I don’t think it’s a wild statement to say that Russell is by far the best ‘fit’ for the Sixers in this NBA draft. The Sixers need to fill the point guard position and a player who excels in perimeter shooting. Russell ticks all of the boxes alongside being the most creative passer in the draft…but what if he falls to the Lakers? Who do The Sixers draft instead? We take a closer look at who the best three options would be.
3) Jahlil Okafor
Okafor is almost certainly going to impress, wherever he ends up. His post abilities are fantastic and his clinical finishing is easily the best in the NBA draft. At such a young age, the 6-11, 275 pounder has some astonishing footwork. However, his weakness is on the defensive end of the spectrum. That coupled with the issue that Okafor does not possess reliable jump shot. Whilst it’s not exactly an attribute that will see him fall down the order drastically, it’s a quality that is in high demand in todays game. Make no mistake, Okafor is an incredible athlete and is going to become a household name in a single digit number of seasons However, his inability to protect the rim is what may stop him being a number one pick and potentially a number two. So the question is, do the Sixers go for the best player, or the best fit?
If Embiid’s health isn’t an issue, I can’t see him getting any gametime with Noel and Embiid both being so critical. He wouldn’t fit in terms of there being too much talent at the position already. But if Brown sees otherwise and fancies some wheeling and dealing, then we may see a few Chip Kelly esque’ moves on our hands to make sure that this very talented individual is starting next season..he would endorse the new Made in Phila slogan..
2) Emmanuel Mudiay
Mudiay is regarded by many as a certain star. Despite his questionable choice to go and play ball in China..which then saw him pick up an injury for a huge chunk of time, the 6-5, 190-pounder has a phenomenal attribute set. He has great size and can use it effectively to finish at the rim. He is also a strong floor general and has great court vision. For a guard he is the perfect size and utilises it when finishing at the rim. His court vision would probably not be matched by many in the draft, and his year away in China playing against some familiar names may actually benefit him. He only really has one weakness which once again is his jump shot, but according to various reporters it has already vastly improved since we last saw him play.
The thing is, Mudiay would excel in a team that spaces the floor and has a consistent big floor unit. The Sixers don’t have that, meaning Mudiay would struggle to get the open lane that he needs to execute his shots more accurately. I don’t think he’s the best fit available for this team, but he is debatably the best point guard..
1) Kristaps Porzingis
We’re prepared for the influx of shock comments and disapproved headshakes, but hear us out..we’ve been right before. *Cough, DeMarco Murray, *Cough)
Porzingis has erupted in recent weeks. We’ve all seen the highlights and workout clips, alongside the internet memes and snide comments, simply undermining the European seven-footer. Say what you want, the signs of a great point guard are all there. Someone of his height with such accurate range from beyond the perimeter who can knock down anything you throw at him.
Kristaps has an insane work ethic, there’s no doubt about it. He has a high basketball IQ and obtains shocking talent on the court alongside a strong heritage and a fluency in English..
The main concern here is strength. Whilst offensively he is fine, he is going to have to guard the likes of Howard and DeMarcus Cousins at some stage. Does he have what it takes to beat the best in the game? It’s high risk, high reward. He could either turn into Andrew Luck or Johnny Manziel for the sake of a football analogy.
Hinkie has seen the most of Porzingis and will have all of the information needed to make the right call. The team needs someone like this, someone to spark conversation and put the team back in the spotlight. Hinkie needs to build a team of jigsaw pieces that make a complete picture, not great pieces from entirely different jigsaws. The question is, how many NBA GM’s would risk an NBA draft pick as imperative as this on someone who’s future is so uncertain? With fans demanding success, this needs to be the right call. Can Hinkie entrust enough faith into the young European to carry his team to new heights, or does that fate lie with a more reliable option?