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Philadelphia 76ers: Georges Niang returns to Utah a different, better player

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A former second-round pick out of Iowa State by the Indiana Pacers, Niang played 206 of his first 229 NBA games as a member of the Utah Jazz, first on a two-way contract and then on a standard three-year, $4.9 million deal that ran through the 2020-21 NBA season.

Over his tenure in Utah, Niang played 20 or more minutes in a game 28 times, over 30 twice, and finished out his run with an average stat line of 5.5 points, 0.7 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 12.7 minutes of action a night, while hitting 44.4 percent of his shots from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. Besides being an upgrade over Mike Scott in every conceivable metric on the court, Niang has embraced the city much like his predecessor, all but disregarding his Boston roots to go all-in on the City of Brotherly Love.

Yes, Niang is a below-average defender, as he currently ranks 203rd out of a possible 251 players according to FiveThirtyEight, but his overall Total Raptor is tied with Bam Adebayo for 53rd league-wide at a very healthy 2.9, with a WAR rating of.

Is Georges Niang a perfect player? No. He’s a certified role player who only has a few tools in his bag of tricks, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a particularly effective role player.

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