76ers
NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers: Gerald Henderson must step up in Ben Simmons’ absence


With news that Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simons will miss three months due to a broken foot, the team must look for a way to make up what everyone thinks will be a sizeable contribution to the team. But what do they do now?

The 76ers have been a part of many trade rumors, dating back to last season but will it be in their best interest to pursue one now? Rumors have the team willing to trade anyone in their frontcourt besides Joel Embiid as they look for more scoring or a PG. But with Simmons out, they may look to reopen talk with teams.

But not so fast there.

The 76ers won a league-worst 10 games last season, with pretty much the same roster they will head into the 2016-17 season with, minus standouts like PG Ish Smith and PF Carl Landry. But all is not lost for the team. No one expected them to be playoff bound, but they are projected to compete. With a clear timetable set on Simmons return, the team must enter the season with a clear head if they have any chance of exceeding those 10 wins from 2015. When one player goes down, another must step up. Luckily, the 76ers have a veteran who can do just that.

SG/SF, Gerald Henderson has been in the NBA for seven seasons and has never truly been a No.1 option for any team. But during his stay with the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets, he produced to the tune of 15 points per game while playing 33 minutes and taking 13 shots per. With the 76ers he should hit the same numbers in minutes, but his points and FGA should increase.

The 76ers are void of a real PG. Jerryd Bayless can get the ball up the court, but after that, he will look to pass for a better scoring option. Nerlens Noel is not a real threat on the offensive end, which will have Bayless look to Jahlil Okafor who can score, but another option will be Henderson. Henderson is not the next Kobe or Dwyane Wade, but he can create his shot and work off screens. His defense is underrated, and his passing skills still need a little work, but his size of 6′-5″ 215lbs is right on target with the average SGs in the league.

If Brett Brown can find a way to get Henderson’s number called on the offensive end, then he might be enough to hold the scoring load down with Okafor until Simmons is healthy enough to do what many hope he can. It’s a tall order for a player that a played a huge role with the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers to a 10-win team.

In no way am I saying that Henderson is better than Simmons, but he can at least pretend to be until the real thing comes back.

 


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]