Former Jazz PF Georges Niang, 76ers Agree to 2-Year, $6.7M Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

Utah Jazz forward Georges Niang (31) against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP Photo/Matt York

The Philadelphia 76ers improved their depth Tuesday when they agreed to a two-year, $6.7 million deal with forward Georges Niang, per NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Niang entered the league in 2016 as a second-round pick out of Iowa State and played the last four seasons for the Utah Jazz after playing his rookie campaign for the Indiana Pacers.

The 28-year-old is coming off a career season in Utah in which he averaged 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from three-point range.

He wasn't a primary contributor on a team that featured Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic and others, but he was a solid presence off the bench who provided important outside shooting and capable wing defense.

The shooting stands out for a 76ers team that needed more of it during its second-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Spacing is a concern with Ben Simmons as a primary ball-handler and Joel Embiid in the frontcourt, and Niang is someone who can play alongside both and hit open looks from the corner and the wing.

Danny Green is also a free agent this offseason, so Philadelphia may need to replace his outside shooting in 2021-22 if he doesn't return.

Niang can help do just that while improving the team's overall defense. Opponents shot 1.1 percent worse overall and 5.6 percent worse from three-point range than their normal averages when he guarded them in 2020-21, per NBA.com.

As long as he continues to play defense like that and hits his outside shots, Niang can be an important addition for the 76ers.