One of the more surprising players in the early goings of the Sixers' preseason slate has been former Villanova standout Maalik Wayns and his speedy brand of basketball. Wayns went undrafted this past June but the Sixers gave the local Roman Catholic product a shot to win a job this preseason and he appears to be well on his way to doing just that.
Following Wednesday night's team-high 19-point performance against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, Wayns appears to have solidified his spot as the team's backup point guard behind Jrue Holiday, as CSN's John Finger writes.
Wayns impressive play with the Sixers has been somewhat puzzling to many who watched him closely at Villanova.
"Nova's teams led by Wayns were the most frustrating of the last 10 years," said friend of the Level and Villanova alum Carl P.
"Wayns was plagued by bad shot selection, sloppy turnovers, and terrible passing (or no passing at all). If he's suddenly, mysteriously awesome, it's on Jay Wright."
An interesting theory. Or perhaps a credit to Doug Collins? Or maybe an example of a player who is that much better when surrounded by NBA-caliber talent.
Regardless of his past, Wayns appears poised to get some backup minutes this season and they'll likely be filled with exciting bursts of speed (and turnovers, natch).
The undrafted player appears to have won himself an NBA job. But he's still excited about the free sneakers.
From Finger's story on Wayns appearing to have solidify the backup PG role:
This week, Wayns signed a deal with Reebok to exclusively wear the company’s brand on the court. For a Philly kid who grew up following Allen Iverson, Wayns has been wearing Reebok since he was a child.
“I grew up watching Iverson, so that’s a big thing for me,” Wayns said. “I get to wear Reebok sneakers and get everything free from a shoe company, so that’s pretty cool.”
Free stuff is always cool. Even when you're an NBA player.