Anthony Tolliver is set to suit up for the Philadelphia 76ers in the coming days. He will have officially played for his 12th NBA franchise since entering the league in 2008. Such a journey is a testament to the fact that the 6-foot-8-inch, 240-pound forward has never had a massive role at any of his previous stops. He has an intriguing skillset that the Sixers desperately need, and that skillset is shooting.
Philadelphia came into the 2020-21 season depending on Mike Scott. They hoped the 32-year-old could produce something close to his 2018-19 shooting stats in the stretch-forward role. That year, Scott posted a career-best three-point percentage of 41.2% on just 4.4 attempts per game. With numbers like that, or even close to it, he would fit the stretch-four/five role to a tee.
The Sixers wanted a stretch big with whom Rivers would be comfortable in the rotation. Lot of the options didn’t fit the need (shooting) or target demographic (experienced veterans). Tolliver represents the intersection of both. https://t.co/LgUXimR2lL— Austin Krell (@NBAKrell) April 10, 2021
This year, that hasn’t been the case. Nearly three-fourths of the way through this season, Scott has shot just 34% from three on 3.1 attempts per game. That percentage is below his career average of 36.3%. It is also falling short of the league average of 36.7%. With the Sixers vying for the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference and Scott’s numbers trending in the wrong direction, Daryl Morey, President of Basketball Operations for the Sixers, had no choice but to bring in competition for the team’s stretch-four/five role.
The New Guy
Anthony Tolliver last year shot 41% from 3 on 3.2 attempts per game with Memphis.— Justin Persicketti (@j_persicketti) April 10, 2021
Mike Scott this year is shooting 34% from 3 on 3.1 attempts per game.
Tolliver could be a HUGE upgrade at the stretch 4/5 role for the Sixers if he shots that %. #Sixers | #NBA| #Tolliver pic.twitter.com/ru2WSJMNTM
Enter 13-year veteran forward Anthony Tolliver. The Sixers signed the 35-year-old to a 10-day contract with the hope that he can fill the shooting consistency that Scott has simply failed to provide. In Tolliver’s career, he has connected on 37.3% of his 3.2 attempted triples per game. Tolliver’s play last season with the Memphis Grizzlies makes him even more intriguing. With Memphis, he shot 41.5% from three on just 3.2 attempts per game. Obviously, a sizeable difference from the 34% that Scott gives now.
If Tolliver is able to produce shooting numbers anywhere close to his numbers with Memphis last season, he could become a very valuable asset for Philadelphia. If it aligns, he’d likely be offered a new contract for the year and the Sixers would have a new face in their playoff rotation. We’ll just have to wait and see.