Late in July the Philadelphia 76ers signed Maalik Wayns, who had completed his junior year at Villanova. Wayns is seeking to join the list of other Wildcats who have played guard for the Sixers. Wali Jones and Billy Melchionni were on the 1967 Championship team.
Wayns attended Roman Catholic High. The point guard was Villanova’s leading scoring this year by averaging 17.6 points per game. He shot free throws at an excellent .892 average and dished out 4.6 assists per game.
Wayns was signed shortly after Xavier Silas suffered sinus fractures while playing in a summer league game. Silas required surgery to repair the facial injuries He had been signed by the team in April after going undrafted in the 2011 draft. Silas averaged 22.3 points per game in his senior year with Northern Illinois. During his season with the Main Red Claws he averaged 9.8 points per game and 1.5 assists.
So the timing of Wayns signing would suggest that he is insurance in case Silas is unable to start the season. In either case, the two players could be competing for the third point guard spot on the team. If this happens, Wayns might have the advantage because he is a natural point guard, whereas Silas’ has been mostly a shooting guard.
However the Sixers might need to give a lot of attention to the defensive side of the game. The Sixers’ best defender, Andres Iguoadala, was traded away in the Bynum trade. Jrue Holiday has not excelled in that part of the game. Rajon Rondo’s triple-double in the seventh game of the playoff series this year illustrates that point. Silas is 6′ 5″ while Wayns is 6′ 2″. So this might give Silas the edge for defending shorter point guards.
If this turns out to be the competition for the final roster spot, it should be very interesting to watch.