The 2019 NBA draft is just a day away and the Philadelphia 76ers hold five total picks. On the surface, that’s a very good thing, but four of those are in the second round. So, it’s more of an extreme dice roll at that point. What the Sixers could wind up doing is using one or two of those second-round picks and their own first-round pick at #24 to move up in the draft. While it doesn’t seem that those would get the team up into the lottery, they could sneak into the teens for a pick. But, will that really help the team?
They lack bench depth and everyone knows that short of the starters this season, the team struggled to find anyone that could continually contribute. Players like Zhaire Smith, Shake Milton and Jonah Bolden could see more time next season, especially as Smith and Milton hardly played at all last year due to injury and circumstance.
Smith, the most athletic player in the 2018 draft, had a foot injury that was followed by an allergic reaction and hospital stay that cost him almost his entire rookie season. He should be looked at as a contributor on both sides of the ball this season. Milton had injuries and still showed flashes of scoring when given the chance. Both players are good outside shooters and the Sixers could really use that aspect on the second unit or two spell J.J Redick with the starters.
Assuming that Butler, Harris, and Reddick, all re-sign with the team, they are looking for backup center help, depth and most importantly for this team, shooting. When J.J Redick isn’t on the floor, there’s really no one that can provide that type of shooting efficiency on the team. With that, here’s a few of the best shooters in the draft that, realistically, should all be available and could contribute without the Sixers sacrificing any of their early second-round picks.
- Cam Johnson 6’8” 205 lbs. North Carolina
The great thing about Johnson is that he’s a complete lights-out shooter. He’s tall and has very good mobility that led to drastically improved defense in his senior year at North Carolina. He doesn’t really have a limit to his range and his form make it very hard to block his shot, while he still manages to make a good amount of shots that are contested.
The issue with Johnson is his age, at least in the minds of scouts and everyone who thinks that one and done players are the way to go. Johnson is a twenty-three-year-old senior. That fits perfectly with the core of Simmons and Embiid. He’s played at North Carolina, which is one of the high-profile programs, so he’s not really going to have to adapt to spotlight. The age knock may be the thing that would benefit him the most as a Sixer. He’s been spotted in mock drafts anywhere from fourteen all the way to 30, so there’s a chance he could be sitting there for the Sixers to take at #24.
- Dylan Windler 6’8” 195 lbs. Belmont
Windler is another twenty-three-year-old senior from Belmont, which is in no way ever going to be confused for a major basketball program. He’s a left-handed shooter which throws off some defenders and he doesn’t need much time nor space to get his shot off. He’s a very good rebounder for his size, but again, that’s at Belmont.
He’s a proven shooter and he has fantastic range. Where he excels is coming off screens. I’m not sure who the Sixers have already that has made a career out of that, but I believe his name sounds like Schmedick. Windler should be there at #24 but, he could slide to the Sixers at either of their first two second-round picks and would also add the second unit, immediate and mature shooter to the team.
- Deividas Sirvydis 6’8” 195 lbs. BC Lietwas Rytas
Sirvydis is a nineteen-year-old shooter. There’s no other way to say it. He’s another lefty that can get his shot off quickly and doesn’t need much space to do it. While he doesn’t provide much in the way of ball movement or defense, he makes up for his lack of overall basketball skill with a phenomenal shooting touch and the ability to get his shot up quickly, over almost anyone.
While playing in Lithuania isn’t considered the top of the foreign basketball world, he’s shown athleticism and skill that has teams looking at him in the later part of the second round. If the Sixers choose to go in other directions in the early stages of the draft, it wouldn’t really be a stretch for them to take a chance on Sirvydis with a later pick.
He could come in and add the secondary shooting that the team needs while still being athletic enough to be able to move with players like Smith, Milton, and Bolden on the second unit. He’s not going to be a star in the league but, he could wind up carving out a nice career as a shooter in a league that’s placed a premium on shooting.
The Sixers desperately need shooters to work with their style of play. While the concern is back-up center, small forward, backup point guard, the team would be wise to use one of their picks on getting someone that can contribute this season. While most of the league is looking for the starters and superstars, the Sixers have those guys already and can focus on addressing actual needs that suit their system. Johnson, Windler and Sirvydis check that box and give the team one of the three best shooters in the upcoming NBA Draft.
The 2019 NBA Draft takes place Thursday, June 20, 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn starting at 7:00 pm this year. Tune in and see how the Sixers and the rest of the NBA shape their futures.
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports