During the first week of the regular season, the Philadelphia 76ers added even more depth to their roster. In the James Harden trade, they landed multiple veterans, such as Robert Covington and Nic Batum.
Batum got a later start than the rest as he was dealing with personal matters, but that didn’t stop in from having an immediate impact. The veteran forward quickly came in and showed how valuable he is going to be for his new team.
Through his first five games with the Sixers, Batum is averaging 6.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.4 APG. His biggest impact has been as a floor-spacer, where he is shooting a stellar 64.3% on close to three attempts per game.
Since he’s been in the lineup, many people have shouted out Batum for his play on both ends of the floor. The most recent to do so was Joel Embiid. Following the Sixers’ 121-99 win over the Brooklyn Nets, the reigning MVP touched on how Batum is a perfect fit on the team.
“He’s the key. He’s special. With the way we play, he just fits everything we need,” Embiid said. “Great shooter, great defender, great passer, great basketball IQ. He just fits everything we need.”
Overall, Batum has proven he is the perfect archetype of player the Sixers need for their supporting cast. He is a bigger wing who is a positive on the defensive end and is a reliable kick-out option on offense. Batum’s ability to move without the ball and knock down open threes has made him a great complement to Embiid.
One underrated area of his game is his passing. Batum is someone who keeps the ball moving and can deliver a good entry pass to Embiid when he seals off defenders down low.
Many viewed the pieces the Sixers got as assets for another move later down the line. However, based on how he’s played thus far, Batum might have solidified his spot on the roster for the entire season.