April 18, 2017
The Sixers announced that on Tuesday, starting swingman Robert Covington (“Mr. DRPM”) had successful minor arthroscopic surgery that addressed the meniscus tear in his right knee. The season-ending injury, the last of a run on meniscuses for the Sixers, was a tough way to end what was a good year for Covington: 12.9 PPG (48/33/82 shooting), 6.5 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 1.0 BPG, and consistently excellent defense.
The Covster’s rehab timeline is pretty much the same one that the Sixers provided for Joel Embiid:
• Full weight-bearing in approximately two weeks
• Resuming basketball activities later this summer
Outside of the procedure, let’s talk about Covington a little bit. Despite hearing boo birds at the beginning of the season due to an extended stretch of cold shooting, Covington has earned his coach’s trust. “Rock” led the Sixers at 31.6 minutes per game.
“Look at Robert Covington come from this wild jack-it-up street ball of just throwing up long threes into a legitimate two-way player that is fourth in the NBA in deflections and is fourth in defensive effectiveness while he’s on the floor and legitimately growing into a two-way player,” Brett Brown said.
Covington, along with Richaun Holmes and T.J. McConnell, is the product of former general manager Sam Hinkie’s broad strategy of trying out as many second-round picks and undrafted free agents as possible in the hope that a couple of them would eventually stick. And for three seasons, he has been on an extremely team-friendly deal.
After a $1,577,230 team option for next season, Covington will be due a significant raise. And when he was asked about the potential of locking up Covington to a long-term contract, Sixers president of basketball operations said he couldn’t really talk about it… after talking sort of talking about it.
“Certainly something I think that we want to address,” Colangelo said. “There is some flexibility in the new CBA that allows us to make a more concerted attempt toward that [a contract extension]. But given the fact that I cannot talk about any free-agent-related things, including your own players, I should probably pass on the question today, but Robert Covington is a valued piece of this organization, he’s really evolved into a player that we want to make part of this organization on a longer-term basis.”
“Look at Robert Covington come from this wild jack-it-up street ball of just throwing up long threes into a legitimate two-way player that is fourth in the NBA in deflections and is fourth in defensive effectiveness."
It says here that looking to sign Covington to an extension would be the smart move. The new CBA allows players to sign an extension on the two-year anniversary of his contract as opposed to three, which means Covington can now sign one in July when the new CBA kicks in.
“We haven’t discussed anything yet,” Covington said. “I always say that what’s meant to happen will happen and so we haven’t discussed anything about that. The main focus has been what we do on the court.”
What Covington has done on the court has been impressive, and judging by Colangelo’s comments, you would imagine that discussions aren’t too far around the corner.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
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