The Philadelphia 76ers revamped the depth of their rotation this NBA offseason bringing in numerous new players. P.J. Tucker was their biggest free agent signing, snagging him away from the Miami Heat. He wasn’t the only player that Daryl Morey and James Harden have a history with to join the team, as they also signed Danuel House Jr. and Montrezl Harrell. To bolster the backcourt, De’Anthony Melton was acquired in a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies.
The 76ers are now multiple players deep at every position. Head coach Doc Rivers has a lot of flexibility when it comes to making lineup combinations as there are players that can fill numerous roles depending on the matchups.
These were necessary upgrades for a 76ers team that was bounced out of the playoffs in the second round again. They have stars in Joel Embiid and Harden to carry the load with Tyrese Maxey emerging as a third. Tobias Harris is as good as it gets as a fourth option and now they have the depth to match.
One player who could be lost in the shuffle from last season’s team is Matisse Thybulle. Entering his fourth season in the NBA after being selected No. 20 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, Thybulle has earned a reputation as a versatile defender but has accomplished very little else.
He makes plays on the defensive end of the court, averaging 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in his career, but offers very little elsewhere. As one NBA scout that spoke to NBA Analysis Network put it, this is a make-or-break season for the Washington product.
“Thybulle has a real knack for jumping passing lines and stabbing at the ball, but I just don’t think there’s nearly enough value in those things. He has to show he can contain the ball at a high level and develop some actual strengths on offense. You can’t be a wing that doesn’t make decisions with the ball well, can’t shoot, and can’t score. That’s not going to work.”
Standing 6’5” with a 6’11” wingspan, Thybulle has the potential to be a lockdown defender as the scout mentioned. Developing another part of his game is crucial, however, if he wants to maintain a spot in a team’s rotation.
He struggled mightily in the postseason. A big reason for that is he was out of rhythm, unable to get things going as he was ineligible to play in games held in Toronto because he remains unvaccinated. Thybulle did very little in his 15.2 minutes per game in the playoffs and that is a big reason why Philadelphia went out and made the changes to their roster that they did.
If Thybulle can figure things out heading into the 2022-23 season, it will make the 76ers that much more dangerous of a team. If not, they have pieces to take his minutes in the rotation.
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