So far in our series of player evaluations for the Philadelphia 76ers, we’ve discussed two players (Jahil Okafor and Nerlens Noel) with starting potential in the team’s long-term future, three rotational players (Tony Wroten, Robert Covington, and Kendall Marshall, although Wroten and Marshall play the same position), and two end-of-the-bench players in Nik Stauskas and Jerami Grant. Wroten, Covington, and Marshall are a decent group of reserves, but the talent needs to improve among the team’s frontcourt players to provide better balance. Of course, if Joel Embiid was healthy, this wouldn’t be a problem.
Carl Landry, who was acquired in the offseason trade with the Sacramento Kings, is expected to be the Sixers’ first frontcourt player off the bench this season, and he’s the next player to be examined in this series of evaluations.
At 32 years old, Landry is considered one of the team’s few veteran presences. The 6-foot-9, 248 pound forward has played for four teams (Sacramento twice) with career averages of 10.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. His best season came in 2009-10, when he averaged 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in stints with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento. His production has trailed off in recent years, as he averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 minutes per game with the Kings last year.
Landry is mostly known as a hard-nosed interior defender who also brings a physical nature to his offensive game. He’s not a great rebounder, but he is active on the offensive boards. He mostly scores near the basket, whether it’s via post moves or offensive rebounds. He’s also a solid free-throw shooter and does a solid job converting his shots, making them at a 53-percent clip in his career thus far. At this point, he’s a solid role player who can mix his inside game with a mid-range jumper on occasion, but not much more should be expected. In 15 to 20 minutes of game time, he’ll bring average production, which is what he did last year with a PER of 14.93.
Landry would normally fit into the discussion of solid bench players the Sixers could use for the long-term, but his age negates that possibility. His contract will expire in 2017, and if he’s not traded by then, don’t expect the Sixers to keep him. In the meantime, he’ll fill a valuable role as the first big man off the bench. Nonetheless, his production won’t be as concerning as the younger players’ when it comes to evaluating the 76ers’ future prospects. In order for their rebuild to ultimately work, the 76ers need more frontcourt talent, which they would’ve already had if Joel Embiid was healthy.