Sixers 2015-16 Player Evaluation: Isaiah Canaan

Over the next couple of weeks we will evaluate the Sixers' roster following the 10-72 season.

Next up is Isaiah Canaan.

Position: Guard

Status: Restricted free agent

Signature game
It's sort of tough to come up with a signature game for someone who played on a team that nearly tied the NBA record for most losses in a season. If you're looking for a good game in a victory, you have only 10 choices. One of those wins came against the Suns in Phoenix on the day after Christmas. Canaan played pretty well. He scored 22 points that evening. More importantly, he was efficient, hitting 50 percent from the field (on 12 shots) and 50 percent from three (on eight shots). He also made all six of his free throws. Canaan has nights when he doesn't do much more than score, but against the Suns he added four rebounds, three assists and a steal.

Canaan in 2015-16
It was a weird year for Canaan. He played 77 games and started 39, both of which were career bests. But on a team that was desperately in need of consistent play at the point guard position, Canaan was unable to distinguish himself and win the starting job. The restructured Sixers front office thought so much of Canaan that, shortly after Jerry Colangelo was hired, it traded two second-round picks for NBA journeyman Ish Smith, a guy they previously let go in the offseason. Beyond scoring, Canaan didn't make much of a dent, averaging just 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.7 steals. Accordingly, his player efficiency rating of 11.1 was well below the league average.

He's a volume shooter, or at least that's the role he adopted for the Sixers, who were usually in dire need of someone to score the ball. The problem is that Canaan is a streaky scorer, and when he isn't shooting well he doesn't contribute much. Canaan shot 36 percent from the floor (on 9.4 attempts per game) and 36.3 percent from deep (on 6.3 attempts per game).

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Canaan was acquired from Houston at the trade deadline last year along with a second-round pick in exchange for K.J. McDaniels. Sam Hinkie knew Canaan when both were with the Rockets and took a flier on him. Now Hinkie is gone. Even if Hinkie still ran the team, it would be hard to imagine Canaan having a real future with the team. The Sixers could have as many as four first-round picks in the upcoming draft. It's possible they'll add Joel Embiid and/or Dario Saric to the roster for next year, and they hope to be players in free agency. They've already taken a long enough look at Canaan. Now the Sixers need roster spots.

On Isaiah Canaan
"When we all sort of step back and say, ‘What does he do?' He shoots. That counts for something when you have a post player like Jahlil Okafor. ... I especially see [Canaan] coming in more as a two." - Brett Brown

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