Position: Small forward
Status for 2018-19: Enters first year of four-year contract extension at $10,464,092
Covington in 2017-18
Ah, the curious case of Robert Covington.
There's typically that one player on every team that fans love to hate. For the Sixers, that guy is clearly the ever-streaky Covington.
When he's good, the production is very good. Like when Covington came into 2017-18 playing lockdown defense while he averaged 14.4 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting from the field and 41.6 percent from three-point range over the first two months of the regular season.
That's the level of play that helped the swingman secure his big payday from the Sixers in November.
But when it's bad, it's all bad for Covington. Look no further than the postseason when he was limited to 8.1 points a night on 32.5 percent field goal shooting and 31.3 percent from long range. That lack of confidence also showed in his defense as Covington was routinely beat by his man on that end, particularly against the Celtics.
Eventually, the fifth-year forward was relegated to the bench in place of T.J. McConnell.
With news of the Sixers and Covington working toward an extension, he made a strong impression right before the Nov. 15 deadline.
Covington turned in a season-high 31 points in a Nov. 13 win over the LA Clippers. He shot 9 of 12 from the field (5 of 8 from three) to go along with six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Perhaps most impressive was that Covington managed to consistently get to the free throw line where he shot a perfect 8 for 8 in the game.
Looking ahead to 2018-19
As far as Sixers regulars currently under contract go, Covington's role is probably the most up in the air. Sure, he'll be back after inking that new four-year, $62 million extension. But if the Sixers have their way this summer, Covington will be backing up one of the NBA's superstar wings such as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard or Paul George.
Either way, Covington has to work on being more consistent. Plus, he acknowledged during his end-of-season press conference that he must improve his virtually nonexistent ball-handling skills and ability to finish at the rim.
Those flaws were easier for Sixers fans to swallow for a player still under his rookie contract that was paying roughly $1 million a season. That won't be the case now that Covington's annual salary has skyrocketed.
"Not really. It was more so just about what I've been through and everything in that transition. My expectations didn't change. I still had to go out and fight the same way I've been fighting. That intensity didn't change about me. … I was taken care of and blessed with the opportunity to be with this organization a few more years and it was significantly a lot more than what I had."
- Covington on whether he felt more pressure after signing extension