INDIANAPOLIS -- It wasn’t until Damien Wilkins moved into the starting lineup that Sixers head coach Doug Collins finally figured out his best rotation. With Wilkins the Sixers had veteran wisdom, a solid defender and a guard who could hit an open shot if need be.
So after going from the bench to a spot in the starting lineup, one would assume that Wilkins would be a sure bet for a roster spot next year. Right?
Playing out a one-year, $1.2 million contract for the veteran minimum, Wilkins heads into another offseason of uncertainty and, worse, waiting. The only thing Wilkins knows is that he doesn’t have a job now that the season has ended.
“It’s a waiting game and you just have to be patient,” Wilkins said. “You just have to hope that you did yourself some justice by your play. We’ll see what happens. It’s always nice to be wanted and it only takes one team.”
In 61 games this season, Wilkins averaged 6.2 points per game and started 21 times. But in 40 games after the All-Star break, Wilkins averaged 11.2 points in 27.3 minutes, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.
For a nine-year vet who had 21 DNPs during the season, it would have been easy to ride the bench and collect a check.
That way would not have worked for Wilkins.
“It speaks to your professionalism. You’re paid to play,” Wilkins said. “Whether the chips are down or things are going great for you, you can always play your hardest. That should be the attitude of everyone involved because at the end of the day, all the NBA is watching. And the logo on the top of your jersey is the biggest one on the uniform and every night you go out there it’s a (job) interview.”
Swaggy and Kwame
Kwame Brown wasn’t saying whether he would exercise the player option for a second year on his contract. If he chooses to pick up the option, Brown will take home $2.9 million for next season.
That’s not bad work for a guy who didn’t play since the first game after the All-Star break and took 30 straight DNP-CDs.
Meanwhile, Nick Young played just six forgetful minutes in the season finale in which he missed both of the shots he took, committed a turnover and was a minus-6.
A free agent, Young was a DNP-CD for 18 of the final 25 games.
Though he didn’t rule out a return to the Sixers next season, Young, a six-year veteran, said he will be seeking the best contract he can find.