(photo by Nikki Boertman)
In desperate need of depth at the shooting guard position, Sam Hinkie executed a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies today that sends Tony Wroten to the 76ers in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2014 and a trade exception. Wroten, a late first round pick for the Grizzlies in the 2012 draft, only appeared in 35 games for the club last season despite a stellar freshman campaign at the University of Washington. He ended up finishing his rookie season with averages of 2.6 ppg, 1.2 apg, and 0.8 rpg. Though this may look unimpressive, he only averaged 7.8 minutes per game as he was buried on the Grizzlies' bench for most of the season.
The Grizzlies assigned Wroten to the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League multiple times throughout the season, where he put up much more impressive numbers. In 10 games with the Bighorns (2 starts), Wroten played 25.4 minutes per night while averaging 15.7 ppg, 3.2 apg, and 2.6 rpg. Despite the decrease in talent level in the D-League, these numbers show that Wroten is capable of playing with the big boys.
This trade makes sense for a few reasons. First, as I said earlier, the team needs more shooting guards. With Jason Richardson likely to miss a significant amount of time this season, and with the growing likelihood that Evan Turner will see extended minutes at small forward, James Anderson has become the team's only full-time shooting guard. Wroten will be able to provide scoring relief off the bench, something the Sixers also need. I'm not saying Wroten will step in and become Sixth Man of the Year, but he will be an able body that Brett Brown can go to throughout a game.
Also, the Sixers are still below the league's minimum-team salary, so they will have to spend money on a few more players if they want to avoid receiving a penalty from the league. Wroten's $1.1 million salary will put the Sixers at about 7 million below the minimum (after they sign MCW and Nerlens Noel). Another reason why I think this is a smart move by the Sixers is because they traded away a second-round pick for a former first-round pick. I believe Wroten is still a first round talent based on his play in college and the NBA D-Leaguue, and if I'm right, the Sixers will have gotten away with a complete steal in this trade.
The Sixers appear to be putting the pieces together for their 2013-2014 campaign, but there is still more work to do. As the news comes out Sixerdelphia will be covering it, so stay tuned!
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