With everyone’s attention glued in on some Thanksgiving Day football, Sixers president Daryl Morey was working the phones, looking to add to his ever-growing roster. As reported by ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers have signed 25-year-old guard Derrick Walton Jr. to a one-year deal.
The 76ers agreed to a one-year deal with free agent G Derrick Walton Jr., sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 26, 2020
The reported deal is non-guaranteed, meaning that this likely signals Walton being brought in as a “camp body”. Walton will get an opportunity to compete for a job during the offseason, only set to remain on the official roster for the regular season if he massively impresses.
Walton was an undrafted free agent in 2017, initially signed by the Miami Heat. He played just 16 games for Miami that year, averaging a measly 1.8 points per game. Walton spent some time in the G-League that year as well, and then eventually departed to play overseas in 2019.
After a brief (but successful) stint in both Germany and Lithuania, Walton returned to the NBA for the 2019-20 season with the Los Angeles Clippers. Walton appeared in 23 games for the Clippers last year, averaging a career-high 2.2 points per game. Walton playing under Doc Rivers during this timeframe is likely what led to his arrival in Philadelphia, as Rivers must’ve seen something that he liked.
Walton did score 10 points against the Kings while playing for Doc and even made his first career start against the Grizzlies in early January. Walton was ultimately traded to the Hawks for a second-round pick, who quickly waived him, and then played in three games for Detroit as the season wound down.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at his less-than-stellar stat lines is the fact that he’s a historically good three-point shooter. He’s shot 41.5% from beyond the arc in the NBA thus far and shot 40.1% on 550+ three-point attempts in college.
Walton’s arrival to the Sixers doesn’t signal much, as he’s very much just some added depth for camp. With that said, his prior success/experience with Doc Rivers is something to keep in mind, as that could lead to him seeing some added opportunity heading into the upcoming season.