There are some interesting names in next year’s draft class. With the recent reclassification of Marvin Bagley III, the top prospect in the nation, the draft certainly seems to be stacked at the top. Experts believe the Sixers should make the playoffs but there are so many things that will factor into how successful, or unsuccessful, the Sixers will be this upcoming season. Let’s take a look at a few different prospects scattered across the draft board that the Sixers might be able to draft.
1-5: Luka Doncic
Let’s suppose the Sixers get a top 5 pick next year. That could either come via the Lakers pick or the Sixers own first round pick. The Lakers pick would have to be number one since if it falls within 2-5 it belongs to the Celtics due to the Markelle Fultz trade.
The top 5 players in the 2018 draft class are Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr, Luka Doncic, DeAndre Ayton and Mohammed Bamba. Bagley is extremely talented but he plays power forward/center, a position already filled by Simmons, Holmes, Saric, Embiid and Okafor. Bryan Colangelo might not be willing to gamble with another big man, which takes Bagley, Ayton and Bamba out of the running. Between Porter and Doncic, Porter is the more polished player. However, Luka Doncic’s long term potential is very enticing.
He is a 6’8 combo guard who currently plays for Real Madrid. He has good handles for a player his size, can shoot the ball well and most importantly, is an excellent playmaker. He is currently averaging 7.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists overseas.
Doncic would fit perfectly as the future shooting guard right in between Fultz and Simmons. He gives the team a solid shooter on the wing and another playmaker to help take some ease off of Simmons and Fultz. Not to mention he can guard point guards, shooting guards and small forwards. Multi-positional players like Doncic are trending upwards in this league. If the Sixers do get lucky enough to nab a top 5 pick again next year, Luka Doncic should definitely be on the top of their list.
6-10: Miles Bridges
The Lakers pick should fall somewhere in this range. The Sixers could go a few different ways here but Miles Bridges is too good to pass up on. He is a 6’6 forward with a big frame and some seriously powerful jams. He is a capable shooter but struggles to make jumpshots consistently. It could have to do with his jumper, which has a few kinks in it. He is a tenacious rebounder for someone who is only 6’6 and plays hard on defense. He is very active on the floor and plays with heart. He sort of reminds me of Shawn Marion; not the flashiest player but he is very effective. Someone tough like Bridges would be perfect to plug into Brett Brown’s run-n-gun and physical defense style of play.
11-15: Dzanan Musa
You might asking yourself, “Who in Sam Hinkie is Dzanan Musa?”. That’s fine. European players don’t often get the national attention they deserve. He is currently projected to go in the late lottery. He is a 6’8 wing who can score off the dribble and from three. He is more of a volume shooter than a deadeye sharpshooter, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that with good looks, he can be deadly. He has good handles and can create shots for himself. Imagine a bigger J.R.Smith in his prime. He is a player the Sixers can rely on for some big buckets down the line.
16-20: Mikal Bridges
I strongly considered choosing Hamidou Diallo here. The only reason I didn’t was because Diallo is sort of a wild card. He could go in the middle of the lottery, late lottery, or fall out of the lottery all together. Scouts simply don’t know what to expect of him just yet. They have,however, seen more from Villanova forward Mikal Bridges (not to be confused with Michigan State Spartans forward Miles Bridges).
Mikal Bridges averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2 assists last season for the Villanova Wildcats. He stands at 6’7 and has a 7’0 wingspan. His length gives him the ability to guard multiple positions and finish strong at the rim. He is improving as a shooter and should be even better this year with a bigger load to handle. The Sixers surely wouldn’t hesitate at drafting the large wing defender.
21-25: Rodions Kurucs
Kurucs is another European player you may not have heard of. He currently plays for FC Barcelona Lassa of the Liga ACB. He could’ve been drafted last year but instead chose to pull his name out. He is a 6’8 knockdown shooter who can also get to the basket. He is athletic enough to draw contact at the rim but has trouble finishing due to his thin frame. He has decent ball handling skills but mainly focuses on his jumper, even when it isn’t falling. Furkan Korkmaz anyone?
26-30: Austin Wiley
Austin Wiley is a 6’11 center who currently plays for the Auburn Tigers. He averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks last season. He is very active on the offensive boards and has a nice soft baby hook in the post. His jumpshot suggests he has potential to become a decent mid range shooter although it is still a work in progress. Wiley is worth a flyer in the late first round, especially if the Sixers end up moving Jahlil Okafor at some point in the season.
All of these players could find themselves within the grasp of the Philadelphia 76ers when the 2018 draft rolls around. They each fit into Brett Brown’s coaching system as well as the young stars on the team. Only time will tell where the Sixers will stand come lottery day.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Rex Features via AP Images