Over the next couple of weeks we will evaluate the Sixers' roster following the 10-72 season.
Next up is Robert Covington.
Position: Small forward
Status: Under contract 2016-17 for $1.015 million
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Covington had a big game against the Knicks in the final week of the season. He scored 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and made 7 of 13 three pointers. It was his seventh double-double of the year.
Covington in 2015-16
Covington dealt with various injuries - including a freak collision with Jerami Grant - and missed 15 games. He averaged almost the same number of shots per game this season as last, but his field goal percentage dipped slightly to 38.5. On a team that didn't have many perimeter shooters, Covington was their best option from deep. He took 7.2 three-pointers per game and made 2.5. Both were tops on the team. He made 35.3 percent from the arc, which was down from 37.4 percent the season prior. His scoring was also down a bit (12.8 points in 2015-16; 13.5 points in 2014-15), but he grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game, which was nearly two more per outing.
He could certainly improve his defense, and it would be nice to see him get to the line more (he averaged 2.6 free-throw attempts per game). Part of the reason why he didn't do the latter is owed to his role - he was primarily deployed as an outside shooter - and part of it was because of his skill set. Covington is much better and more comfortable when he's spotting up outside and his teammates find him. He's less comfortable and effective when he has to dribble and get a shot on his own. But while he has obvious areas to improve, Covington is a rare find in the NBA: a long, 6-9 wing who can shoot from deep and who doesn't cost much.
Relative to his production, Covington's contract is fantastic for the Sixers but not so great for him. He'll make just over a million dollars next season. The year after that, the Sixers have a club option for roughly the same price. That would be an excellent contract for the team even without the cap set to jump significantly in each of the next two years. But with the cap going up, that deal is as close to free as you could possibly get without Covington actually playing pro bono. It's part of why there were rumors of other teams sniffing around Covington at the trade deadline. He's a good asset for the Sixers as they transition to whatever this next phase of the rebuild looks like under Bryan Colangelo. Either they keep Covington - who was languishing in the D-League until Sam Hinkie scooped him up - for cheap and he provides some distance shooting, or they dangle him as a trade piece.
On Robert Covington
"What I've learned is when you don't have him you appreciate what he can do for us. He does more than just make threes. His ability to guard has improved and his ability to guard someone like Jabari (Parker) in small ball has improved." -Brett Brown