With the NBA draft now under one month away, the Philadelphia 76ers have five draft picks. Don’t get too excited, it’s not like the three first rounders that the Celtics have. (#14 courtesy of Bryan Colangelo and his lack of intelligence.) But, the Sixers do have three picks in the top thirty-four and that should be enough to find some good bench players that add some depth to a team that lacked it throughout the past season.
As of right now, the Sixers have the 24th, 33rd, and 34thpicks in the draft. That could change if they could find a willing (see: rebuilding) partner to move up with into the bottom of the lottery or close to it. I don’t see them getting rid of those three to move up ten spots, but stranger things have happened. If you take the picks as they are, then you’re left with five new players and after years of the team drafting foreign players that they stash overseas and never use, we can assume that three of these picks would be used on players that will be on the team and the other two either moved or wasted.
Right now, the best bet is to look at where the Sixers could get the best value in the current picks, especially the top three that they possess.
Here’s a look at a few players that the Sixers could take and actually use in the upcoming season.
Luka Samanic 6’11” 227 lbs. Croatia – Power Forward
Samanic is a very good athlete and runs the floor well. He looks to make plays and while his 33% from beyond the arc isn’t great, he wasn’t asked to do shoot from beyond the arc much last year.
He has a nice shooting form and could develop a reliable outside game. The key to Samanic is that he’s only nineteen years old and already has the physical tools needed to play in the game today. He has good awareness and gets up and down the floor quickly on both sides of the ball. He’s an intriguing prospect that could wind up going higher than 24thin the draft after a strong combine.
Tyler Herro 6’6” 192 lbs Kentucky – Shooting Guard
Herro is a shooter, a very good shooter. He has good form and shoots well on the move. His defense isn’t as good as you would like, but he has the smarts to grasp where he needs to be on defense as well as the work ethic to develop into a serviceable defensive player.
He’s not a great ball handler and will work better moving away from the ball and picking up open outside looks. Herro doesn’t look to be a prototype 3 and D guy, but he’ll work hard and could provide some, much needed, shooting for the Sixers second unit.
Ty Jerome 6’5” 194 lbs. Virginia – Shooting Guard
Jerome is a baller. He doesn’t have great speed, nor does he have great athleticism. But what he does have is a great basketball IQ that helps him make up for the lack of great physical tools.
He’s become a very good defender in spite of his physical limitations. The offensive part is that Jerome is very good passer and a clinical shooter. He’s close to 40% from three-pointers for his college career and could play the combo guard on the second unit, handling some point guard duties and adding very good outside shooting that would space the floor on the Sixers second unit, while providing some very good defense while the starters rest.
Dylan Windler 6’8” 196 lbs. Belmont – Shooting Guard
Windler is a good athlete and can flat out shoot the ball. In fact, he may be the best shooter in the draft. He’s a 43% three-point shooter and 85% free throw shooter. While he’s not a great defender he’s not terrible either. He’s a smart player, can develop as a better defender, and rebounds well for a shooting guard.
His size and athleticism will help him at the NBA level. The only real drawback to Windler is that he’s 23 years old. For the Sixers, that may actually be a benefit as they wouldn’t have to hope that his game develops as he matures. He’s already the same age as Ben Simmons and could be counted on to provide great outside shooting for both the first and second units. He would make a better defensive player than J.J Redick, who’s going to be thirty-five this upcoming season and could use lesser minutes. Windler may be the smartest pick the Sixers make if they can get him with one of the two early second-round picks.
There are other names that have popped up in the area where the Sixers will be drafting like Nicolas Claxton from Georgia, Mfiondu Kabengele from Florida State, Eric Paschall from Villanova, and Naz Reid from LSU. They’re all power forwards but the Sixers need athletes to work with their style of play and shooters that can actually make shots and provide defense.
We still have a few weeks left before the draft and the stock on some of these guys will continue to fluctuate as they’re all later picks in the draft. We can only hope that the Sixers make the right picks and we’re not stuck with another season of injured first-rounders that we wait to see play.
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports