January 15, 2019
Move over Jimmy Butler, there's another wing in town. The Sixers have signed Corey Brewer to a 10-day contract, a team source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Tuesday afternoon, and he will be available for Tuesday evening's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Athletic's Shams Charania was the first to report.
Philadelphia has held their 15th NBA roster spot open for an extended period of time, with GM Elton Brand insisting they wanted to leave themselves some flexibility in the event a good opportunity came along. Most assumed that was leaving the door open for a potential trade, but it appears the Sixers were just waiting for 10-day season.
Of the seven players the Sixers brought in for workouts over the last two days, Brewer falls somewhere in the middle of the options. He's certainly not the worst of the players they worked out, but he doesn't represent a ton of upside for a guy who will likely be thrust into action right away.
Maybe that's why he's here. The Sixers are set to begin a grueling stretch of their schedule on Tuesday night, and their depth has been a problem area for most of the last two seasons. Using this spot on Brewer — who should be able to step in and contribute pretty much immediately — makes sense in that regard.
So what are the Sixers getting in Brewer? Unfortunately, not a shooter. Outside of an outlier season in his early 20's (which came on low volume, it should be noted) Brewer has been a poor three-point shooter for the majority of his career.
Brewer has knocked down 28.3 percent of his attempts over 11 seasons in the league, which is especially poor when you consider some of the talent he has played alongside. Brewer has played next to the likes of Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook, all guys who bent defenses and kicked to a parade of open shooters. That trend seems unlikely to change playing next to the Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid trio.
The good news is that Brewer will help them a bit on the defensive end, even if his impact is minimal at 32 years old. He has the length to defend several positions, which should be helpful in Philadelphia's switch-heavy scheme, and he has graded out as an above-average defender even late into his career. Brewer doesn't have the legs he used to, obviously, but he has been an outlet threat his whole career, so don't be surprised if you see Simmons hit him with a few home run passes in transition.
(One note here — Brewer will likely frustrate the hell out of you on the defensive end, and I wouldn't expect a stopper. He's pretty notorious for trying to jump into passing lanes for steals, and that leaves him exposed on backdoor cuts from opponents. Keep your expectations in check.)
As an added bonus, Brewer has been hailed as a pro's pro at pretty much every place he has played at throughout his career. If he can teach any of their young wings some pointers on the finer parts of defense during his brief stay in Philly, the 10-day contract will probably have been worth it.
"The sort of standards and the qualities that Elton and I talked a lot about was one, just character, bringing character into the locker room," Brett Brown said pregame. "A really sort of close second and third was can he guard? We think at times we need help on perimeter defense, especially at times guarding people that are in multiple pick-and-rolls."
"You look at the character, you look at his defense, you look at his ability to shoot the ball, and then it's all draped under, he won two national titles at Florida. He won an NBA Championship. He's a 12-year veteran, he's good people, it all sort of fit. And we're happy to welcome him into our team."
I'll push back on Brown's definition of a "shooter," but they're his words, not mine. We'll see how it goes.
Brewer will wear 00 for the Sixers, a number made infamous by Spencer Hawes. Here's hoping he has a better go of it than ol' Spence.
More to come...
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