Which Wing Player Should the Philadelphia 76ers Rely on the Most?

Jay SchaefferContributor IIINovember 8, 2012

Oct 31, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Dorell Wright (4) celebrates making a shot during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers defeated the Nuggets 84-75. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Philadelphia 76ers have a plethora of solid wing players on their 2012-2013 team. However, the team has yet to find out which one is best suited to take on a bigger role in the offense. 

The Sixers allowed Lou Williams, Jodie Meeks and Andre Iguodala to walk last offseason, so they will need to find a guy to replace their production. Last season, Doug Collins relied on both Iguodala and Williams to take crucial shots, so he will need to look for someone for this year's team who can assume that duty. Typically, the guy who takes the last shot is a wing player, as they are better free throw shooters and have an easier time of getting their own shots off the dribble.

The Sixers' options are Evan Turner, Nick Young, Jason Richardson and Dorell Wright.

The following information will prove that the Sixers should rely on Dorell Wright more than any other wing player on the current roster:


1. His Shooting Ability

Dorell Wright led the league in three-pointers made two seasons ago, so he is clearly an elite shooter. In fact, Wright's 2011-201 true shooting percentage, 55.3, is higher than any player from last year's Sixers' team. 

Wright's ability to make three-pointers isn't the only benefit of his shooting prowess for the Sixers—his shooting ability also forces defenses to play tight on him, which opens up the floor for other players. Here is a video of Dorell Wright's highlights from a game in which he made nine three-pointers for the Golden State Warriors.

As you can see in this video, the Minnesota Timberwolves clearly did not make good adjustments throughout that game. In this game, Michael Beasley is constantly trying to play help defense, which left Wright open, and he made the Timberwolves pay. 


So, by Wright making these shots, a team that makes good in-game adjustments will be forced to play less help defense. This lack of help defense will allow other Sixers' players to penetrate the lane without too many defenders collapsing on them.


2. His Ability to Drive to the Basket

Although people think of Wright as a shooter, he can actually drive to the basket as well. Wright was actually seventh in the league in field goal percentage at the rim among all small forwards.

Attached is a video of Wright's preseason highlights against the Brooklyn Nets in a game in which he scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

Dorell shows off his ability to do multiple things on the basketball court to help a team win. Throughout his career, Wright has demonstrated an ability to play a multifaceted game. 


3. His Rebounding Ability

Wright is an above average rebounder for his position. In fact, Wright's total rebounding percentage, 9.6, was one of the highest in the league among small forwards last season. Attached is a video of Wright showing the Sixers his rebounding ability.

Although this video does not focus too much on his rebounds, it still shows his rebounding ability and potential. If Wright can continue to rebound efficiently, the Sixers could have guys at all five positions who can hold their own on the glass. If the Sixers play the lineup of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Dorell Wright, Spencer Hawes and Andrew Bynum, not only will all of those players be above 6'4'', but they all rebound at an above average rate for their respective positions. 

Although the Sixers were fourth in defensive rebounding percentage last season, they can always improve in one of the most important parts of the game of basketball.


4. His Height and Length

Wright measures in at 6'9'', which is above average for a small forward. In addition, Wright's wingspan is around seven feet, which is very good for a small forward. 

This size allows Wright to shoot over defenders, which is key for a shooter like him. Wright will also almost never be smaller than the player that he is guarding, which is a key defensively for coach Doug Collins.

Also, Wright's size allows Evan Turner to move back to playing shooting guard. Although Turner's game is not suited for the shooting guard role, his height prevents him from being an effective defender at the small forward position. That being said, Wright will play a shooting guard role on offense while Turner will guard the shooting guards on defense. This will allow the Sixers to get the most out of Evan Turner.

When Coach Doug Collins considers these four factors, there is no question who he should rely on the most. Although Evan Turner and Nick Young may be more talented than Wright, neither of them has the basketball IQ that Wright possesses. 

Overall, Wright has a very underrated all-around game, and hopefully Doug Collins will allow him to put his array of talents on full display this season.