How Tony Wroten is growing as a 76er

After only playing one year at the University of Washington, Tony Wroten proved that he has what it takes to be a point guard in the NBA.  In the 2011-2012 season for the Huskies, Wroten averaged nearly 17 points a game to go along with 5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

The results he produced during his freshman season earned him the PAC-12 Freshman of the Year Award and was named to the all PAC-12 first team.  Pro scouts were aware of Wroten’s talent, as he declared for the NBA draft after his one and only year at Washington.

In the 2012 NBA draft, Wroten was a late first round selection.  He was taken 25th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies.

As a member of the Grizzlies, he did not get too much action and spent a majority of the year in the D-League.  During this past summer, the Grizzlies decided to part ways with Wroten and sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers.

In a season full of struggles for the Sixers, the front office more than likely is not impressed with a majority of the players on their roster.  However, the impact Wroten has provided has surely been an exception.

Wroten, like all of the Sixers, has struggled at times throughout the season.  But Wroten has also proven why he was a first round draft pick and came out after just one year in school.

Brett Brown instructing Wroten and Carter-Williams (thesixerssense.com)

Brett Brown instructing Wroten and Carter-Williams (thesixerssense.com)

With Michael Carter-Williams being the main player in the backcourt, Wroten has embraced the backup role.  He provides the team with energy off the bench, and has even shown that he can play along with Carter-Williams. 

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For a team that plays very poor defense, Wroten has shown that he can be a strong on the ball defender.  With his strength and quickness, he can put pressure on the opposition and helps create turnovers.

As for offense, he has shown that he is very confident in his game and is not afraid of a challenge.  When he gets his hands on the ball, he looks to attack and get to the rim.

His speed and great first step allows him to get to the basket with ease and makes it that much more difficult to stop.  This is crucial for the Sixers, since they never really had someone who can drive to the basket since Allen Iverson.

Wroten’s talent is nowhere near Iverson’s, but the mindset he has on the court is fairly similar.  However, this is where Wroten can find himself in trouble.

He knows that he has speed like lightning and feels as if he can get by anybody.  But he needs to continue to realize that the things he got away with in college will not necessarily work in the pros.

Many times Wroten plays the game too fast which then leads to him making bad decisions.  There are instances where he will try to take on three defenders at once and turn the ball over, opposed to stepping back and running the offense.

If he can learn to become a better decision maker on the floor, it will truly show in the effectiveness of his game.  The point guard is perhaps the most vital position on the floor, so the Sixers will rely heavily on him when Carter-Williams is not in the game.

He also has work to do when it comes to spot-up shooting.  Wroten has the ability to knock down perimeter jumpers, but remains inconsistent in his offensive productivity.

Overall, he is a point guard that the Sixers should keep around for at least the next few years.  His offensive skill set along with his defensive prowess could be major contributors to the Sixers going forward.

Wroten will be 21 later this month, so his youth is definitely a big reason as to why he has struggled at times.  Over time, he will continue to grow and likely develop into one of the better guards in the league.

Energy and hustle are aspects of the game that cannot be taught, and Wroten possesses both.  If Wroten keeps showing these characteristics on a nightly basis and continues to improve the other facets of his game, he could be a significant part of the Sixers’ future.

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