Bryan Colangelo promised signings, and he delivered. Jerryd Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez and Gerald Henderson reportedly signed with the Philadelphia 76ers during the opening days of free agency.
Bayless, who last season for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaged 10.4 points and 3.1 assists, while shooting 43.7 percent on 4.4 three-point attempts per game, signed a three-year, $27 million dollar contract.
Bayless fills an immediate need at guard. He’s not the traditional pass-first point guard, but he’s an ideal fit next to play-making forwards Ben Simmons and Dario Saric. According to Synergy, Bayless posted an eFG% of 67 percent on catch and shoot jump shots in the half court last season, which ranked in top 3 percent of all NBA players.
Bayless isn’t a knockdown shooter. He’s been up and down for his career. But the career 36.5 percent three-point shooter has plenty of opportunity to perform in Philadelphia’s backcourt.
Since Bayless can also play off the ball, Philadelphia added a much needed pure point guard in Rodriguez.
Rodriguez signed a one-year, $8 million dollar contract on July 4. The addition came out of nowhere, but the former NBA player has great passing skills, a proven jumper and a lively beard. He hasn’t played in the NBA this decade, but he’s dominated international competition in the meantime.
He can’t defend too well, but he’s a major offensive improvement over any point guard in the Sam Hinkie Era. Rodriguez shot 39.5 percent from three over his Euroleague career, along with 4.3 assists in 19.7 minutes per game. He also passes like this.
Pairing the 30-year-old Spaniard’s passing ability with Simmons’s fast-break vision, and the 76ers are poised to raise their League Pass ranking considerably.
Henderson, who has been an under-the-radar wing, signed a two-year, $18 million dollar contract. Maybe Henderson had offers from better teams, but wanted to return home.
In his career Henderson has averaged 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, while shooting 79.1 percent from the free throw line in 26.3 minutes per game.
Henderson’s not much of a passer (1.9 assists per game in career), but he played a key role in a Charlotte team that unexpectedly made the postseason in 2014. During that season Henderson hit nearly 35 percent of his 3-point attempts. Over the last three seasons, Henderson made 42.8 percent of his corner three attempts.
Philly relied heavily on Nik Stauskas at shooting guard last season. Henderson’s slashing ability on offense will be a nice change in pace. Even though Henderson’s not a tremendous defender, he did finish 11th in Defensive Real-Plus Minus in 2013-2014 with Charlotte, which makes him an automatic improvement over Stauskas.
Many fans wondered what Colangelo would do to improve the team this summer. One of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel will most likely still be traded this summer, and free agency isn’t over yet. The moves Colangelo has made so far definitely has fans feeling good. Philly should be way more competitive on the court, yet still finish near the top of the lottery in what promises to be a wing-heavy and deep 2017 NBA Draft.