“Rating” a player is an inherently subjective exercise. It’s dictated in part by our personal preferences and values, as much as we might like to be perfectly neutral arbiters.
What we’re doing here in ranking the most underrated Sixers since 2000 is even murkier, since we’re comparing our assessments with what we perceived public opinion to be.
With those major caveats stated, here’s our unscientific ranking, which aims to highlight Sixers who were better than the average fan may have thought:
5. Thaddeus Young
Sixers fans generally seemed to appreciate Young as a versatile, high-energy player. He was often a bit of an afterthought, though, someone you knew was there and doing a solid job but didn’t pay much attention to except when he was shifting positions, or perhaps moving into or out of the starting lineup.
Young played 516 games as a Sixer — including one season as the leading scorer and an unlikely veteran presence on the first team of the Process era — and averaged 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
4. Eric Snow
Snow was a steady, unspectacular, pass-first point guard. Though he posted 6.6 assists per game with the Sixers, none of his statistics usually stood out.
He worked well with Allen Iverson, though. Snow fed The Answer the ball and, because he could bother bigger players, freed up Iverson to defend point guards and hunt steals. Kobe Bryant said in 2002 that nobody guarded him better than Snow.
Even if it rarely felt like Snow was doing anything special, it’s notable that he appeared to earn more respect from teammates, coaches and opponents than from fans.
3. Andre Iguodala
In Iguodala’s first six NBA seasons, he played 486 out of a possible 492 games. He was a durable fixture and, when Iverson was traded to the Nuggets, turned into a proverbial face of the franchise.
“The other A.I.” was not a tremendous scorer or natural No. 1 offensive option. Instead, Iguodala became an elite wing defender while chipping in 15.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists over his eight seasons here.
At his peak as a Sixer, he sunk two game-winning free throws and then hopped onto the scorer’s table in celebration of his team’s series victory over the Derrick Rose-less Bulls. He was dealt away that offseason, and soon made it clear how excellent he could be as a complementary player.
2. Andre Miller
Miller had no shot of ever living up to being traded for Iverson.
Iverson was expressive, explosive and easy to cheer for. Miller, on the other hand, preferred to methodically back his defender down in the post and run the offense like a man who’d seen and heard it all over hundreds of NBA games.
The Sixers were mediocre during his stint in Philadelphia, but Miller was a good NBA point guard, with averages of 15.9 points, 6.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds. Iverson’s shadow, however, meant it was difficult to judge Miller in isolation.
1. Robert Covington
Covington’s name splinters the Sixers’ fanbase. Perhaps that’s because of his connection with the Process and Sam Hinkie, who signed Covington in 2014 and was very fond of him.
There are evidently many aspects of Covington’s game open to debate, but it’s indisputable that he was a First Team All-Defensive selection in 2017-18 and a decent, high-volume three-pointer, which was an important quality next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Yes, he lost his starting spot during the 2018 playoffs and is clearly not much of a shot creator, but Covington provided incredible value relative to his contract. It seemed a faction of Sixers fans fixated on his weaknesses without recognizing all the positives.
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