By Steve Kelly
Here’s a quick look at Sergio Rodriguez, signed by the Sixers in the offseason:
Experience: 4 years
— Pick-and-roll point guard who has improved since last seen in NBA
— Creative passer who’s also a capable 3-point shooter
— Poor defender who might be hidden against second units
When the NBA last saw Rodriguez, aka “Spanish Chocolate,” he split his age-23 season between the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks, averaging 6.6 points and 3.2 assists per game. Rodriguez returned to play with Real Madrid in Spain, where he quickly established himself as the best point guard in Europe. After flirting with the NBA last summer, Rodriguez is back on a one-year, $8 million deal.
Offensively, there’s no question Rodriguez’s game is NBA caliber. After a down 2014-15, he bounced back last season to average 17.2 points and 9.1 assists per 36 minutes between ACB and Euroleague play. Rodriguez drives primarily to dish and is good at finding teammates on the perimeter. But he’s also dangerous as a scorer and made 55.4 percent of his 2-point attempts last season. Rodriguez is a good enough outside shooter (40.7 percent from 3-point range last season) to keep defenses honest and play off the ball, though he’s more likely to run the second-unit offense when Simmons is on the bench.
Playing Rodriguez against second units would also help defensively. Never a good defender in his prime, Rodriguez has slowed further at age 30 and is too slight to deal with big, physical starting point guards.