By Art Beitchman

The 76ers survived the Las Vegas Summer League without sustaining any major injury to a top draft pick.

Also four players have emerged as possible bench pieces who can also play defense when training camp arrives this fall.

2018 1st rounder Zhaire Smith played well, displaying his crazy athletic ability with wild hops around the rim, slamming dunking on alley-oop passes. Smith’s trademark defense will be his calling card as a rotational player next season.

2019 1st rounder Matisse Thybulle also has that 3- and-D mentality, stepping out draining 3-balls, playing good on-the-ball D.

Two way player C Norvel Pelle took advantage with his rim-guarding defense, blocking shots left and right, giving the Sixers a good look of what kind of play he could give them when Joel Embiid comes to the bench. Last season teams came right at the rim knowing the path was clear, an aspect GM Elton Brand wants to strengthen when next seasons league schedule starts.

Free agent center Christ Koumadje also flashed tough defense around the rim, blocking shots, redirecting others as a space eater under the rim.

76ers brass will have a better handle on these possible rotation players when they start running with legit NBA players, not just Summer League hopefuls.



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