The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly set to work out veteran guards Arron Afflalo, Brandon Rush and Sean Kilpatrick and G League wing Haywood Highsmith, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
For a Sixers team that has struggled with depth, which the absences of rookie Zhaire Smith (foot) and second-year guard Markelle Fultz (shoulder) have compounded, adding to the stable of reserve players would be logical.
To put the Sixers' depth issues in perspective, the team's starting lineup of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick and Wilson Chandler has an impressive net rating of 15.2 in 122 minutes played together. Of the six other lineups the team has utilized for 30 or more minutes, however, only a combination that substitutes Mike Muscala for Chandler (8.8 net rating) is anywhere in the stratosphere of the team's starting lineup.
And the team's net rating with the combination of Embiid, Butler, Simmons and Redick on the floor is still a solid 13.5. The team's overall net rating of just 1.6 for the season, however, suggests things get wonkier once the reserves enter the mix.
With Fultz out of action, Philly's most regularly utilized bench players are T.J. McConnell, rookie Landry Shamet, Muscala, Furkan Korkmaz and Amir Johnson. Only Korkmaz (3.0) and McConnell (1.0) have positive net ratings, while none are averaging double-digit points.
Individually, the Sixers reserves are capable of filling a need off the bench, namely McConnell (solid defensively, can generate his own shot in the mid-range), Muscala (stretch big man who can space the floor) and Shamet (solid perimeter shooter who runs off screens well and isn't shy about pulling the trigger). But the Sixers need another solid role player or two if they're to be a true contender.
The issue came into focus Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors in a 113-102 loss, with Toronto's bench outscoring Philadelphia's, 41-18.
It's questionable if any of Afflalo, Rush, Kilpatrick or Highsmith can fill the void. The 33-year-old Afflalo played just 12.9 minutes per game last year for Orlando, averaging 3.4 points, though he did shoot 38.6 percent from three. Rush last played an NBA game in the 2016-17 season, though he was a proficient perimeter shooter, hitting on 40.2 percent of his threes during his career.
Kilpatrick played for four teams last season, averaging 6.3 points per game, while Highsmith is averaging 13.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in the G-League this season.