whopping $3.3 million, according to Spotrac.

Daryl Morey, you son of a gun, you did it again.

Once again going back to Spotrac, of the 456 players currently drawing some sort of salary from an NBA team on either a one-way or even 10-day contract, Niang ranks 252nd in terms of financial compensation, sandwiched between rookie Washington Wizard Corey Kispert and second-year Orlando Magicman Chuma Okeke. On the Sixers specifically, Niang’s 2021-22 cap hit sits sixth on the team, with the 28-year-old making less money than Furkan Korkmaz, Danny Green, and the team’s three max contract players but more than DeAndre Jordan, Paul Millsap, and all of the players on rookie-scale contracts.

All in all, not too shabby for a player who ranks sixth in points per game on a legitimate title contender, especially when he also ranks third on the team in 3 point shooting percentage and second in 3 point attempts behind only James Harden.

Speaking of Harden, had he been on the roster over the summer, instead of being erroneously traded to the Brooklyn Nets for a package that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, Morey’s interest in Niang wouldn’t have wavered one bit, as the fifth-year forward is an ideal fit next to “The Beard” just as much as “The Process.” Like Joel Embiid, Harden needs to be surrounded by marksmen of all sizes who can remain engaged when the ball is being driven into the paint, catch a decently well-placed dime, and fling it at the net before cheating defenders have time to get back into coverage.

Considering that 64.5 percent of Niang’s 7.6 shot attempts come from beyond the arc, and 93.8(!) percent of those 3s come without taking a step, we’re left with a player who can perfectly complement the team’s elite ISO scorers; a warm side of curly fries to the team’s Brisket, Bacon, Beef, and Swiss sandwich.

Fun fact: Despite only playing an average of 23.1 minutes, Niang is tied for 34th association-wide in catch-and-shoot 3 point attempts per game, which, in my opinion, is very good indeed.

Would you pay entre dollars for even a large order of curly fries? No, probably not, but when they hit, boy oh boy, can they elevate or even make a meal.

Next. Shake Milton is still here too, you know. dark

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘A bargain at twice the price?’ Maybe it was about the reliability of a used car, the extended playability of a video game, or even the quality and/or quantity of food at a restaurant like, say, Nine Ting in Chinatown. Well, even if Georges Niang made $6.6 million in 2021-22, he’d still be a bargain. Heck, if he made as much as Danny Green, $10 million per, Daryl Morey wouldn’t bat an eye at cutting him a check every other week. Why? Because the Iowa State product is the team’s most reliable 3 point shooter, their most willing catch-and-shoot specialist on the roster, and the most important bench player on the Philadelphia 76ers’ roster both now and in the playoffs. All in all, not too shabby for a player who couldn’t even land the full mid-level exception.