The Philadelphia 76ers have reached an agreement with former Milwaukee Buck Jerryd Bayless on a three-year contract worth $27 million on the first day of NBA free agency (players cannot officially sign until July 7). Bayless, who be 28 years old when the season begins, was drafted 11th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Sixers are the seventh team Bayless will have played for as he enters his ninth year in the league (eighth team, if you count the Pacers, who drafted him, but immediately traded him to the Trailblazers).
A journeyman in the NBA, Bayless enjoyed a strong year playing mostly shooting guard on the point guard-heavy Bucks team, last season. He shot 43.7% on 231 three point attempts – both career highs. General manager Bryan Colangelo got a good look at Bayless when both were in Toronto from 2010 to 2012. In the 2011-2012 season, Bayless averaged a career-high 18 points per 36 minutes (11.4 per game).
It is probable that Bayless was brought in to play point guard, though how, exactly, that role will look with first-overall pick Ben Simmons – a natural point forward – is yet to be determined. However their roles running the offense evolve, Bayless fits well with Simmons because he can shoot. Simmons one big question mark has been his jump shot; with shooters playing the 1 and 2 positions, defenses will have far less leniency to sag off the perimeter and crowd the paint – allowing Simmons (and Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, etc.) room to get to the basket.
While he’s no superstar, Jerryd Bayless is well-respected veteran who will bring some sanity and stability to a team that has been rudderless at the point guard position since the trading of Michael Carter-Williams.