| Possible Draft choices and trade scenarios for the lottery’s frequent flyers |
The Philadelphia 76ers were still eyeing the Draft Lottery Tuesday night, even after their longest playoff run since 2012. Old habits truly die hard.
The lottery granted the Sixers the 10th overall selection in the June 21st NBA draft, originally belonging to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers acquired the pick in a three way trade in 2012. Because of last year’s the trade with Boston for the pick that became Markelle Fultz, the Laker’s pick would have gone to the Celtics if it landed anywhere between 2 and 5 in the lottery. Instead, it will stay with Philadelphia, who will instead send the Celtics the better of their two firsts next season (they also own the Sacramento Kings pick), except if either of those picks win the first overall pick.
With the 10th pick, the Sixers will have some options in front of them. They also own the 26th pick, and four additional second round picks. The team can stand pat and simply add another young player that will be cost controlled and potentially very valuable. Hey, Donovan Mitchell was picked 13th last year. They could end up with a stud if some teams screw up their scouting. It wouldn’t be a surprise, especially with teams like Sacramento, Orlando, and New York picking in the top 9. Who could they look to pick at #10?
F – Mikal Bridges – Villanova
It’s almost too perfect. A kid from the Philly area goes to Villanova and wins 2 National Titles, and is then drafted by the 76ers and helps them win a Championship.
That’s the ideal, and Bridges is truly an ideal fit for the Sixers, especially in a basketball sense. He would be another versatile wing player who can defend multiple positions. Best of all, he showed a propensity for year-t0-year improvement at Villanova, both in role and skill level.
G – Collin Sexton – Alabama
With Markelle Fultz’s rookie struggles, it would behoove the Sixers to at least explore options for a future point guard. The team picked up TJ McConnell’s option for next season, but they could lose him the next year in free agency, especially if they land a big contract this summer. Backcourt depth is always a good thing in the NBA, and Sexton is one of the best in this class. He’s a tough, do-it-all guard that should thrive in the NBA.
F – Michael Porter Jr.
I don’t know if Porter will fall to the Sixers, but I think he’d really appeal to the team. Porter missed almost all of his lone season at Missouri with a back injury. He’s a perfect fit!
Just kidding. But seriously, Porter is a highly skilled scoring forward with solid potentially great athleticism. Considering the Sixers were just cooked by Jayson Tatum, a similar do-it-all forward, Porter would be a valuable piece in matching the slew of wings that Boston can throw at them.
Trade the Pick
Alternatively, if we’re to believe Brett Brown and Bryan Colangelo at their exit interviews, the Sixers have their sights set higher than a rookie; they want a marquee free agent and LeBron James is implicitly at the top of their list. Even Joel Embiid recognized, but couldn’t quite say it out loud.
James could merely sign as a free agent, which wouldn’t require any trade capital. But if the Sixers can’t court the King, trading for another star is also an option. They’ve been linked to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The 10th pick would presumably be a part of any deal for those two. They’d also have to include someone like Fultz, Robert Covington, or TJ McConnell. It would be a tough pill to swallow, but that’s the price of acquiring a superstar, and the Sixers appear ready to pay up.
However, if I’m the Sixers, I’d consider trading this pick alone (or with an additional 2nd round pick or Euro stash) for a quality role player like Kris Middleton. If they are truly confident in Embiid and Ben Simmons leading this team, evening out the edges of the roster is a must. They need 3-and-d players, and may not be patient enough to draft one and wait for that player to develop.
Regardless of what they choose to do, the Sixers enter an important offseason, once again with draft capital that allows them to make a move.