July 13, 2016
It was already well known that the Sixers agreed to terms with free-agent guards Jerryd Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez, but with the league’s moratorium and then about a week's worth of delay, they had yet to make it official.
That changed on Wednesday, as both veteran guards signed on the dotted line. The Sixers didn’t disclose the terms of either deal, but the 27-year-old Bayless reportedly committed for three years and $27 million.
Bayless has shot 36.5 percent from downtown for his career, and his ability to play off the ball makes for what seems like a decent offensive fit with Ben Simmons.
“We are very excited to add a proven veteran and skilled combination guard like Jerryd Bayless to the Sixers’ family,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. “Jerryd’s shot-making ability and versatility combined with his professional and hyper competitive approach to the game will serve us well both on and off the basketball court.”
The idea of adding vets is something that clearly appealed to Colangelo, and Bayless said that he's comfortable mentoring the Sixers' young core.
"I think the thing I can help with is just helping them learn how to play," Bayless said on a conference call from Las Vegas. "Younger guys, coming into the league, they haven't been taught a lot of things. Obviously that's the main part of Brett [Brown]'s job, but having a guy that's been around the league that can help them grow a little bit faster is something I want to do."
Bayless can play both guard positions, and he said he's willing to play whatever spot Brown prefers. Last season in Milwaukee, he shot a career-high 43 percent from three. While it might prove difficult to replicate that type of production, Bayless can provide a legitimate threat from beyond the arc for the Sixers' younger playmakers.
"I think not only [Ben] but with Joel [Embiid] and Jahlil [Okafor] as well, those guys are going to command double teams and whatnot," Bayless said. "Being able to space the court, myself, Sergio [Rodriguez], Gerald [Henderson], and a lot of guys who were already there as well will definitely be helpful. I look forward to helping the team do that."
According to Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus, Rodriguez signed for one year and $6.8 million. The 2014 Euroleague MVP has played with Read Madrid since 2010, and “Spanish Chocolate” is known as a gifted passer.
Rodriguez shot 38 percent from deep last season. The 30-year-old point guard played for Portland, Sacramento, and the Knicks from 2006 to 2010.
“Sergio Rodriguez is another experienced and solid professional that we are happy to bring back to the NBA and to Philadelphia,” Colangelo said in the statement. “Sergio has competed against the world’s best point guards at both the international and NBA level, and he has proven to be a great floor leader and decision maker while finding much team success throughout his career.”
Unlike Rodriguez, Bayless has history with Colangelo after playing in Toronto from 2010 to 2012. Still, he said that what drew him to Philly was the team's potential.
"From the outside looking in, the last couple of years has obviously been a tough situation with the losing and whatnot," Bayless said. "But when you see the No. 1 pick, you have Jahlil, you have Joel, and you have a lot of young pieces that are going to grow, it's something that's intriguing to me.
"And then being part of that process and growing into hopefully one day a contender, it's something I definitely want to be a part of."
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