Sixers 2016-17 Player Evaluation: Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson

Position: Small forward

Philadelphia 76ers

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Anderson in 2016-17
Anderson was the main return from the unpopular Nerlens Noel trade. The Sixers traded Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for a heavily protected first-round pick (which predictably did not convey) and the swingman Anderson.

Anderson struggled to crack the Mavs' rotation behind veterans like Chandler Parson and Wesley Matthews and their never-ending supply of point guards who also played off the ball. Anderson showed signs of being the player that was drafted 21st overall in 2015 out of Virginia while getting more run with the Sixers. In his 24-game stint with the team, Anderson averaged 8.5 points and four rebounds in 21.6 minutes a game. He also showed off a toughness and physical nature on the defensive end as well.

Signature game
Anderson saved his best for last. In the Sixers' one-point loss to the Knicks in the final game of the season, Anderson scored a career-high 26 points. He shot 9 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from three. He also added three assists and three steals.

Looking ahead to 2017-18
The Sixers have an interesting situation on the wing. Robert Covington is clearly the best wing player on the roster, but he'll get pushed by Anderson and 2016 first-round pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. This year's draft also has a few intriguing wing prospects.

If Anderson can shoot the way he did his final season at Virginia (45 percent from three), he'd be a perfect fit for the Sixers. He's shown he can be a tough defender on opposing wings. Covington and Anderson could be a nice tandem for the Sixers at small forward.

On Anderson
"When we look at players and we talk about, 'Do they fit how we want to play?' We talk about, first and always, defense. 'Do we feel like that guy can guard?' And I feel like he can. I think that there was a toughness in him, a physicality with his body and his mind that equal the type of spirit that we want from our young players in relation to willing, wanting to play defense first."

-- Sixers head coach Brett Brown

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