The NBA Draft begins on June 25th; only hours away and there are many speculations as to what the 76ers are actually going to do. Of all the possible scenarios there are a few scenarios which I do not want to see:
1.) The trading away of Nerlens Noel or Joel Embiid is detrimental to any “plan.” The 76ers front office has been selling fans of the team that there is some sort of master plan that involves an insane amount of draft picks and half a decade of losing, somehow Philadelphia has bought in. But over the last few years we have traded away Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, 2013 All Star Jrue Holiday, and the recently flourishing Nikola Vucevic before we gave them reasonable chances to fit into whatever system the 76ers were running. Often time this organization bails on young talent for unexplainable reasons, trading away a player who was a third overall pick before he even played a game or trading away a player who was the only bright spot on the roster and was the 6th overall pick after one year is unprecedented. Give these guys a year or two together before you ship them off.
2.) The drafting of a big man is beyond unnecessary. If the 76ers plan on keeping Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, and Nerlens Noel the drafting of a fourth young big man will only cause the trading of Nerlens Noel or a team overstocked with massive individuals and subpar guards. In the last two years we have used 3 top 12 picks on 7 footers, two of which have never played in the NBA before and one sat out an entire year. People worry about how Embiid and Noel will play together, but there is no promise that Karl-Anthony Townes or Jahlil Okafor will fit with Embiid either. Not to mention the fact that the 76ers have no legitimate starting guards on the team.
3.) If the 76ers are drafting within the top 3 picks, they need to only take D’Angelo Russell. If the Lakers want Russell then the 76ers will have to trade up, but otherwise the Sixers will be able to stay at 3 and easily announce that they want Russell, but under no circumstance should they take anyone other than D’Angelo Russell in the Top 3. If Russell is off the board and the 76ers are forced to draft Mudiay then they have to trade down to around 5-7 to get value for that third overall pick instead of reaching for Mudiay. Under no circumstance should Philadelphia be drafting a big man unless the “plan” all along was to use Nerlens Noel as trade bait and have the big men be Embiid, Saric, and an unknown future player.
Face facts, D’Angelo Russell, Tony Wroten, Robert Covington, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid as a 2015-2016 starting five looks a lot better than Tony Wroten, Jermani Grant, Robert Covington, Karl-Anthony Townes or Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid.
The only way I can see drafting a big man being beneficial is if the 76ers are openly tanking again. The potential benching of Embiid for another entire season combined with the hypothetical trading away of Nerlens Noel would leave this new draft pick all alone to tank another year for yet another draft pick. Under the unlikely circumstance that the 76ers draft Kristap Porzingis and he is not bought out of his contract we could be looking at a 76ers team with no new faces and also no Nerlens Noel, which has potential to be the worst team in NBA history. Nerlens Noel constantly being on the trade block leads to a lot of suspicion in his future, it is unsure if the front office actually wants him as a part of this team or if he is a pawn. This draft is unpredictable, but the 76ers front office is even more unpredictable, it’s make or break time for Sam Hinkie, but I assure you if we do not draft D’Angelo Russell it means one to three more seasons of tanking.